Essential Oils For Insomnia

Essential Oils For Insomnia

What is insomnia?

Many people struggle with occasional trouble falling or staying asleep. Sometimes occasional sleeplessness is caused by stress, a passing illness, or short-term body pain, and can go away with time. However, chronic trouble staying or falling asleep can sometimes be insomnia. Recent studies suggest that insomnia impacts both physical and mental health. (For more information on how insomnia can affect the mind and body, see here.)

If you are experiencing symptoms that suggest you may have insomnia, it is best to see a doctor to confirm the diagnosis and receive medical treatment. 

How can essential oils help?

In the past thirty years or so, essential oils have become more popular for treating both insomnia and occasional sleeplessness. A number of scientific and medical studies suggest that essential oils can be effective in combatting symptoms of insomnia and helping patients gain more restful and rejuvenating sleep habits. (For a thorough history of clinical aromatherapy and its usage in treating insomnia, see this book.) 

In other words, essential oils are seeing increasing efficacy in reducing and mitigating insomnia symptoms in clinical settings, which suggests that they are also likely to work while at home in your own bedroom. 

The following essential oils have been proven effective for some people in treating insomnia. However, it is important to remember that everyone's body is different. Essential oils that work for one person may not work for all people, and the linkages between smells, memory, relaxation, and sleep are still being explored by medical professionals. If one of the essential oils on this list isn't working for you, try a different one, as no essential oil has been proven to have universal effects.


Essential Oils For Insomnia

Lavandula Angustifolia Cherished for over centuries, lavender essential oil is renowned for its unmistakable aroma as well as myriad benefits. With topical, internal and aromatic applications, the oil definitely has a lot to bring on the table. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Anthemis Nobilis With a range of different uses, Roman Chamomile comes packed with advantages. Derived from the beautiful daisy-like flower, it is amongst the mostly demanded products. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Edens Garden Valerian Essential Oil, 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade (Pain & Skin Care) 10 ml
Valerian Essential Oil
Possessing an intensely strong woody and unusual aroma, it is important to note Valerian's aroma can be unfavorable to some. While it may not smell very pleasant, it is also known as the heal all,Ó. It can still be a powerful combative of anxiety and stress.
Salvia sclarea Clary sage essential oil has numerous health benefits for the mind and body. The floral scent of this oil can calm the mind, and topical applications can improve the look of hair, skin, and nails.* Applications: Aromatic Topical Internal  
Origanum Majorana From a culinary additive to a health-care ingredient, Marjoram essential oil comes packed with benefits. The “winter sweet” as it’s commonly referred to, is a very powerful oil. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Citrus bergamia Bergamot essential oil has a light citrusy aroma with the power to both relax and invigorate.  This oil also harnesses medicinal qualities that can boost overall digestive and cardiovascular health.* Applications: Aromatic Topical Internal
Vetiveria Zizanioides With an array of beneficial applications, vetiver essential oil is amongst the most sought after on the market. It is versatile in terms of applications and it can be truly helpful. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
doterra jasmine essential oil roll on
Jasminum grandiflorum doTERRA Jasmine Touch can not only help reduce the appearance of skin imperfections but is also uplifting to the mood. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Neat Primary Benefits Reduces the appearance of skin imperfections Uplifts mood Promotes a healthy-looking, glowing complexion
Pelargonium graveolens Derived from the edible leaves of the geranium plant, this essential oil comes packed with a range of different benefits. Used to promote healthy-looking skin and hair, it’s the ideal substance for various beauty care products. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  
Boswellia Renowned as one of the most beneficial essential oils, frankincense is truly a gift of nature. It brings a range of splendid advantages and it’s truly precious, to say the least. Applications: Aromatic, Topical, Internal  


1. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential OilLavender essential oil has long been understood as a treatment for insomnia. Coming from the Lavandula plant, lavender essential oil’s fragrant, floral, relaxing scent provides a calming quality, making it especially useful for inducing sleepiness and rest. Lavender essential oil has been proven for best use with a diffuser or mist. In this study, women who inhaled lavender for twelve weeks experienced significant reductions in insomnia and improvements in both quality and quantity of sleep.

