What Is Aromatherapy for Sleep & How It Can Help

Aromatherapy is a therapeutic way to alleviate stress, reduce anxiety, and help improve your sleep quality. It’s a complementary therapy that involves essential oils and aromas that provide a positive sensation and health benefits when inhaled.

Various pure essential oils can help you enjoy a restful sleep, such as clary sage oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil, roman chamomile, bergamot essential oil, and other oil blend options that enhance relaxation.

What Is Aromatherapy?

Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts from flowers, herbs, plants, leaves, roots, and seeds to create potent aromas and a soothing environment.

Aromatherapy is often used with dim lighting or candles, calming music, or outdoor sounds during meditation or gentle exercises before bed.

As you drift to sleep, a soothing scent can become a sleep aid and help people with insomnia and sleep disturbances.

The impact of aromatherapy can promote signals from your nervous system to the limbic system of your brain, which can put your mind at ease.

This area of the brain is where our memory and emotions are located, which can associate certain essential oil scents that are pleasant and can promote a night of better sleep.

How to Use Aromatherapy

There are various ways to enjoy the benefits of this complementary medicine, which can help you achieve a sound, deep sleep. If you’re new to using essential oils as aromatherapy, choosing a pure, high-quality essential oil blend is crucial for the best results.

Compresses and Facial Steamers

Steam inhalation is a great way to relax and enjoy a sound sleep. A compress or steamer with essential oils can effectively unwind for just fifteen minutes before bed. It also softens your skin, so you can apply ointments or lotions to your face before falling asleep.

If you don’t have a steamer, you can drop two or three drops of your favorite essential oil blend into boiling water, then stand or sit close to inhale the aroma from the steam. A hot towel compress is also ideal for treating sore muscles and joints while helping you relax for a restful sleep.

Mists and Diffusers

A quality essential oil diffuser or mist spray can provide a robust aroma if you prefer a more potent fragrance. These mist dispensers create a long-lasting odor that can last throughout the night. Automatic diffusers release fragrances into the air, varying from mild sprays to more robust scents.

There are also various sizes of diffusers, which can sit on a desk, table, or shelf. You can plug in a small diffuser machine that releases a specific amount of essential oil into the air at specific times during your sleep.

Some diffusers are designed to activate and spray a mist into the air when motion is detected in the room.

There are different types of diffusers to release fragrances. Passive diffusers naturally emit scents through wood, reed, or ceramic devices.

A nebulizer uses air pressure to release vapors from essential oils, and an evaporative diffuser uses a fan to spread the fragrance around the room. Heat-based diffusers use electricity or fire to warm oil.

Bath Oils and Fragrances

A warm, soothing bath with aromatherapy is a wonderful way to relax before sleep. You can add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bathwater, along with Epsom salts, stirring the water to disperse the oils evenly.

Heated water provides excellent muscle relaxation, and lavender aromatherapy is a popular way to calm and improve sleep.

Products Infused with Essential Oils

If you don’t prefer diffusers or sprays, you can purchase items infused with essential oils and fragrances, such as pillows, blankets, potpourri, and other accessories for bedding and areas where you meditate or relax.

You can choose the best mattress option to accommodate a good night’s rest and add a memory foam pillow infused with chamomile, lavender, or peppermint essential oil. It’s the ideal way to ease into a deep sleep, especially for side and stomach sleepers.

flowers beside a glass bottle

The Best Essential Oils for Aromatherapy and Sleep

When you choose essential oils to promote quality sleep, you’ll find certain flowers, plants, and herbs promote a soothing environment, whether you apply them with a massage, add a few drops in your bath, or use a diffuser in your room.


Roman chamomile is well known as one of the best essential oil choices for relaxation. It’s a natural remedy that can relieve sleep problems, as the floral scent soothes your body and mind into a state of calmness that’s ideal for rest.

While chamomile is mild, you’ll get the most out of this pleasant flower if you diffuse it in the air or add a few drops of essential oil to your pillow or mattress.

Chamomile tea made from dried flowers is another great way to enjoy its relaxing effects, gentle taste, and fragrance.

Sweet Marjoram Oil

This essential oil offers a sweet scent that relaxes you mentally, emotionally, and physically, giving you an excellent start to a peaceful sleep.

When you choose a marjoram oil or infused product, it’s best to select a sweeter blend, as this tends to work better in promoting a good night’s rest.

Lavender Oil

Lavender flowers are favored for their aesthetic appearance and the effects of lavender essential oils on improving insomnia, sleep apnea, and other sleeping disorders when inhaled.

There are many other benefits to using lavender in aromatherapy, including reducing blood pressure, anxiety, and stress and slowing your heart rate, which is ideal for easing into a restful sleep.

Peppermint Oil

While peppermint essential oils are not typically used as a sleep aid, it’s an excellent aroma for relieving allergic reactions and sensitivities, which can help you sleep better.

It’s also an excellent fragrance for clearing your mind, and a tea made from dried peppermint leaves can offer a pleasant flavor and scent in the evening, before bed.

Sandalwood Oil

If you require balancing your mood and falling into a deep sleep, sandalwood essential oil is a fantastic option for individuals suffering from insomnia and anxiety.

It’s a wonderful scent that can clear away worries and stressful thoughts and help you unwind after a challenging day for a more soothing rest at night.

Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil is well known as a complementary treatment with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can also reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and help you sleep.

It’s a soothing essential oil often used with or as an alternative to lavender and ylang-ylang oils to help relax and treat several conditions.

woman sleeping beside flowers

Valerian Oil

One of the most potent natural treatments for sleep problems is valerian oil, and this herb is also popularly used as a supplement or a tea.

As an essential oil, valerian provides a similar effect to sweet marjoram, which is ideal as an aromatherapy treatment in the late evening.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil offers a robust aroma that’s well-known for clearing sinuses and providing relief during a cold or congestion. It also offers the benefit of relaxation, calming your nervous system as you fall asleep.

It’s the ideal essential oil to use if you need peaceful, uninterrupted sleep when you’re infected with a cold virus or experience congestion.

Cedarwood Oil

If you enjoy the outdoors, cedarwood oil provides a woodsy fragrance similar to sandalwood, which can help you sleep well at night. It’s often blended with other essential oils, such as chamomile, to strengthen its effect.

Vanilla Oil

The scent of vanilla is one of the most popular as common ingredients in cuisine, and pleasant aroma for relaxation. Vanilla oil offers a sedative effect on the mind and body, calming your nervous system and relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Rose Oil

This floral scent is ideal for enjoying with geranium and valerian, which can reduce the effects of stress and help you enjoy a good night’s rest.

The aroma of roses is often associated with their pleasant effects. You can also use the essential oil or blend it with other scents to enhance its benefits.

Jasmine Oil

Whether you enjoy a cup of jasmine tea or use the essential oil for aromatherapy, you’ll find this gentle, floral scent improves sleep quality for individuals with insomnia and restless sleeping, which can also reduce anxiety and anxiety stress.

Final Thoughts

Whether you use one specific essential oil for an aromatherapy treatment or blend two or more fragrances, this complementary therapy will help you sleep well.

It’s also essential to ensure you have a quality mattress, bedding, and pillows to improve your comfort, along with the soothing sounds of a rainforest, birds, or waves.

With the right blend of essential oils, you’ll enjoy better sleep, which results in greater productivity during the day, a balanced mood, and overall improved well-being.