Essential Oils for Sleep

Essential Oils for Sleep
Photo by sk8geek

Essential oils for sleep can help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and invigorated. Sleep disorders are widespread, especially in today’s 24/7 nonstop, always on the go culture. Some estimate that up to 65% of people in Western nations have difficulties getting a good night’s sleep. They wake up tired and have periods weariness and fatigue throughout the day. And, at least 10% of the population has such a severe level of sleep dysfunction that they require therapeutic treatment. And, many have resorted to prescription drugs.

It’s no wonder that nearly 40% of people with insomnia turn to over-the-counter medications or alcohol to help fall asleep faster and stay asleep. But, most of these medications have side effects. So, many people are investigating natural botanicals that have calming, relaxing and soothing properties.

Among the botanicals people use are a number of essential oils. Many essential oils have calming effects.

Scientific Evidence on Essential Oils for Sleep

A number of clinical trials have been conducted to investigate essential oils for sleep disturbances. One paper reviewed the human studies, many of which were randomized controlled trials, that had been published between 1990 to 2012.

This review indicated that the oils that produced statistically significant results in improving sleep quality included lavender, peppermint and jasmine oil. It indicated that some studies found positive results, though not statistically significant, for lavender oil and lavender and valerian blends.

The effect of essential oil aromatherapy for improving sleep is much easier to conduct on animals. A study on rats (which are like humans in many ways) showed that oil vapors that significantly altered sleep time included lemon, rose and valerian. Lemon significantly shortened sleep time while rose and valerian significantly lengthened sleep time. Lavender lengthened sleep time, but not significantly.

Many recent studies have examined single oils or an essential oil blend on sleep disturbances. Here are just a few recent studies.

Lavender Essential Oil

One hospital study demonstrated that lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli with a 6 : 2 : 0.5 ratio were found to significantly lower anxiety and improve sleep quality in cardiac patients.

Another study of cardiac patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) used lavender essential oil. Those patients using lavender aromatherapy showed significant decreases in anxiety and significant improvement in sleep quality.

A study of healthy college students demonstrated that aromatherapy using lavender essential oil significantly increased deep or slow-wave sleep (in the first half of the night), percent of time spent asleep, and increased vigor the morning.

Another study of college students with sleep issues tested the use of lavender essential oil and recommendations for good sleep against only recommendations for good sleep. The lavender group showed significantly improved sleep quality and less daytime fatigue compared to the non-lavender group and these advantages remained for at least 2 weeks after the test.


A review of 16 randomized, placebo-controlled trials of valerian for improving sleep quality showed that 6 studies showed positive effects. Most of the larger studies showed a inconclusive, dichotomous outcome of sleep quality (sleep improved or not improved).

A study tested a combination of valerian, hop, and jujube in capsule form with 120 generally healthy patients with sleep problems (60 using the combination and 60 not). After 10 days patients taking the combination showed significant improvements (p < 0.024) over the placebo group in time to get to sleep, nighttime awakenings, and total sleep time. After 20 days the improvements were highly significant (p < 0.001)

Rose Oil

A study of rose oil showed that it significantly decreased breathing rate, blood pressure, and perceived alertness with an increase in relaxation and calmness.

Recipes Using Essential Oils for Sleep

Nearly all blends will contain at least lavender, rose, valerian, roman chamomile, neroli, or jasmine oil.

For example, here is a blend From the Selected Works of Mona Shattell

Bergamot: 2 drops
Lavender: 10 drops
Roman Chamomile: 5 drops

Add to carrier oil: 2 oz unscented lotion or jojoba oil

Apply freely to chest and neck prior to bed

Which Essential Oils to Use For Sleep?

Commercially available blends also contain one or more of the oils proven to help you get a good night’s sleep.

  • Natural Riches™ Sleep essential oil blend contains Lavender, Clary Sage, Copaiba Balsam, Marjoram, and Chamomile.
  • Nexon Botanics™ Zen Sleep Essential Oil Blend consists of Geranium, Lavender and Cedarwood oils.
  • Pure Therapeutic Grade™ Good Sleep Blend contains Clary Sage, Copaiba and Lavender
  • Edens Garden™ Good Night blend contains Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Chamomile, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Key Lime, Lime, and Vanilla
  • Artizen™ Good Sleep Blend contains Clary Sage, Copaiba, and Lavender
  • Plant Guru™ Sleeo Tight Synergy Blend contains Bulgarian Lavender, Spanish Marjoram, Ylang Ylang, Copaiba, Roman Chamomile, Rue, and Sandalwood
  • Prime Natural™ SLEEP & RELAXATION blend contains Lavender Bulgaria, Clary Sage, Copaiba Balsam, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile

As you can see, each brand has its own unique blend of essential oils. Investigate these and other oils to see what effect they have on your sleep. Choose a blend that you like and use it.

