Well, aromatherapy (or smelling essential oils) can do the same thing. They can help to support your mood and emotions. Think about how you feel when you smell a fresh-cut lemon or how about Lavender from the garden? Maybe energized from the lemon and relaxed with the lavender? Well, it’s no surprise. Essential oils are highly concentrated aromatic essences of those plants. That’s why smelling them is a really effective way of using essential oils. This is called aromatic use. Be sure to check out How to Support Emotions with Essential Oils.
Here in California, where my family and I live, we’re treated to a bountiful, year-round explosion of plant life. The bright citrus trees, the blooming roses, the clusters of flowering lavender plants all make for amazing sights—and scents. But you don’t have to live in Southern California to enjoy these fragrant smells, or to get the benefits that they can deliver to sleep and mood.  

I’m glad you liked the article Jennie. I’m no expert when it comes to aromatherapy so I’d definitely search some other aromatherapy blogs like LearningAboutEOs.com and the Aromahead Blog for arthritis blends, but I think I’d make a cayenne salve like the one here and then add essential oils that contain menthol like peppermint or wintergreen to it.
There are several benefits of lavender essential oil including its sedative, anti-anxiety and stress reducing properties. Several studies have indicated that using lavender essential oil for sleep may help slow down the central nervous system activity. The resulting calming effect may cause a person to have better quality of sleep, reduced anxiety and improve overall mood.

One thing you said that I didn’t know was that if you mix oils the compounds and effects can change based on the orders of mixing. I haven’t seen that anywhere so if you have a link to that info, I’d love to see it. And as far as the article I mention… I’m not sure which one you’re referring to. Just let me know though, and I’ll try to direct you to it.
11 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety (Aromatherapy Oil Review) Best Essential Oils for a Good Night's SleepThere are several essential oils for sleep that you can use alongside the traditional tricks to help you sleep, we talked about above.When using essential oils for sleep, finding the right oil for you may take a bit of trial and error. However, once you discover what works for you, your sleep will greatly improve.Essential oils can help you to relax, reduce stress, calm your mind and body, and even act as a mild sedative. Further, essential oils can help reduce muscular pain and tension, increase your time in the restorative sleep phase, and decrease the number of times you have to get up in the middle of the night.When you are buying essential oils, avoid purchasing oils that say “fragrance oil” or “perfume oil.” These oils are likely synthetic, which will not give you your intended benefits.While fragrance oil has a pleasant smell, it is not effective in a health-benefiting way. Instead, shop for oils that mention the phrases “pure essential oil” or “100% essential oil” to get the highest quality essential oils that will help in the ways you are expecting.#1. ChamomileCheck Price on AmazonChamomile is a popular choice to treat insomnia. While there are a few different species of chamomile, Roman chamomile essential oil provides the most benefits to fight insomnia.This is an ancient herb that contains therapeutic properties that act as a sedative and help to relax the mind and body. Roman chamomile essential oil is recommended for the treatment of stress, insomnia, and nervous tension, which will all help you prepare to fall asleep.Roman chamomile has a sweet and comforting scent that even my daughter enjoys and can use as an effective sleep aid. Research also reports that Roman chamomile can help treat hysteria and lessen the frequency of nightmares.Although the route through which Roman chamomile essential oil has these effects is unclear, its positive effects seem to be mainly psychological.#2. LavenderSee it on Amazon!Lavandula angustifolia, which is true lavender, is very effective when used to help you fall asleep and sleep through the night. This oil is mainly made up of esters and alcohols, which are not only associated with relaxation, but have several other therapeutic properties.It is important to note that true lavender is the most effective and popular choice out of all of the lavender essential oils that are available. Other species, like spike lavender and lavandin, have similar properties to true lavender but are less effective.Lavender is the most versatile essential oil because of its wide range of uses. Not only is it useful for aiding in sleep, but it works to calm nerves, relax the body, relieve headaches and muscle aches, reduce anxiety, control asthma, improve digestion, and more.A study published in the Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine reported immediate improvements in people's sleep troubles when lavender essential oil was used. Another study rated this improvement to be around 60%.