For use as a mist:

  • In a small spray bottle, mix water with 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil, depending on the strength of smell desired.
  • Shake the spray bottle to mix oil and water. 
  • Spray over pillows and blankets before sleep to induce relaxation.

Some people also use lavender essential oil topically, either in a bath or diluted with a carrier oil. Anytime you will be using an essential oil topically, dilute it first with water or oil. Do not put the oil directly on your skin, as some essential oils are quite potent and will likely irritate the skin.

For use in the bath:

  • While running the bath water, mix 7-10 drops of lavender essential oil into the water, depending on the desired strength of scent.
  • Relax and enjoy in preparation for bed. 


2. Roman Chamomile Essential Oil

Roman Chamomile Essential OilChamomile, especially Roman chamomile, is a floral scent that can promote relaxation and decrease stress before bed. Roman chamomile essential oil, in particular, has been best for relieving insomnia and anxiety. Some researchshows that chamomile can even be effective in reducing nightmares. (1)

Chamomile essential oils can be used in a mist, diffuser, or topically on the body. (As with any essential oil, if using topically, be sure to dilute with a carrier oil, like almond oil, before applying to your skin.)
To use chamomile essential oils in a diffuser, follow the instructions on your specific diffuser. Many essential oil diffusers work differently. 

For topical use:

  • Mix 5-10 drops of chamomile essential oil with approximately 1 fluid ounce of a carrier oil, such as almond oil or coconut oil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Apply the oil behind the ears, on the shoulders, on the bottoms of the feet, or anywhere that will allow maximum relaxation. During application, avoid the eyes and mouth. 


3. Valerian Essential Oil

While valerian is lesser known as an essential oil in the United States, some may have heard of valerian root extracts or teas for treating insomnia. In fact, multiple studies prove its effectiveness. As an essential oil, valerian can be used topically or in a diffuser to promote relaxation and sleepiness. (2)

For topical use: 

  • Mix 5-10 drops of valerian essential oil with 1 fluid ounce of a carrier oil. Mix thoroughly. 
  • Apply the oil behind the ears, on the shoulders and neck, or on the bottoms of the feet, in order to relax. Avoid eyes and mouth. 

To use in a diffuser, follow the instructions of your particular diffuser. Some experts recommend diffusing valerian essential oil along with clary sage essential oil for maximum benefit. 


4. Clary Sage Essential Oil

Clary Sage Essential OilClary sage, also called Salvia sclarea, is a specific variety of sage proven to reduce anxiety, inflammation, and stress, making it a useful essential oil for treating insomnia. Clary sage essential oil can be used topically, in a mist or diffuser, or ingested sparingly via mouth. Especially when ingesting, make sure that the essential oil is 100 percent clary sage essential oil, with no additives. As always, for topical use, always mix with a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil.

For use in a mist: 

  • Mix 5-10 drops of clary sage essential oil with water in a spray bottle. 
  • Shake well.
  • Spray over pillows and blankets in order to relax and achieve restful sleep. 

To ingest by mouth:

  • Make sure you are using 100 percent clary sage essential oil, with no additives.
  • Put 1-2 drops of 100 percent clary sage essential oil into a smoothie or tea for a soothing effect.


5. Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram Essential OilMarjoram essential oil has a calming effect on the nervous system, but sweet marjoram in particular has been shown to soothe nervousness and anxiety and lower blood pressure. Therefore sweet marjoram essential oil can be particularly effective for treating insomnia. It has also been recorded as calming seasonal allergies, hay fever, and colds and the flu, which can also be causes of occasional sleeplessness. 

Sweet marjoram essential oil can be used topically, in mist or diffuser, or in a bath. 

For use in the bath:

  • While running bath water, add 6-8 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil.
  • Relax and de-stress before bed. Meditative baths help many people reduce the effects of insomnia through creating bedtime routines that help them ease into sleep. 

To use in a candle diffuser:

  • Put 5 drops of sweet marjoram essential oil into the top part of the diffuser, mixed with a small amount of water. 
  • With the candle lit underneath, the essential oil will slowly release into the air.
  • Do not go to sleep with the candle lit, as open flames can be dangerous. If this is a concern of yours, there are a number of other kinds of diffusers, such as electric or reed-based, that can continue to work while you sleep without risk.


6. Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot Essential OilBergamot is an essential oil made from citrus rind. While most citrus essential oils are intended to sharpen focus, bergamot can be calming for many. However, because it is present in some black teas, such as earl grey, some may associate bergamot with morning. That association may lead some to choose other essential oils on this list. However, for others, bergamot essential oil provides a relaxing pre-bedtime experience. 

Bergamot essential oil can be used in a mist or diffuser, or used topically.

For use as a mist:

  • Mix 4 drops of bergamot essential oil and 4 drops of lavender essential oil with water in a spray bottle. 
  • Shake thoroughly to mix.
  • Spray over blankets and pillows to induce restfulness. 

For topical use:

  • Mix 6-8 drops of bergamot essential oil with 1 fluid ounce of a carrier oil. Mix thoroughly.
  • Massage into neck and shoulders, arms, or legs and feet for relaxation.


7. Vetiver Essential Oil

Vetiver Essential OilVetiver essential oil has been shown to decrease restlessness in clinical trials, as consistent with its holistic properties. In particular, some holistic sleep experts recommend mixing vetiver essential oil with clary-sage, valerian, and lavender for topical use in a pre-bedtime oil or in the bath.

For use in the bath:

  • Mix 3 drops of vetiver, 3 drops of clary-sage, 3 drops of valerian, and 3 drops of lavender into running bath water. 
  • Soak and relax.

For topical use:

  • Mix 2 drops of vetiver, 2 drops of clary-sage, 2 drops of valerian, and 2 drops of lavender into 1 fluid ounce of a carrier oil, such as almond oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil. 
  • Massage for relaxation. Some people ask their partners to massage them before bed which, when insomnia is particularly bad, can be an extremely effective relaxation technique.


8. Jasmine Touch Essential Oil

Jasmine Touch Essential OilJasmine holds an incredibly potent, sweet, floral scent that has, in some cases, been shown to be more effective than lavender at promoting restful sleep and increased alertness during the day. 

Because it is so fragrant, jasmine oil is best used in a diffuser or mist before bed.

To use in a diffuser, make sure to follow the instructions for your diffuser. It is important to remember that candle diffusers must not be left burning all night, so for some people, electric or reed diffusers work better at promoting restful sleep. 

For use in a mist:

  • Combine 5-10 drops of jasmine essential oil in a small spray bottle full of water. Shake well to mix.
  • Spray over pillows before bed for fragrant, restful sleep.


9. Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium Essential OilRose and geranium essential oils have similarly floral scents which, for many people, are closely associated with rest and rejuvenation. Rose and geranium essential oils are best when mixed with others in a mist, diffuser or bath. For example, rose essential oil combined with lavender and clary sage makes for a comfortable nighttime mist that will be sure to induce deep relaxation, while geranium and bergamot work well together for a pre-bedtime bath. 

For use as a mist:

  • Mix 2 drops of lavender essential oil, 2 drops of clary sage essential oil, and 4 drops of rose essential oil with water in a small spray bottle. Shake to mix.
  • Spray over pillows and bedsheets. 

For use in the bath:

  • Mix 3 drops of geranium essential oil and 3 drops of bergamot essential oil while running bath water. 
  • Soak and meditate before bed for restful and rejuvenating sleep. 


10. Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential OilA deeper, woodier smell than those above, frankincense essential oils work well when combined with more fragrant, lighter scents to induce deep sleep. Lavender and frankincense essential oils combine well together for use in achieving restfulness and relaxation that can reduce insomnia. 

Because frankincense is a muskier scent, it works best topically, as an oil for the body.

For topical use:

  • Mix 2 drops of frankincense essential oil, 3 drops of lavender essential oil, and 1 fluid ounce of a carrier oil. Mix well.
  • Massage into neck and shoulders in order to relax before bed. Remember that asking your partner for a bedtime massage can help with deeper relaxation and therefore more rejuvenating sleep.



While insomnia can be difficult to handle and frequently requires medical attention, at home remedies like the essential oils listed above can also be quite helpful in promoting deep rest, stress reduction, anxiety reduction, and relaxation.