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lavender oil bottle

Use Lavender to Improve Your Sleep: 4 Ways to Try It

Research shows that lavender oil is one of the most effective essential oils for better sleep.

One study showed that lavender oil increased the amount of deep sleep during the night for its participants. Both men and women in the study reported waking up feeling more invigorated in the morning, which supports the finding that their deep sleep was improved. Overall, the study showed that lavender can serve as a mild sedative and sleep aid.

Lavender oil can be used topically or as aromatherapy to improve sleep. Sleep Doctor recommends using lavender oil for 30 minutes before bed in a well-ventilated room to help you relax and fall asleep easily.

Below are 4 ways to use lavender oil for more restful sleep.

Use Lavender Oil in an Essential Oil Diffuser

Lavender oil can be used for aromatherapy in an essential oil diffuser. The diffuser disperses a fine mist with a lavender aroma in the air.

You can use a cool mist essential oil diffuser to fill your bedroom with the calming scent of lavender. One of the advantages of using a cool mist diffuser for aromatherapy is that it doesn’t heat the oil, which can break down its chemical composition.

Cool mist diffusers retain the therapeutic benefits of the oil. Also, most have an automatic shut-off feature, so you don’t have to worry about leaving the diffuser on if you fall asleep.

To use the essential oil diffuser, fill it with ½ a cup of water and add 3-5 drops of lavender oil to the water. Put the diffuser on for 20-30 minutes before bed for more restful sleep. You can also keep the diffuser running through the night, but you’ll need to add more water and lavender oil.

Make a Lavender Oil Pillow Spray

A lavender oil spray is easy to make and use. You can spray it on your pillow at bedtime to provide a soothing aroma, and you can bring your spray bottle with you when you travel.

What You Need

  • ½ cup of distilled water
  • 3-5 drops of lavender oil
  • 150mL spray bottle


  1. Put the distilled water in the spray bottle
  2. Add 3-5 drops of lavender oil to the water
  3. Close the bottle and shake it until the oil and water mix properly
  4. Lightly spray the lavender mix a few times on your pillow  10-15 minutes before bedtime. The extra time allows the mist to dry up while retaining the smell of lavender oil in time to go to sleep.

You can also add a few drops of other essential oils that promote better sleep to the lavender mixture – e.g. chamomile, cedarwood, and bergamot oil.

If you are worried that the lavender oil will stain your bedding, add 1-2 tablespoons of high proof odorless alcohol, such as vodka, to the mixture. The alcohol helps the oil to distribute evenly, preventing staining.

You may use tap water or distilled water in your pillow spray. However, distilled water is preferable as it does not contain chlorine, which could alter the smell of lavender. Distilled water also helps prevent bacterial growth if you store the mixture for long. If you want the spray to have a more potent aroma, use 5-10 drops of lavender oil.

Use it in the Shower or Tub

Another way to use lavender oil to promote sleep is to use it while you bathe. If you use a bathtub, fill the tub with water and add 10-15 drops of lavender oil. Soak in the bathtub for as long as you want.

The longer you stay in the bathtub, the more the lavender oil absorbs into your skin. In addition, you will inhale the aroma of the lavender fragrance for an enhanced calming effect.

Alternatively, apply the lavender oil directly onto your washcloth or loofah if you are using an overhead shower. After you have washed your body with soap, apply a few drops of lavender oil to your wet washcloth or loofah.

Rub the oil in to evenly distribute it. Gently massage your body with the washcloth or loofah, taking some deep breaths and enjoying the calming aroma of lavender..

Be sure to avoid your eyes and mouth and take caution not to use too much lavender oil on your washcloth. Undiluted lavender oil is highly potent and may cause an itching or burning sensation on the skin. If you have sensitive skin, mix the lavender oil with water before applying it to your washcloth.

Aromatherapy Massage

women taking oil in hand

The fourth way to use lavender oil for better sleep is to give yourself  an aromatherapy massage. Add a few drops of lavender to a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil. These carrier oils prevent the potent lavender from burning your skin. Mix well and apply to your body.

Massage the oil mix into your tight muscles to ease tension and enhance relaxation. You may also use the oil to massage your pressure points for deep relaxation. Examples of pressure points include your temples, wrists, back of the neck at the base of the skull, and the soles of your feet.


Lavender essential oil is an affordable and effective option for improving the quality of your sleep and your well-being. It is a 100% natural ingredient, so you don’t have to worry about harmful chemical additives.

Lavender can be used in many ways to provide relaxation, and you can travel with it wherever you go. Try all four methods for using lavender essential oil to discover your favorite.


How Much Lavender Should I Use?

The amount of lavender essential oil depends on how you use it and whether you prefer a strong or weak aroma. For instance, adding 2-3 drops is sufficient for use in a diffuser, while you may need up to 10 drops if you add them to your bathtub.

Does Using Lavender Oil for Sleep Have Side Effects?

Although lavender oil is generally safe, some people may experience side effects such as headache or upset stomach immediately after use or the following day. If you experience any of these symptoms, reduce the amount of lavender you use.

If the symptoms persist, avoid using lavender oil altogether. If you have an adverse allergic reaction, see a doctor immediately. Also, do not ingest lavender oil or apply it to your eyes or broken skin.