Getting your kids to fall asleep and convincing your brain to stop overthinking can be monumental tasks to conquer at the end of the day. Whether you’re giving out extra kisses or glasses of water, planning your week, or dwelling on unfinished tasks, the bedtime hour is not to be taken lightly. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help everyone settle down. Check out this list of the best essential oils for sleep and learn how they can be used in your home to promote rest and relaxation.
What Are Essential Oils?
Plants that are used for their fragrances or medicinal properties contain active botanical elements that can be extracted and dissolved to create a concentrated liquid. This liquid concentrate is referred to as an essential oil. It can be used topically, ingested, or diffused into the air, depending on the type of oil and its intended purpose. Essential oils can be used for soothing certain ailments, lifting moods, improving concentration, promoting sleep and relaxation, and more.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are several ways to use essential oils, so you may need to do a little research and experimentation to find which combination of oil and delivery method works best for you. For example, some oils can be applied to the skin but should always be diluted with a base oil. Find out if the oil you choose is already diluted or needs to be, and what to use when diluting it yourself.
You can also add essential oils to a diffuser or a bath, either directly or with Epsom salts. You can also find products containing essential oils, such as lotions and hand creams, candles, and home scent products like wax melts and liquid-filled plugins.
Read the label of your oil for best uses. Some can be added to tea or consumed in other ways, but most often, you will put them in a diffuser or combine a few drops with water in a spray bottle. Spray around the room or on the underside of your pillow.
What Are the Best Essential Oils for Sleep?
To promote sleep and relaxation, try one or more of the oils listed below until you find the right combination for you. Due to the high concentration, when using oils for children, it is often better to use a diffuser or diluted spray in their bedroom than to apply it directly to their skin.
Lavender is one of the most popular and best essential oils for sleep, due to its ability to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. It has a subtle and soothing scent that helps relax muscles, which means it can also reduce pain.
Jasmine helps to reduce feelings of restlessness, lowers anxiety, and helps to increase alertness during the day. It has a sweet floral scent that is often combined with others.
Sandalwood smells earthy and woody and is also used to reduce anxiety and help with sleep, particularly light non-REM sleep. However, it can also be used to increase alertness while reducing anxiety, so you will have to try it out to know for sure how it will work for you.
Bergamot is a citrus oil that lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Many other citrus oils are used for anxiety and/or depression and will either relax you or wake you up. You can experiment to find out which of these helps you sleep, but bergamot is generally a safe bet.
Peppermint oil is more commonly used for increased energy and concentration, but when used at night, it reduces snoring and improves breathing. However, if you find that it keeps you awake, it may not be your best option as a sleep aid.