14 Best Essential Oils for Sleep and Relaxation

Sleep difficulties can range from a complete lack of sleep, such as insomnia; all the way to disturbed sleep patterns, such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and narcolepsy to name a few. Luckily, there are essential oils for sleep that can help you slumber no matter what is keeping you from counting sheep.

So why am I having sleep difficulties?

Between the stress and anxiety of our demanding modern day lives, in combination with hormones, workload, medications and medical conditions, there are far too many people who are repeatedly eluded by a good night’s sleep.

I hear complaints all too often that people are feeling overworked, over-booked, over-caffeinated and overwhelmed and that they are just not getting the sleep that they so desperately need. Tossing and turning seems to be an all too frequent nightly occurrence and it is estimated that in America alone, 50 – 70 million people struggle with sleep deprivation or a sleep disorder.

What are the dangers of a lack of sleep?

There are a truckload of negative side effects attached to a lack of sleep and it is therefore of the utmost importance that we tackle this worldwide epidemic as efficiently and as naturally as possible.

Here, watch this video from Tech Insider which explains just what happens when you don’t get enough sleep.


How can essential oils help with deep sleep, sleep apnea and anxiety?

Sometimes getting a good night’s rest is only possible with a mind free from anxiety and stress and it’s been repeatedly proven that using essential oils for sleep, calming the mind and avoiding sleep apnea are excellent, natural alternatives to prescription medications.

Not only are essential oils highly effective at combating sleepless nights for adults, as well as children (ages 2 and up), but they are holistic, free from harmful side effects and generally far more affordable than over the counter drugs.

NOTE: Essential oils should not be used around babies and infants who are under 2 years of age. There have been reports of essential oils having side effects on babies delicate systems.

Keep reading for our list of the best essential oils for deep sleep, sleep apnea and combating anxiety.

Essential Oils for Sleep List:

1. Lavender oil

lavender essential oil for sleep

Ah, yes, the highly acclaimed lavender essential oil.

Right at the top of the list, this calming essential oil cannot come as a surprise for those seeking a restful night’s sleep. Well-known and loved for its relaxing and soothing effects on the mind and body, this is a remarkable essential oils for sleep, as well as, sleep apnea and anxiety.

Safe to use on children (ages 2 and up) as well as the elderly, lavender oil has been extensively researched and proven to be one of the most successful remedies for those with sleep difficulties and sleep disorders.

The components of lavender oil have been confirmed to enter the blood stream within a speedy five minutes of application on the skin. Believed to be a nervous system restorative assisting with restlessness, sleep, anxiety, irritability, panic attacks, disruptions caused by sleep apnea, snoring and insomnia; lavender oil is your go-to-gal in the face of sleep evasion.

Many companies substitute lavendin, an inferior and less effective essential oil, for true lavender essential oil. You can find a high quality and 100% pure lavender oil here!

2. Vetiver oil

Packing an impressive punch when it comes to worry, stress and sleep difficulties, vetiver oil essential oil is highly recommended for sleep and anxiety, as it is calming, stabilizing and psychologically grounding.

Vetiver essential oil is a nervous system tonic, thereby reducing jitteriness and hypersensitivity and is especially helpful for those experiencing shock or a panic attack.

A study published in Natural Product Research confirmed that vetiver oil is helpful in lowering anxiety levels and the effects of anxious behavior by relaxing the nervous system and assisting with overstimulation. Its rich, earthy scent can be overpowering and so only a drop or two is needed in combination with other relaxing essential oils to help one fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer.

Try this extremely relaxing vetiver oil you can pick up on Amazon.

3. Frankincense oil

frankincense essential oil for sleeping

With its ability to reduce chronic stress, aid relaxation and calm one’s mind, frankincense oil should definitely be one of the first essential oils you turn to for sleep and anxiety.

Not only does this calming oil support healthy and restful sleep, but it also helps in creating a balanced mood upon waking. Wonderfully efficient at balancing emotions and soothing anxiety, frankincense is frequently used in aromatherapy to deepen meditation and still the mind.

With all these incredible benefits it’s easy to understand why frankincense held the same value as gold in ancient and biblical times.

Looking for a frankincense oil that even the three wise men would approve of? Try this one that’s organic!

4. Valerian oil

Interestingly enough a Roman physician and philosopher named Galen, prescribed the valerian root in ancient times for those suffering with insomnia.

And who am I to argue with him?

