What are the Best Essential Oils for Relaxation and Sleep?


Sleep is a pretty amazing function that our bodies can perform. Its benefits are plentiful, but one of the most important is its role in supporting our immune system. Some cells within our bodies are more active at certain times throughout the day. For instance,  there are cells that can be thought of as  “fighters” that take the “day shift” and others that act more like “modulators” – working to improve the efficiency of our immune system –  that are more active during the “night shift”. Studies show that a lack of sleep may cause the “day-shift” cells to run on fumes (so to speak), and be detrimental to our health.

According to Matthew Walker, the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley, skimping on sleep is associated with “problems in concentration, memory and the immune system, and may even shorten lifespan”.

Studies show that using essential oils may promote better sleep and increased relaxation – lavender, in particular. They have a unique ability to calm the mind, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety – both of which prepare you for a better night’s sleep.

Taking breaks or performing mild relaxing activities during the day also does wonders for the body. Try diffusing some of the oils listed below while having a cup of tea, listening to music, or even during mid-day session of yoga- it may be just what your body needs to fully relax.

Below are some of the best essential oils for relaxation and sleep followed by a more in-depth look at how they work:

  1. Sandalwood
  2. Lavender
  3. Frankincense
  4. Cedarwood
  5. Vetiver
  6. Marjoram
  7. Ylang ylang

What are the Best Essential Oils for Relaxation and Sleep

1. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is said to produce “harmonizing” effects within the body by acting to increase relaxation but also increase focus. Reportedly been used by Buddhist and Tibetan monks, this oil is known for calming the mind and achieving a blissful state of relaxation. While you may not be suited to the ascetic life of monks, you can benefit from their practices by using sandalwood to potentially improve your mood, focus your concentration, and relax your body. Try incorporating sandalwood into your yoga and meditation practices. The increased focus will help center your mind and achieve your desired state.


sandalwood essential oil for relaxation and stress

How to use Sandalwood essential oil for relaxation and sleep

  • Add two to three drops of sandalwood oil into your diffuser. Using sandalwood while relaxing or meditating may help you to rid your mind of worries and promote feelings of clarity.

2. Lavender

The soothing scent of lavender has been popular in many personal care items like perfumes and bath additives for thousands of years – and for good reason! According to one study, inhalation of lavender has been shown to relieve stress and anxiety, and may even act to protect your brain cells.  When nighttime comes, put a few drops of lavender into a diffuser or even on your pillow to put yourself in a relaxing and deep sleep.


lavender essential oil

Using Lavender oil for relaxation

  • Add five to six drops of lavender oil in your bath. Soaking in the water relieves stress and as a bonus – softens your skin.
  • Add two to three drops of lavender oil into your diffuser as you sleep. The scent of lavender will calm your mind and body, leading to a more restful sleep.
  • A quick whiff of lavender right out of the bottle can instantly produce a feeling of calm and relaxation.

3. Frankincense

People have also been using frankincense since the olden times for promoting feelings of peace and spirituality. In various religions, frankincense has been used as early as five thousand years ago.

According to many, frankincense decreases the intensity of negative emotions.

frankincense essential oil for stress

Using Frankincense essential oil for relaxation and sleep

  • Add two to three drops of frankincense essential oil into your diffuser as you relax or meditate.

4. Cedarwood

Cedarwood has a neutral wood scent that creates a relaxing and peaceful ambiance. Dating back to the early Egyptians, Cedarwood is said to be one of the earliest essential oils ever produced.

The scent of Cedarwood is said to calm the mind and reduce feelings of negativity.


cedarwood essential oil relaxation

Using Cedarwood essential oil for relaxation

  • Add three to four drops of Cedarwood essential oil into your diffuser a few minutes before you sleep to ensure a good night’s rest.

5. Vetiver

Vetiver is popular in India, but it is slowly gaining notice everywhere. It has a mild earthy scent that evokes feelings of tranquility. Using Vetiver oil may help to balance emotions. It is a natural sedative that may promote sleep and according to some animal studies, may help prevent occurrences of epileptic attacks.

vetiver essential oil relaxation stress

Using Vetiver essential oil for sleep

  • Add three to four drops of vetiver aromatherapy oil into your diffuser before you sleep, or on the onset of overwhelming emotions.

6. Marjoram

Marjoram is said to have been created by the Greek goddess Aphrodite with magical properties that promote love and banish sadness. True to the story of Aphrodite, marjoram’s luxurious aroma may help reduce feelings of anxiety and sadness. Diffusing marjoram oil relaxes the body and makes it possible for you to enjoy deep continuous sleep. Inhaling marjoram also helps open the airways and may be beneficial for those with asthma or similar problems.

majoram essential oil

Using Marjoram essential oil for relaxation and sleep

  • Add three to six drops of marjoram aromatherapy oil into your diffuser. It also acts as a natural decongestant that helps relieve stuffy sinuses.

7. Ylang ylang

Found in the tropics, Ylang ylang actually means “flower of flowers”. It exudes a fresh floral scent that’s quite similar to jasmine. According to one study, inhalation of Ylang ylang significantly increased feelings of calmness. Ylang ylang’s mild sedative effects may be able to put you in a relaxed state and promote sleep. A few drops in the diffuser will help you get to “dreamland” faster than you can count to 10.

ylang ylang essential oil

Using Ylang ylang essential oil for sleep

  • Add three to six drops of ylang ylang essential oil into your diffuser before you sleep to ensure a good night’s rest.


Your mind and body need time to restore energy and recover from the stress and pressure of day to day activities. If you want to survive the daily beating that your mind and body endures, you need quality rest and relaxation.

Using essential oils for relaxation and sleep might help you get the kind of rest that you need to successfully repair and revitalize your mind and body. With the right kind of oils, you will wake up refreshed and ready to be more productive, more efficient, and happier.

Sometimes the best essential oils for relaxation and sleep are not the same for all people and thus may take a little bit of trial-and-error. I hope this information will prove to be beneficial for you! Sweet dreams!

This article was adapted from Good RelaxationView the original article.

Images: sepalikadrAxe


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