Does Aromatherapy Work for Sleep? Certified Aromatherapist Answers

Have you ever asked yourself, “does aromatherapy work for sleep?”

Considering a lack of sleep can cause a lot of health issues, this is a great question!

To give you the most reliable information, our in-house aromatherapist, Zoe Blackman will be helping us answer this question.

Falling Asleep with Aromatherapy

Zoe was quick to clarify that not all essential oils are good for falling asleep.

“I always tell people to use something that is anti-inflammatory, but not something that is a circulation stimulant.”

This is because a circulation stimulant can keep you up. She suggested that Lavender is an excellent choice, but not Eucalyptus.

“If it is anti-inflammatory, it will open up your breathing passages and sinuses, which will help the oil get into your system. You will also have an adequate amount of oxygen to the brain, which helps maintain your REM cycle.”

How to Use Aromatherapy for Sleep

When I asked Zoe how to use aromatherapy for sleep, she suggested the following:

“The best way to use aromatherapy for sleep are diffusion and inhalation. You can put a drop of essential oil in your palm and deeply inhale. The deep inhale is ideal for getting to sleep while the diffuser is best for helping stay asleep throughout the night.”

Ultimately, she recommended that users inhale the essential oil and then run a diffuser throughout the night to help stay asleep. She also suggested mixing carrier oil with essential oil at a 50:1 ratio and rubbing it on the bottoms of feet.

Since feet have the thickest skin, this allows you to experience a time-release effect so that it enters your bloodstream through the night.

She also had a suggestion for those who are worried about staining their bed:

“If you’re worried about staining your bedding, keep in mind that essential oils do not tend to stain. Although certain carrier oils can be staining. If you are very concerned, you can simply wear socks.”

woman asleep 2

What are the Best Essential Oils for Sleep?

Now that we know aromatherapy can help with sleep, I asked Zoe which essential oils she would recommend, and she said this:

“It’s best to use middle-base notes for sleeping. While citruses, which are all top notes, are calming, they are also uplifting. Top notes tend to lift your energy and spirits so they aren’t ideal for sleeping. If a blend has a bit of citrus in it, that’s fine, but you wouldn’t want to use citrus alone in your diffuser.

Middle notes are more harmonizing while base notes are very grounding and soothing. I tend to not use leaf oils or citrus oils for sleep as they’re too stimulating. Wood, root, resin, and some florals are best. Floral scents can be really strong at times, so a little goes a long way, you don’t want to get a headache or feel overwhelmed by them.”

To get a little bit more specific, I asked her what her favorites were:

“Some of my favorite oils for sleeping are Lavender and Cedarwood. There are also some excellent sleep blends such as Calming Sleep and Tranquility. Neither Lavender or Cedarwood are stimulating, and Cedarwood is great for inflammation and it’s also an expectorant, mucolytic, and decongestant, which is great for sleeping and snoring.”


Aromatherapy can most definitely be helpful to you if you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep. Diffusion and inhalation are both great options to do aromatherapy for sleep. Among the best essential oils are Lavender, Cedarwood, Calming Sleep, and Tranquility which you can easily add to your cart below!

Got any questions for Zoe? Leave a comment below! 

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