In far more recent times, valerian essential oil has been researched and found to increase a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain which assists in calming anxiety in much the same way as Valium and Xanax do.

However, unlike these prescribed anti-anxiety drugs, valerian oil has no serious side effects, thereby making it one of the best essential oils for sleep and anxiety by calming the nervous system and easing restlessness.

In a double-blind study carried out by the Foellinge Health Center in Sweden, the results of valerian on those with sleep difficulties were noteworthy and valuable. 44 percent of the study’s participants reported uninterrupted sleep and 89 percent reported better-quality sleep, while all participants reported zero side effects.

Though a bit pricey, this essential oil is well worth the buy.

If you’re looking for quality valerian essential oil, look no further, you can find it here.

5. Ylang Ylang oil

ylang ylang essential oil for deep sleepMeaning ‘flower of flowers’, ylang ylang oil is a powerful oil in combating restless sleep and is a wonderful restorer of peace due to being a moderately strong sedative which obviously assists significantly with insomnia.

This floral smelling oil is definitely one of the most effective essential oils for anxiety and sleep and is best diffused half an hour before bedtime and throughout the night.

Ylang ylang oil is used in treating depression, anxiety, heart agitation and nervous palpitations while simultaneously boosting cheerfulness, courage, optimism and comforting those who feel fearful. Perfect as a nighttime oil for little ones with monster struggles.

A study carried out by Geochang Provincial College in Korea in 2006 used ylang ylang oil combined with bergamot and lavender oils every day for a month and concluded that there was a definite reduction in serum cortisol levels and psychological stress responses.

The blood pressure levels of participants with essential hypertension were also lowered as a result of the essential oil blend.

The ylang ylang flower is the epitome of ‘more than just a pretty face’, you can even buy organic ylang ylang essential oil from Plant Therapy.

6. Bergamot oil

bergamot essential oil

This multi-faceted oil is a jack-of-all-trades and is a great natural remedy for those needing emotional balancing and a relief from daily stress and anxiety.

Bergamot is a calming oil and is frequently used in treating depression by providing energy, whilst it also simultaneously aids with insomnia by promoting relaxation and lessening distress and anxious thoughts. This bright, cheerful oil has been proven to reduce corticosterone stress responses, lowers heart rates and naturally reduces blood pressure.

A 2011 study combined lavender and bergamot oils and claimed that the essential oil blend was successful in assisting participants to combat depression and anxiety.

If you don’t have bergamot in your essential oil collection then try out my favorite from Plant Therapy.

7. Sandalwood oil

The sweet, earthy scent of this woodsy oil will naturally lull you to sleep and ease any anxiety in record time. Inhaling the aromatic scent has been proven to trigger the release of calming endorphins in the brain which quietens the mind and aids in a restful night of deep sleep.

For those who are feeling especially anxious or for those who struggle with insomnia, massage a few drops into your temples, forehead and chest half an hour before bed all the while breathing in deeply.

My personal favorite Sandalwood oil is a must try for those longing to catch some Zzzz’s and can conveniently be purchased right over here for an incredible price.

8. Eucalyptus oil

eucalyptus essential oils

With its anti-inflammatory properties and its superhero knack at clearing up excess mucus form one’s airways, eucalyptus oil is one tough contender when it comes to fighting sleep apnea.

It’s fresh, menthol scent opens airways and ensures easy breathing through the night. Eucalyptus oil can be diluted with a carrier oil and then dabbed under the nostrils, but a more long term solution is to use a diffuser with a timer set to regular intervals through out the night.

This means that you’ll have little to no sleep disturbances caused by snoring or interrupted breathing!

Here’s a link to an organic eucalyptus oil at an amazingly low price.

9. Peppermint oil

peppermint essential oil

In the same way that eucalyptus oil assists in unblocking airways to assist in healthy breathing, so does peppermint essential oil, an extremely handy essential oil for sleep apnea.

Especially helpful for those whose sleep apnea is caused by nasal congestion, the anti-inflammatory qualities of this refreshing oil assists in reducing the irritants present within the internal lining membranes of the nasal passages.

Rub a diluted mixture of peppermint oil and a carrier oil onto your chest and under your nose or inhale the vapors from a facial steam bath before hitting the sack.

A tried and trusted peppermint oil, that I always find myself repurchasing, can be found here.

10. Neroli oil

Another one of the more trustworthy essential oils for sleep is neroli essential oil which acts as a natural tranquilizer and is a definite must-have remedy for all insomniacs.