Essential Oils for Sleep References

Benefits of Orange Essential Oil

Benefits of orange essential oil include calming emotions, lowering blood pressure, uplifting your mood, boosting your immune system, as well as acting against cancer, repelling insects, and improving your libido. It has anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties that help fight germs and reduce painful swelling.

Orange essential oil has be used for thousands of years. People in China, India, the Mediterranean and the Middle East have used it to fight coughs and colds and for religious purification ceremonies. It is well know for improving digestion and helping to heal skin problems.

Orange essential oil comes from the Citrus sinensis plant which includes sweet and navel oranges. The rind or peal of the orange is the primary source of this essential oil. You must harvest the oranges and remove the peal at just the right level of ripeness to produce the best oil.

An article (Ionic liquids and fragrances – direct isolation of orange essential oil) in the journal Green Chemistry examined the phytochemical compounds in orange essential oil.

While there are over 200 phytochemicals in orange essenetial oil, only a very few are present in any significant quantity. The authors found the following range of major components from their samples:

  • Limonene 98.08 – 98.78%
  • Myrcene 0.95 – 1.30%
  • α-Pinene 0.12 – 0.68%
  • β-Pinene 0.13 -.49%
  • Linalol 0.11 – 0.26%
  • Octanal 0.06 0.222%

It’s clear that the most prominent compound in orange essential oil is limonene. It is primarily responsible for most of orange essential oil’s properties.


Orange essential oil may be photo-toxic for some people. You should avoid direct sunlight after a topical application. Also, do not take orange essential oil internally.

Benefits of Orange Essential Oil

Watch this video for more information about the medicinal benefits of orange essential oil.

Orange essential-oil is extracted from the fruit peels of sweet orange that goes by the name Citrus sinensis.
In the case of orange-oil, limonene, D-limonene in particular, forms the major bulk of the oil. This monoterpene compound with proven antitumor function is responsible for most of the beneficial properties of orange essential oil.

Sweet orange oil is widely used in aromatherapy and herbal medicine for the following Reasons.

Benefits of Orange Essential Oil as an Antidepressant

The very action of peeling an orange is so uplifting, thanks to the release of the orange-oil in the peel. Not surprisingly, the essential-oil of orange is often used in aromatherapy to bring one out of a depressed or pensive mood.

A mere whiff of the oil can make you feel alert and relaxed at the same time. It induces a sense of happiness and well-being. Along with the reduction in cortisol secretion and lifting of mental anxiety, physical changes such as lowering of pulse rate are observed.

Benefits of Orange Essential Oil as an Anti-inflammatory

Inflammation is part of body’s healing mechanism, but uncontrolled and chronic inflammation has many negative effects, apart from causing swelling and pain.

Orange oil can regulate the inflammatory response of the body to allergens, injuries, infections and other irritants. You can observe perceptible changes such as reduction in redness and swelling at the site of injury. In case of respiratory allergens, the anti-inflammatory action can help relieve a runny nose and cough.

Medicinal Benefits of Orange Essential Oil as a Diuretic

Orange has a mild diuretic action that results in increased production of urine. This facilitates the removal of undesirable substances from the body, including toxic substances, excess salts, and by-products of protein digestion such as uric-acid.

By removing excess fluids from the body, diuretics like orange oil reduce edema caused by water retention in tissues. It also reduces blood pressure and excessive load on the heart.

Medicinal Benefits of Orange Essential Oil to Relieve Fatigue

Orange essential oil can help relieve physical and mental fatigue. Mix it with the essential oil of lavender to enhance the effect.

Mix 5-drops each of sweet orange oil and lavender oil and use the mixture in a diffuser. Apply a drop of the mixture to your pulse points for faster absorption into the body.

Adding essential oils to your bath would give you maximum benefits, but it should be avoided for the reason mentioned above.

Benefits of Orange Essential Oil to Control Acne

Orange oil has a drying and grease-cutting effect on the skin that can help reduce acne in people with oily skin. Add 2-3 drops of orange oil to a cup of water and wash the face with it before going to bed.

Orange oil acts as a deep cleanser when used with a light carrier oil like olive-oil or sweet almond-oil. Mix 3-4 drops of orange oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply on the face with a cotton ball. Allow to remain for 5-minutes and wipe off. This is an excellent way to remove makeup in the evening.

For a spot treatment for acne, dip a cotton swab in sweet orange-oil and touch the acne. The antiseptic effect of orange oil helps reduce bacteria that worsen acne.

Defusing orange essential oil in a diffuser is the best way to receive the above mentioned benefits however you can also apply it directly on to skin, such as neck area, as and when you need it.

See more videos on the Natural solution channel.

Image Sources/credit