#3. BergamotCheck Price on AmazonBergamot is a citrus fruit, which gives this oil its pleasant smell. Its rind is used to extract the oil.Studies have shown that bergamot oil has the ability to reduce anxiety and improve mood. Better yet, bergamot essential oil is thought to reduce the presence of cortisol in saliva, which gives it its sedative properties.Bergamot essential oil is used for several medicinal purposes, some of which act as a sleep aid. Some common uses are:Antidepressant and stimulantAntibacterialPain relieverDisinfectantMuscle relaxer and sedativeHelps reduce the appearance of scarsDeodorantFever reducerNerve relaxerAnti-spasmaticBergamot can help to increase the amount of time you spend in the restorative stage of sleep, leading to more energy the following day.#4. Ylang YlangSee it on Amazon!Ylang Ylang essential oil works very well on a mental level, reducing stress, helping us connect to our own hearts, and healing us from emotional traumas.It’s also known to promote overall feelings of well-being, which can help take stress off of your mind.This is a great oil to use to fall asleep if you find that your mind is racing in the evening and you are having a hard time settling it down.#5. MarjoramCheck Price on AmazonSweet marjoram is an effective remedy for insomnia. Its sleep-inducing effects are thought to be even more effective than those of lavender and chamomile, which are both used more often as sleep aids.Marjoram essential oil works to calm and sedate the nervous system, which helps lower your blood pressure, ease anxiety and tension, and soothe any feelings of loneliness, rejection, and grief.Pro Tip:It is important to choose the correct form of marjoram, which is sweet marjoram (otherwise known as Origanum marjorana). This is the only type of marjoram essential oil that is recommended for reducing insomnia.#6. ValerianSee it on Amazon!Valerian essential oil contains valerenic acid. According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, valerenic acid is known to help subjects get better sleep.It helps people to fall asleep easier and get deeper and more restorative sleep, and decreases the number of times people wake up in the middle of the night.#7. SandalwoodCheck Price on AmazonSandalwood essential oil has several benefits to help promote a quality night's sleep. It helps reduce anxiety, promotes a meditative state, and helps to relieve chronic insomnia.It can also help to relax cramped muscles that may be keeping you up at night.This is a great oil to use if you have a lot on your mind and you want to break it down into pieces so you can rest.#8. FrankincenseSee it on Amazon!Frankincense is believed to send messages to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that is known to have an influence on the nervous system. These calming messages help to reduce stress and improve mood.It can also help to reduce anxiety, relieve symptoms of indigestion, fight a cold or the flu, and relieve pain and inflammation.Frankincense essential oil is helpful in opening up the airway passages, which can help reduce snoring and allow your body to take the deep, calming breaths that it needs.#9. Clary SageCheck Price on AmazonClary sage is similar to valerian in the sense that it affects the GABA receptors, which help to reduce stress.Clary sage essential oil also has mood-lifting properties that are useful in treating patients who are suffering from depression. When this oil was compared to others, such as chamomile and lavender, it was found to be the most effective at combating stress.Best Essential Oils for Sleep (Premade Blends)Essential oil companies often make proprietary premade blends using the oils listed above. By using calming essential oils in combination with each other, you can get a more effective solution. Companies choose various concentrations and mixtures of their hand-picked essential oils in their own blends.The benefit to using a premade blend is that you do not need to buy multiple oils to help you sleep. You can buy one bottle and not worry about having to come up with a mixture yourself.However, you can’t combine blends to come up with a solution that works best for you, and if you want to use any of the oils for a different purpose (for example, if you wanted to use frankincense during the day for a cold), you can’t separate that particular oil out of the mix.In the long run, it is likely less expensive to buy individual oils and mix them together as needed. This will also give you a chance to play around to find the best mixture that works for you.Some examples of popular premade blends are:#10. Sleep Tight Essential Oil BlendSee it on Amazon!This blend includes Bulgarian lavender oil, Spanish marjoram oil, ylang ylang oil, copaiba oil, Roman chamomile, Rue oil, and sandalwood oil.It is great for helping you go to sleep by calming the mind and body. It also works as a mild sedative and muscle relaxer.This oil is especially great when it is diluted and applied directly on the skin. It can also be diffused into the air to create a calming sleep environment.#11. Good Night Essential Oil BlendCheck Price on AmazonThis blend is a wonderful blend to help you sleep, or if you just need to relax and calm down. Good Night Essential Blend has a comforting and freshening smell that works by balancing the limbic center of the brain, which is responsible for controlling emotions and reasoning.As this sleeping essential oil blend helps the body relax, circulation is increased to the brain, which allows you to practice active visualization as a stress-relieving tactic. This blend includes lavender Bulgaria, Roman chamomile, clary sage, marjoram, and copaiba balsam.