Made from the fragrant flowers of the bitter orange tree via distillation, the slightly hypnotic effect of neroli oil is a sure fire method of inducing a peaceful night’s sleep.

Add a couple of drops to a warm bath just before bedtime and allow your muscles to soak in the sweet-smelling water for as long you can afford. Snuggle up in comfy pajamas and climb into a warm bed.

Try this high quality neroli essential oil!

11. Marjoram oil

Known to the Romans as the ‘herb of happiness’ and to the Greeks as ‘joy of the mountains’, marjoram essential oil is a truly delightful oil to incorporate into your nightly routine.

Warm, comforting and with its sedative qualities, marjoram is one of the finest essential oils for deep sleep. Not only is it soothing for the mind but it is also useful in relaxing the nerves and muscles and is even helpful in easing respiratory difficulties.

Fortunately, this means that marjoram is a yet another vital tool in fighting sleep apnea. Used topically on the soles of the feet or in a diffuser during the night, insomniacs and suffers of sleep apnea can finally catch some much needed shut-eye.

You can find organic marjoram essential oil on Amazon for next to nothing.


12. Roman Chamomile oil

chamomile essential oil for sleep

Well-known for centuries as being an essential oil that calms, soothes and relaxes; diffused Roman chamomile oil creates a peaceful atmosphere in one’s bedroom and is perfect for a good night’s rest and stimulating inner harmony.

Used by mothers everywhere to calm little ones, enhance rest and ease nervousness; Roman chamomile oil is one of the most relaxing essential oils for sleep and anxiety. It can be inhaled or applied diluted onto the soles of the feet for successful results.

An explorative study that focused on the antidepressant property found in chamomile oil was carried out at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, confirmed that the antidepressant activity was significant in assisting with sleep.

Yet another study was published by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and confirmed that ingesting chamomile capsules reduced symptoms of anxiety and unease.

Looking for your own bottle of liquid sleep? Try this chamomile oil that works dreamy wonders for me.

13. Cedarwood oil

Perfect for those who toss and turn at night making mental to-do lists in their heads and running through the next day’s events and demands.

Warm, woodsy and wonderfully calming, cedarwood oil is known to stimulate the pineal gland thereby releasing melatonin; all of which are key components in ensuring healthy sleep regulation. Not only does this oil offer a restorative sleep but it also offers the user refreshed, content and revived feelings upon waking.

Aside from being an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and an expectorant, cedarwood oil is one of the most successful oils for sleep as it allows the mind to quieten down and reduces overthinking.

Dilute a few drops of this essential oil with your favorite carrier oil and massage the blend onto your forehead, wrists and the back of your neck.

14. Orange oil

Very few things smell more cheerful and fresh than peeling open a juicy citrus fruit, and the scent of orange oil is no exception.

This is a brilliant essential oil for anxiety and with its uplifting and revitalizing properties, it’s helpful in fighting depression too. Orange oil is able to improve and uplift one’s mood by bringing a calming and peaceful influence on both the body and the mind.

The citrusy oil is best used by being inhaled or diluted and massaged into the skin.

My go-to orange oil can be sourced right here.

Essential oil blends for improved sleep and reduced anxiety

Try these essential oil blends to really get a good nights sleep!

Worry-free Sleep Tight Essential Oil Blend

  1. 12 drops orange oil
  2. 8 drops lavender oil
  3. 4 drops cedarwood oil
  4. 3 drops valerian oil
  5. 2 drops roman chamomile oil

Mix together in a small, glass bottle. Perfect for using in a diffuser, inhaling before bed, applied directly to the feet or used in a warm bath.

Deep Sleep Diffusing Blend

Serves 16 – 20 applications

  1. 20 drops lavender oil
  2. 20 drops frankincense oil
  3. 20 drops cedarwood oil
  4. 20 drops bergamot oil

Combine all oils in a dark, glass bottle and follow the directions on your diffuser adding water as required. Place the diffuser in your bedroom and put on a few minutes before you want to go to bed.

Sleep Apnea Vapor Rub

Melt down ¼ cup shea butter and ¼ cup coconut oil in a saucepan. Remove from heat once melted and allow to cool.


  1. 7 drops eucalyptus oil
  2. 7 drops lavender oil
  3. 7 drops marjoram oil

Stir the mixture thoroughly and pour into a salve container. Massage the rub onto your chest, back and throat before bed to clear your respiratory system and promote peaceful sleep.

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