Does lavender oil help you sleep? For most of my adult life, I’ve been plagued by insomnia. But it’s gotten a lot better in recent years. I believe lavender oil has played a role.
I use this, along with various other essential oils, to help get my much needed rest.
Please understand that I’m not claiming essential oils will cure or even help your insomnia. Everyone is different, and my experience is anecdotal.
Lavender Oil Aromatherapy for Sleep
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However, there is some research showing that lavender essential oil can help people relax.
Insomnia hasn’t been my only problem. I’ve also suffered from adrenal fatigue. In my case, it appears to have been caused by a poor diet and too much stress. Chronic, low-level tension can make your adrenals work too hard. When this happens, they pump out extra cortisol, a hormone that disrupts your sleep cycle.
I’ve recovered with the help of herbs and other natural remedies. Adrenal fatigue can mess with your sleep cycle. So I’ve been using lavender oil and other aromatics to help restore it.
Those of us who use essential oils regularly need little convincing of their positive effects. We’ve seen them first hand. But what about people who’ve never used these wonderful smelling extracts? Are there any studies supporting the theory that lavender essential oil can help send you to dreamland?
Does Lavender Oil Help Sleep?
One of the best mainstream sources for alternative medicine is the University of Maryland Medical Center. On its website are volumes of articles on the benefits of holistic therapies, including essential oils. When it’s possible, the authors cite a study. Unfortunately, there’s probably little incentive to fund a study about aromatherapy because these natural oils cannot be patented. But the UMMC seems to report on whatever is available.
According to the UMMC, “Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing and sedative effects when it is inhaled.” Later in the article, it also stated that this oil may help “a variety of conditions,” including insomnia.
Even without any official sanction, however, I’d continue to use lavender essential oil for sleep because it seems to work for me. Every night, I sprinkle a few drops of lavender, or another essential oil known to promote relaxation, on my pillow, or on a cloth I place by my pillow. I inhale the scent as I drift off to sleep.
Below, you can see one of my favorite brands of lavender oil. I like it because it’s very high quality (I’m a repeat customer) and it comes from a company with a trusted reputation. Plant Therapy oils are produced by a family-run business in Idaho, and they are tested twice for purity. I can use this oil for massage, with total confidence it contains nothing except pure lavender oil.
Essential Oils that Help You Sleep
Lavender is considered among the best oils for relaxation. However, as someone who suffers from long-standing insomnia, I’ve found that my oils seen more effective if I rotate them. Other oils commonly used to bring about sleep include clary sage (the best of the best), sweet orange, vanilla, cedarwood and ylang ylang. What I do is use lavender for a few weeks, or until I think it’s not working as well. Then I switch to another for a short period of time, before returning to lavender. Sometimes I also mix lavender oil with clary sage, an oil often recommended for women during midlife changes.
Lavender Oil Recipe for Sleep
One way to use your oils, as I mentioned, is to sprinkle a couple of drops on your pillowcase. However, if getting enough sleep is a big challenge, many aromatherapists would recommend you also massage this oil into your skin, about an hour before you’re ready for bed. Essential oils must always be diluted with a carrier oil, as you can see in the recipe below. I included clary sage essential oil in this blend because it works so well with lavender. Mixing oils together is also believed to result in a positive synergy.
2 teaspoons of fractionated coconut oil (It’s available here)
1 drop of lavender essential oil (It’s available here)
1 drop of clary sage essential oil (It’s available here)
Put this mix in a covered glass jar and keep it away from heat, light and the sun. Apply as needed.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils, unless under the direction of a health care professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.