#12. Tranquility Essential Oil BlendSee it on Amazon!This proprietary blend will help you ease into a peaceful sleep with its pure, organic botanical blend.After using this oil, you are more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. You will feel more energized after a good night's sleep without the use of pharmaceutical sleeping aids, which can have unpleasant side effects.This oil blend is 100% organic and pesticide-free. The tranquil mixture includes lavender, frankincense, blood orange, German chamomile, bergamot, and valerian essential oils.#13. Natural Riches Sleep Essential Oil BlendCheck Price on AmazonThis blend of five therapeutic-grade essential oils promotes tranquility and serenity.This is an even blend of lavender, clary sage, copaiba balsam, marjoram, and chamomile.They work together to create a mild sedative that is perfect for the end of a stressful day when you need to wind down.#14. Sleep-Aid Essential Oil Blend for SleepSee it on Amazon!This blend will not only wind you down to help you fall asleep, it will also help you sleep through the night.You only need to place one drop of this oil near your headboard for this blend to be effective. You may also choose to diffuse the oil in your room throughout the night. This oil is a mixture of ylang ylang, mandarin, valerian, neroli, and lavender.Best DIY Essential Oil Recipes for SleepWhile you can certainly buy premade blends online, creating your own blends of essential oils is a great way to laser target what works for your individual needs, as well as what doesn't work.Everybody is different in the way that they respond to certain oils. Some like the smell of one, while another person may strongly dislike it. At the same time, one person may find a certain scent to be very relaxing, while another may actually find the scent to be offensive. By creating your own blends, you can pick and choose what is best for you.#15. Essential Oils For Restless MusclesIf you are missing out on sleep because your muscles tend to tighten up and you cannot seem to relax, this is a great blend for you.75 drops lavender45 drops sweet marjoram30 drops Roman chamomile30 drops bergamot6 drops ylang-ylang6 drops valerian rootGently mix these oils together in a 15 ml amber-colored glass bottle. You can use this blend as you would any other, but a great idea is to use it in a roll-on ball so you can take it with you throughout the day to help relieve muscle tension.Use a carrier oil in your roller bottle such as coconut oil (one tablespoon of carrier oil per 8 drops of oil), and massage it onto the bottom of your feet, your chest, and the back of your neck. Here is a great tutorial on putting together roller bottles.#16. Essential Oils As a Medically Proven Sleep AidA study performed on cancer patients who were unable to sleep following cancer treatment showed that this DIY mixture of essential oils was beneficial for 90% of people.It helped to release tension and anxiety that had built up throughout the day, and led to a full night's sleep. To make this relaxing oil, you will need to use equal parts:LavenderFrankincenseCedarwoodBergamotTo make this blend, place an equal amount of each of the oils into a bottle and shake it after the cap is on tightly. Use this mixture in your oil diffuser, which will likely instruct you to add water to a specific level that is indicated on the diffuser. Add 8–10 drops of this sleep aid. Put the diffuser near your bed and turn it on just prior to going to bed.Cedarwood oil has a warm and woody scent that promotes a full night’s rest. Its calming properties enhance relaxation.Cedarwood oil also helps to relieve tension by signaling the brain to produce serotonin and release melatonin, which helps put you in a sedative state of restorative sleep.#17. Essential Oil Sleep Aid That’s Safe for ChildrenNot all essential oils are necessarily safe to use around children, so it is always important to do your research before exposing a child to an oil. A great sleeping aid that can even work for your children is equal parts:CedarwoodLavenderMarjoramAdd 8-10 drops of this oil to the water in your diffuser and turn it on right before you or your children go to sleep. This is also a great option for adults who are sensitive to certain smells or oils.#18. Essential Oil for a Deep SleepIf you have a lot of trouble with waking up in the middle of the night or your sleep getting interrupted by noise or light, using an essential oil blend that is targeted towards giving you a full night of deep sleep would be best.One recipe for a DIY oil mixture for deep sleep is equal parts:ValerianLavenderAdd 8-10 drops of this oil into the water of your diffuser and turn it on. Take some deep, calming breaths of the scent before getting ready for bed.Pro Tip:If your diffuser has an intermittent setting on it, use this setting so the scent will last throughout the entire night.#19. Essential Oils to Calm Your MindIf you feel that you have a hard time just relaxing at night and letting go of the day, it may be best to use an essential oil an hour or two before bed to prepare your body to wind down. One great recipe for a relaxing oil is:2 drops lavender3 drops sandalwood3 drops frankincenseMix these together in a bottle and add up to 10 drops into your diffuser a few hours before you go to bed. This relaxing combination will help send a message to your brain that it is time to rest.How to Use Essential Oils for SleepThere are four different methods for using essential oils before going to bed. Some ideas include:#1. Topical UseWhen applying essential oils topically, it is important to always use a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) to dilute it. Undiluted essential oils can harm your skin if they make direct contact.You can mix your essential oils with your carrier oil of choice and use it in several ways. It is great for a muscle massage or just lightly applied to your forehead or behind your ears. The easiest way to apply essential oils topically is by putting them into a glass roll-on bottle.Here is a great tutorial on making massage oils while using essential oils.