By Miss Pollyanna, 2nd August 2015

Essential Oils for Essential Sleep

Stop Tossing and Turning, Give Some of These a Try!

Stop Tossing and Turning, Give Some of These a Try!

For many of us, even thinking about using something holistic such as an essential oil to get us to sleep will be a last resort. We’ll wriggle, get restless, count sheep, get up and read ourselves sleepy, take medication and generally fret and fret some more before we go down the ‘hippy-dippy’ homeopathy path. Because if WE can’t get ourselves to the land of nod, how can a smell possibly get us there? But as long as there have been plants on the planet, there have been magical healing and sleep inducing properties, which, even if we don’t understand how they could remedy such an infuriating situation, should definitely be given a try.

Here is my list of must-haves if your bedroom has become less haven and more bone of contention!

This is the oil that commonly springs to mind at bedtime and with good reason. Lavender has long been known to induce slumber by aiding relaxation. In fact, the University of Southampton, UK discovered that among a study group, those who diffused lavender oil at night slept 20% better than the placebo group on average. More recent trials conducted at Wesleyan University, U.S.A re-confirms this, so even the science world is starting to take note… And if nothing else, Lavender smells utterly amazing… but not to mosquitoes. Win. Win.

lavender products

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Vetiver is an essential oil which is distilled from the roots of the plant. Whilst not an unpleasant smelling oil, it definitely has a complex, earthy perfume, and newcomers to this particular sleep aid may prefer to combine it with a lighter oil like Roman Chamomile or Lavender. But one thing’s for sure: this is many people’s immediate go-to oil when they need to completely switch off and get a restful night’s sleep. Strange smells are sometimes worth it! 

I really got into Bergamot after a totally relaxing and pampered stay at Gloucestershire’s gorgeous Cowley Manor. Cowley expertly blend Bergamot with a plethora of gorgeous natural fragrances; there really is something truly magically zingy and uplifting about this plant, which is in fact a fruit. But when it comes to bedtime, Bergamot really does come into its own. It is somehow bright, yet calming in equal measure and fantastic for calming the emotions letting you drift into a wonderful natural sleep.

woman yawning

For those of you who love a little luxury blended into your essential oils, look no further. Sandalwood isn’t the cheapest of our holisitic heroines (she’s a girl, I’m sure of it!) But the rich, woody oil is an all-round winner in combating fatigue and definitely worth having around the house.

Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile essential oil is best known for is soothing properties. It really is a great everyday oil for a general de-stress. It has a light, floral note and is excellent for creating a tranquil and chilled-out atmosphere in the boudoir. Roman Chamomile is also a great ‘balancer-outer’ of stronger, more complex oils such as Valerian and Vetiver.


Derived from Seville and Bitter Orange trees, Neroli has a higher price tag than most. But 1) it smells heavenly and 2) if this is the oil that does it for you, you’ll happily pay the price if it means no more waking hours feeling like a zombie! The reason behind Neroli’s cost is simply the low yield versus volume needed for production. She is the saffron of the essential oil world; pricey but worth it. Far from simply being an oil much in demand as the common floral base in perfume blending, Neroli also packs a punch when it comes to minimising stress and tension, leading to one blissful night’s kip.

Don’t let it’s cheesy feet pong put you off, because this is one successful sleep tonic (NB. I don’t mean that you should drink the oil though!). Valerian has long been associated with a restful night’s sleep when blended into herbal remedies and teas and has been used in a variety of ways over the centuries to reduce stress, tension and instill a sense of peace. But for sure, you WILL need to mask this scent with a blend! And once again, I suggest Roman Chamomile or Lavender. As far as insomnia goes, this essential oil is charted as one of the most effective, and the slightly higher price tag is definitely worth it.

A sleep aid for sure… but be warned, this powerful essential oil is also something of an aphrodisiac! In Indonesia, the flower petals are strewn upon the bed on wedding nights… The warming and intoxicating (in a good way) fragarance of Ylang-Ylang has a hidden bonus: It calms the nerves at the same time as loosening the inhibitions… Back to the sleep though, and this is one beauty of an oil when it comes to promoting a sense of well-being and naturally inducing a good quality night of zzzzzzs.

Feet in bed

And once you have got the lack of sleep thing sorted, well, then dust down your bottle and blend it with a carrier oil – always read the label on this and ALL of the above-mentioned oils before experimenting, they are strong and potentially toxic products – to spice things up in other areas! It will be money well spent.

So give some of these wonderful oils a try! They may not all do ‘their thing’, but for sure you will come across The One that best suits your body… and if nothing else, your bedroom will smell (mostly) divine.

As for the Valerian, well, that will at least mask the stink of your other half’s whiffy feet.

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