There are so many quirky gimmicks and cosmetic potions out there that claim they’ll soothe you, body and spirit, to sleep, but not everything that’s advertised to keep you well-rested is all-natural. I won’t get ahead of myself and recommend you never spend your hard-earned dollars on eye masks or luxurious lotions, but I encourage you to branch outside of Sephora for organic remedies, like essential oils that help you sleep, for example.
Now, when it comes things like essential oils, there are usually two different types of people: those who worship essential oils for their super powers, and those who are skeptical of them for their super new-agey, hippie-esque rap. People will often steer clear of using essential oils at all costs to avoid potential breakouts or inflammation, but any purported, negative side effects of these oils are normally triggered by sensitive skin or straight-up misuse. As long as you’re reading ingredient lists and are aware of your skin type and health, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
Now that we’ve got the dos and don’ts of essential oils out of the way, let’s talk about their sleepy-time benefits — because if this doesn’t persuade you that these are literally and figuratively an essential in the sack, I don’t know what will. Yes, oils are beautifying, and they smell divine, but they can actually be extremely sedative, too.
Consider this beauty industry’s best-kept secret spilled. Essential oils clear up acne, make your skin soft, and can also be used to lower high blood pressure, bring anxiety levels down a notch, and promote a good night’s sleep. Can your cuddle buddy do that? Didn't think so.
Try any one of the essential oils below for a great night's sleep and a clear mind come morning.
I love, love, love lavender. The color, the scent, the ice cream — make anything lavender scented or flavored, and I'll give it a try.
As an essential oil, lavender is known for its soothing properties. Used to lower anxiety levels and aid mild cases of insomnia, Huffington Post reports it's also been used as a sedative before surgery in medical settings. Impressive, no?
Follain's capsule collection with Farmaesthetics features this dreamy tub elixir, calling out lavender as a key ingredient that adds a calming, aromatherapeutic touch to bath time before bed. Add a few drops of the pretty blue tonic to a full, warm bath the next time you're experiencing restless nights, and I can guarantee your body will give in to sleep as soon as your head hits the pillow.
2. Clary Sage
Clary sage is best known as a medicinal remedy and, in the beauty realm, as an eye cleanser, but it also works beautifully as a sedative when mixed with other essential oils.
Calm's Sleep Mist lulls you into your snooze with a scent that harmonizes notes of clary sage, lavender, frankincense, and chamomile. Spritz a spray or two over your pillow for a nighttime oasis that encourages tranquility for the body and mind so you can sleep soundly through the night.
To enhance the experience, the brand has paired its mist with sleep stories on its smartphone app, furthering your peaceful journey into dreamland.
Ylang-ylang is probably best known as an aphrodisiac (the scent itself is enough to make you feel relaxed and ready to get romantic with your person), but it's also super effective in reducing high blood pressure.
Byrdie reports that this particular essential oil shouldn't be directly applied to any skin type. Instead, it's best to purchase ylang-ylang as a mixture with other essentials or add it to other topical products, such as a moisturizer, to enhance its scent and its calming effects on the body.
Edens Garden's Good Night elixir can be applied directly onto your pillow, or even on the bottoms of your feet! Rubbing essential oil into your soles is fast-acting and super efficient because your feet have such large pores, the oils absorb more quickly into the bloodstream that way. This is also a great tip for people with super sensitive skin, because the bottoms of your feet aren't as easily irritated.
If woodsy smells are more your style, then this outdoor scent is your one-way ticket to Snoozeville.
Cedar wood is derived straight from tree bark, and, according to psychiatrist and essential oil aficionado Dr. Zinia Thomas, it does wonders for an overactive brain and nervous system. By using this essential oil before bed, she told Reader's Digest, you'll enjoy "improvements in sleep quality and depth, attention span and memory, and mood and emotions."
Bath & Body Works' collection of aromatherapy products features this calming soak to ease muscle tension, quiet a busy brain, and wind you down before bedtime.
Just in case oils still freak you out for whatever reason, thank goodness for candles, right?
Reader's Digest reports that the history of frankincense dates back to the Biblical era, when it was used to treat just about any physical and mental ailment that needed nursing.
This bad boy is amazing for sleep rituals if you're looking for a bedtime boost, and if oils are still iffy on your end, light up NEST's soothing candle for a smoky scent that sets a sleepy mood.