#2. DiffuserFollow the manufacturer's instructions on your diffuser and add 8-10 drops of your essential oil into the basin with the water. This will help the oils be released into the air so you will breathe them in. (Check out our Essential Oil Diffusers Review.)#3. SpritzerMix water and your essential oils into a spray bottle and mist your pillow before going to sleep. This will help you smell the scent as you're falling asleep and throughout the night.#4. BathAdd 5-6 drops of your favorite sleep-inducing essential oil or oil blend into a warm tub of water a few hours before bedtime to help your body begin to relax. Customize your bath to your liking by adding in bath salts or other oils as desired.After going through many failed attempts at improving my quality of sleep, I was so relieved to find that using essential oils was truly effective.Level Up Your Aromatherapy KnowledgeFinally, if you'd like to learn more about using essential oils for a healthier life, then be sure to check out the “FREE Aromatherapy-Using Essential Oils In Your Daily Life” that I mentioned before.Do you have some more relaxing essential oil recipes to share?If you have found this tutorial to be helpful in combating your sleep problems, share your story in the comments so people can learn from your success.And don’t forget to share this Best essential oils for sleep post on Pinterest! 876 SharesPin818Share49Buffer9TweetRedditPocket S.J. 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Hey, Rachel. It looks like you may have too many top note EOs in your blend which is why you’re not getting that long-lasting scent from it. Rosemary is the only oil you listed that is a middle note, but it’s also considered a bit of a top note too. In all the blending formulas, the middle notes make up the largest portion of your blend with top notes coming in second and base notes coming in last as they mainly ground or stabalize your blend. If I were you, I would go through the process again, adding in more middle note oils and maybe taking out some top note oils. Or, you could always find some middle note oils that fit with the purpose of your blend and blend well with the oils you’re already using. In that case, all you’d need to do would be to adjust the amounts of each oil in the final blend (using the suggested formulas) so that your middle note oils make up the largest portion of the blend. Hope that helps! PS… There are also some essential oils that stimulate nerves that allow you to smell them once and then you can no longer smell them until the nerves are destimulated. I can’t remember which exact EOs that do that, but I read about it from an aromatherapist a while back. I’ve not looked into it much, but I thought that was interesting.
Back in the early days of Growing Up Herbal, I made herbal skincare products for children and sold them on Etsy. Those days were full of hurdles… learning about setting up shop, getting comfortable marketing my business, and refining my product line. Business was slow, and I felt like I’d never get ahead and have a successful shop. Sales trickled in sporadically. Customers would make small purchases, but they rarely came back to buy again. My products were never featured anywhere, and traffic to my shop was pitiful.
Using Leslie’s list as an example, several of the oils on her list are known to be phototoxic, but since she’s not applying her blend to her skin in any way, she doesn’t have to worry about that so much. Instead, she’s more concerned with some of the oils being irritating the the mucous membranes as she will be diffusing this recipe so she decides to diffuse her blend for short periods of time only to minimize this possibility.
I'm new to using essential oils and sensitive to strong smells so it took a while to figure out how much was enough for me and what was too much! The smell is great, kind of sweet and with a hint of spice. It is too strong for me if i use more than one drop but it has worked well for me and actually does help control my anxiety. I will definitely be using this long term and buying it again!
Every time I run out of my sleep blend I like to make a new, slightly different version but Vetiver is my #1 sleep oil and it’s in every blend I make. Indian Sandalwood is good for turning off mind chatter and it seriously smells like HEAVEN. Cedarwood is another staple in my sleep blends. It crosses the blood brain barrier and helps stimulate melatonin production. Of course there’s Lavender. When I first started getting into essential oils Lavender was all I had, and I only used it at night for sleep. One night I was suffering with a terrible cold and had the worst coughing fit ever, I didn’t know what to do so I applied it to my wrists and within maybe 5 minutes my coughing stopped and I fell back to sleep. I remember waking up and just thinking it was pretty impressive. I hadn’t tried oils for other stuff yet, and didn’t realize how versatile they were.

