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best essential oils for sleep, rest, relaxation, and stress relief

Best Essential Oils For Sleep, Relaxation & Stress

In this post, we explain which essential oils are best for sleep and how to use them properly

Let's face it, we could all use some more sleep, or some better quality sleep. In this post, we’ll go over how essential oils help us to relax, fall asleep faster, and rest deeper. We’ll also explain the best ways to use these oils to achieve your best night's sleep.

Essential Oils Can Help With Sleep & Relaxation

Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular for their amazing health benefits and effects on mood. One of their main benefits is promoting faster and better sleep. They do this by helping with symptoms that can prevent sleep, such as anxiety, stress, digestion issues, or respiratory problems. So forget about your Ambien and its awful side effects and consider some natural, amazing smelling oils.

We purchased all of these oils off Amazon, all from different brands, and all under $15 each. For the purpose of this review, we are using these oils only externally, not internally. All of these oils specifically state on their label that they’re for external use only.

Remember, you can mix any of these oils together for even more powerful and diverse benefits, and amazing smells. An office favorite is a combination of ylang ylang and cedarwood with one extra drop of lavender. Also, feel free to experiment with these oils and add more, such as vanilla oil or orange oil, which are scents that tend to mix well and enhance other aromas.

lavendar essential oil best essential oils for sleep and relaxation


See on AmazonA floral scent that can help to induce sleep, among other things.
roman chamomile essential oil best essential oil for sleep and relaxation

Roman Chamomile

See on AmazonThis has a floral scent as well—albeit a more mild one. Can help with various mental states such as sadness and anxiety.
ylang ylang essential oil best essential oils for sleep and relaxation

Ylang Ylang

See on AmazonYet another floral scent. This one smells similar to a blend of lily and lilac for a natural mood booster.
cedarwood essential oil best essential oils for sleep and relaxation


See on AmazonA more masculine scent that's derived from a cedar tree.
peppermint essential oil best essential oils for sleep and relaxation


See on AmazonPeppermint has been proven to help with various health conditions related to your sinus and respiratory system.

Essential Oils: How to Use

Let’s begin with the best ways to use these oils. We’re going to break it down into two different tactics here: diffusing and aromatherapy.

A diffuser is a specific product that uses water and ultrasonic waves to diffuse essential oils into the airspace of a room. They come in many different sizes, shapes, and some even have colored light features. To use, simply fill the diffuser with water (there will usually be a “max” line), and then use 5-10 drops of essential oils. A light stream of smoke looking vapor will arise from your diffuser and fill the room will the smell of your essential oils.

About 30 minutes before your planned bedtime, get your diffuser going. This will give enough time for the vapors to fill the room. Just make sure that your diffuser isn’t heating the oils at all, because it can change their chemical composition and possibly affect their smell. Also, make sure your diffuser turns off on its own after either 6 hours or when the water runs dry.

Next is aromatherapy, and there are many ways in which you can do this. First is an essential oil bath. Draw yourself a hot bath, and then add about 5-10 drops of your intended essential oils. Soak and relax for 15 minutes, minimum. The heat from the water and the aroma from the oils should work together to relax you into a great night’s sleep post bath.

Another option is creating your own bedtime bedding spray. Mix a couple drops of oil into a spray bottle (preferably glass) with a teaspoon of witch hazel and fill the rest with water. Spray this mix all over your pillows and bedding right before you hop into bed.

You can also create your own sleepy time moisturizers. Add drops of essential oil to coconut oil, jojoba oil, or some unscented lotion. Be sure to target your pressure points such as your wrists, temples, and just under the jaw. You can even make a big batch of it and ask a significant other to give you a massage to help you relax into blissful sleep.

Storing Your Essential Oils

As for storage of your oils, they should be in a dark glass container, and then kept in a dark and dry place. Prolonged periods of sunlight can change the oils, which you don’t want. Also, keep them upright, because sometimes the oil can leak out of the containers.



  • Insomniacs
  • Anyone that needs to relax or calm down

Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils on the market. It has been referenced all throughout history in ancient cultures such as Egyption scripts and the Bible as medicine for insomnia. Fun fact, when King Tut’s tomb was opened in 1923, there was said to be a smell of lavender, even after the 3,000 years he had been buried.

Lavender is most popular for insomnia, because scientific research has shown it has sleep-inducing effects and actively works to help calm the mind and soothe the body.

It can apparently even prevent against neurological damage from migraines, stress, anxiety, and depression. Just dilute the oil in a carrier oil (coconut oil or jojoba oil) and apply it to the temples. You can find lavender in a ton of products such as lotions and creams or even eye masks and heating pads.

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Roman Chamomile


  • Soothes digestive system issues
  • Anyone that suffers from anxiety or depression

Roman chamomile was also used in ancient medicine. It has a very mild, floral scent that’s not too sweet. It has been used to treat symptoms of anxiety and depression for hundreds of years in southern Italy, Sardinia, Morocco, and Brazil.

It can not only helps the brain relax, but helps to soothe the digestive system. There is also some research that shows it can help reduce symptoms of leaky gut and irritable bowel disease, and can even help us ladies with cramps. So, it targets your mind, your muscles, and your organs, and helps them all work together to calm down and get some great rest. Some also recommend this oil for children, because it’s very gentle.

Ylang Ylang


  • Anyone looking to get in the mood (this can be an aphrodisiac)
  • People in a bad mood (it can serve as a mood booster)

Ylang ylang is another floral oil. It translates to “flowers of flowers” because of its sweet floral scent. We think it smells like a mix between lilac and lily.

Ylang ylang has been shown to be a natural aphrodisiac and mood booster. Historically in Indonesia, it’s been used to decorate the bed of couples on their wedding night. It is good for helping with feelings of anger and anxiety, because it helps you to release these emotions, so you can then fall asleep easier.

It’s also apparently good at improving blood flow, regulating heartbeat, and reducing inflammation. We find this scent to be an overall great mood booster around the office.



  • Men or anyone that wants a more woodsy scent
  • Sad people (it can help to boost your mood)

Cedarwood oil is extracted from the wood chips of a cedar tree. This is a more masculine scent that men tend to favor over the floral oils. It has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antidepressant properties, which are all great for relaxation and sleep.

It’s woodsy and warming aroma can help to relieve depression and loneliness by triggering feelings of contentment and happiness. It can also provide cough relief. Use two drops of oil with a carrier oil and rub it on your chest and throat. Just make sure that you’re not pregnant when using this oil, and talk to your doctor about using it while breastfeeding.



  • If you're in need of an expectorant
  • Anyone that wants a warming sensation from their essential oil
  • Injuries (it can possibly help with inflammation)

Peppermint oil is another really popular and diverse essential oil. Peppermint is mentioned in Greek mythology, when the nymph Mentha was transformed into sweet and strong smelling mint by Hades, who had fallen in love with her and wanted people to appreciate her for years to come.

We specifically added it to the list because it can provide sinus care and other respiratory benefits, like preventing snoring. It acts as an expectorant, which means it will open up respiratory airways, clear mucus, and reduce congestion. It’s great when you have a cold or even seasonal allergies. We recommend mixing this one with lavender or Roman Chamomile to achieve most optimal sleepy effects.

Review Team


McKenzie Dillon

Combo Sleeper


Jack Reynoso

Combo Sleeper

Tharon Green

Stomach Sleeper

dillon lopez slumber yard

Dillon Lopez

Combo Sleeper