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7 Soothing Essential Oils For The Best Sleep Of Your Life

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woman sleeping in bed

Do you ever have restless nights when you toss and turn for hours? Do you fall asleep easily but then wake repeatedly through the night — from night sweats, the urge to empty your bladder, and/or disturbing dreams?

If you're experiencing sleep disorders or suffering through sleep deprivation, essential oils may be a great idea.

Essential oils are powerful, natural medicines that support and calm the nervous system, relax muscles, and prepare the mind and body to sleep.

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How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep

Over one-third of people who visit a doctor’s office have sleep issues, yet they rarely mention these problems. Thankfully, essential oils are natural allies in calming the mind, relaxing muscle tension, and preparing for sleep.

To maximize the benefit of these essential oils for sleep, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, remember that essential oils are extremely concentrated, so one drop of essential oil is roughly equivalent to 30 cups of tea. You don't need to put an excessive amount on a surface; in fact, placing one drop of essential oil on your pillow is plenty.

The best way to use essential oils is through a diffuser. Use a diffuser with a timer and turn it on for 15–30 minutes when you first get in bed. Keep in mind that continuous diffusion through the night is very hard on the liver (the primary organ that breaks down and excretes essential oils).

You can also use essential oils on your skin. Add 2-3 drops of essential oils to a tablespoon of pure, organic vegetable oil or lotion, and massage into your skin before bed. Focus on the hands, feet, and abdomen to maximize absorption.

Finally, rotate the oil or oils you use every two weeks to minimize the possibility of developing sensitivity. If you become sensitized to one oil, you may become reactive to all essential oils, and then you will have lost this powerful therapeutic tool.

Also be sure to choose oils you enjoy! If you dislike a scent, even if it is indicated for sleep, you probably won’t use it, and the irritating odor may even further disrupt your sleep.

7 Best Essential Oils For Sleep

1. Bergamot oil

This citrus essential oil calms nerves and uplifts mood without over-stimulating the nervous system.

A study in Japan used 40 subjects, and massaged a combination of bergamot and lavender essential oils diluted in a carrier oil on their abdomen. Blood pressure and pulse rates dropped, and people in the study reported feeling "more relaxed" and "calmer."

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One word of caution: bergaptene, one of the constituents in bergamot, can increase sun sensitivity. Avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours after using on the skin.

2. Clary sage oil

Not only does clary sage calm muscle spasms and relieve pain, it's also been proven to reduce cortisol levels, which, when elevated, affect your energy after waking.

Using clary sage oil, whether on your skin or through inhalation, also reduces anxiety by lowering blood pressure and slowing breathing.

RELATED: How To Use Essential Oils & Aromatherapy To Relieve Cold Symptoms Naturally

3. Lavender oil

Lavender has endless benefits, but when used at bedtime, greatly improves the quality of sleep, and helps alleviate symptoms of insomnia.

You'll also find other benefits to lavender, including relaxation and protection of the nerves, regulation of the menstrual cycle, antimicrobial activity, and reduction of pain and stress.

4. Chamomile oil

Chamomile oil has been shown to improve sleep quality in both elderly and students, and has been used for quite a long time for relaxation and calm. As a bonus, chamomile also reduces muscle spasming and calms inflammation.

5. Sandalwood oil

Sandalwood has been used since ancient times as a way to relax and relieve stress. Not only has sandalwood oil been shown to ease anxiety, but has sedative properties, and improves sleep quality when blended with other specific oils.

6. Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is commonly used as an insect repellent, but has also been used for pain relief and reducing stress or anxiety. Studies have found that peppermint oil improves sleep quality and even improves insomnia.

7. Eucalyptus oil

While many people use eucalyptus oil to relieve cold and flu symptoms to clear sinuses, this oil also aids in getting quality sleep. Using eucalyptus oil before bed can also relax you, and has been shown to improve memory significantly.

RELATED: What Your Brain Looks Like Without Sleep (It's Terrifying)

Dr. Judith Boice is a naturopathic doctor, licensed acupuncturist, international best-selling author, and award-winning author and teacher. She is a professor at the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

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This article was originally published at Dr. Judith Boice. Reprinted with permission from the author.