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Here in California, where my family and I live, we’re treated to a bountiful, year-round explosion of plant life. The bright citrus trees, the blooming roses, the clusters of flowering lavender plants all make for amazing sights—and scents. But you don’t have to live in Southern California to enjoy these fragrant smells, or to get the benefits that they can deliver to sleep and mood.  
Our sense of smell is directly wired to the brain’s centers of memory and emotion. Cells inside the nose detect smells in our environment, and send information to the brain, via the olfactory nerve. (We also have a cluster of cells the top of the throat that detect scents from the food we consume, and pass that information along the same olfactory channel to the brain.) The information about smell does immediately to the limbic system of the brain, which includes regions like the amygdala that control emotional reactions and memory.  

Thanks for the comment. So are you saying that unless the oil is expensive, it’s probably not pure? I understand what you’re saying about the sandalwood oil. I’m sure that’s the case for a lot of oils. I know it’s that way with herbs. Some herbs you harvest the first year, some the second, and it even makes a difference when it comes to the part of the plant you use. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to really tell if one is pure… for the lay person of course. Also, where were you trained at? I’m not aware of many aromatherapy schools so it’s always nice to hear of more.


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The whole article was really helpful! My girlfriend and I are currently trying to find ways to raise money so she can fund a research aimed to study and protect a species that is now endangered in our country but it has been very difficult as many people don’t feel concerned. We’re now trying to find other ideas and she came up with the idea of making candles. Mixing essential oils can be quite difficult when you’re not sure if they would blend together well, especially when you don’t already have them on hand… Our idea is to create candles made from organic soy wax, that could also double as massage candles (she already made some and it does wonders for the skin), and blend oils with natural scents that remind people of different environments where they can also find endangered species, since we plan on donating a percentage of the money to different non-profit organizations. We had some ideas but don’t know much about essential oils, and this article has been SO helpful and is already helping us with our list of mixes so we can create wonderful scents. All these tips will also help us get to a slightly less ”amateur” result so we can offer products with different depths and scents, that last longer. Thanks a lot!
I’m sure this is in large amounts or if ingested. A small amount in a humidifier is not going to harm an animal I’m sure. Unless the owner was irresponsible about where they placed their humidifier and the animal knocked it over and drank it for some reason. But Jill seems to know a good deal about essential oils and has used them around her animals, I myself have been using them for years with my animals around not only in the humidifier.

I’m happy to say that the decision to create signature scents for my products (along with updating my branding and taking new photos) completely changed my business. I was invited to some pretty prestigious Etsy teams, my products were featured on Etsy’s front page over and over again, sales were coming in daily, I had repeat customers who were not only buying my products for themselves but as gifts too, and I had wholesale accounts and blog features… all because I made some simple, small changes to my products.
Jill, thank you for your blog post. I have never used essential oils. Thanks for the information on the different oils and the combinations. I have heard of essential oils, just was never sure which oils go together. I want to try them. I have 10 med size plastic containers full of candles of every shape and color for each season and plus some. In the closet and under the bed. I hardly use them much anymore, since they just don’t seem to hold the smell when they are burning. They just sit in the plastic boxes taking up space.
I am enjoying learning about essential oils and am appreciating them so much! Thank you for this article. I do have a question for you … How do I choose and use a diffuser? I am currently using my old scentsy burner – water with a few drops of essential oil – as a diffuser, but it evaporates so quickly and the scent is so light. I’m guessing I need a diffuser, but there are so many, I don’t know what to buy. What do you suggest for longer lasting air diffusion? Thank you!

Hi Meagan, Thanks for sharing, you really broke the process down in an easy to understand way. Wish I had the oils you used in the example so I could try it out. I’m going to read more of your blog. I do have a question though, I think you said you’ve used Eden’s Garden and Young Living. I’ve been using Eden’s Garden for 2 years now and since I never tried anything else I am very satisfied, just needed an opinion from someone else to help me in my research. Today I went to a class and made YL Thieves Disinfectant spray. All the oils she let us smell seemed more fragrant than my EG EOs, I was wondering if you ever noticed that and what may be the reason. I’m not sure how oils are “supposed” to smell, only that I did notice a slight difference.


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