Essential Oils to Induce Sleep and Relieve Anxiety

It must have been planetary; The other day, folks here in the office and out in the world were rife with anxiety. Perhaps it was a matter of life transition, seasonal change, or just short nights of sleep during the long summer days. In any case, anxiety feels good to no one. Myself, I researched a sleeping blend to calm the restless anxiety that plagued my day.

Highland Lavender

In a survey of literature published on, essential oils with sleep-inducing qualities are listed as: Cedar, Lavender, Patchouli, Rosewood, Sandalwood, and Valerian Root.

In a series of tests, researchers found that the above mentioned oils were effective sedatives when administered through the respiratory tract (inhalation). The distinction here is that it is not a scent-based action, registered through the olfactory system. The naturally-occurring chemical compounds in each oil have an impact on both sleep-latency and the duration of sleep, meaning that inhalation of the oils bought sleep on sooner, and extended the length of time that subjects were asleep.

The Linalool content of both Lavender and Rosewood are responsible for their drowsy effects. Used traditionally for its anxiolytic properties, Lavender oil, inhaled for one hour, induces sedation, and increases the duration of sleeping time. Rosewood accomplishes the same effects, and is a delightful-smelling alternative for those who prefer to avoid Lavender.

Here are a couple of recipes to soothe anxiety and induce sleep:

Valerian flowers

• 1 drop Valerian Root
• 3 drops Rosemary
• 3 drops Petitgrain
• 2 drops Mandarin
• 1 oz Sweet Almond Oil

Mix the essential oils into the carrier oil for a relaxing massage. You may wish to isolate the Valerian Root from the massage oil, as it tends to be a bit curious-smelling. If that is the case, enjoy your massage, and then add the drop (or two) of Valerian to the soles of your oiled feet. After this treatment, the gentle drowsiness will come in a short while.

Wild Cedar

• 3 drop Highland Lavender
• 3 drops Rosewood
• 2 drops Cedar Oil
• 1 drops Vanuatu Sandalwood

Combine the oils in a diffuser, or add a few drops of the blend to a square of cloth that you tuck into your pillowcase. You can also wear any of these oils on your wrists, temples, or neck as a lovely-scented inhalation preparation.

Rest peacefully.

This entry was posted in Blending for Aroma and Therapy, Essential Oil Science, Practical Applications and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Essential Oils to Induce Sleep and Relieve Anxiety

  1. Anne Jackson says:

    If you would like to give a half hour presentation to the Herb Society of Manitoba sometime this winter please phone me at 256 1998 to discuss and make arrangements.
    Thank you

  2. Ali says:

    How does respiratory tract (inhalation) work. Is there some vaporizer or something?

    • Eric@Ananda says:

      Yes, the best way is using a diffuser, either an ultrasonic (makes a mist of water and oil) or a cold-air nebulizer (which makes a mist of just the oil). The oil you chose is really depending on your own personal condition and desires — we’ve had customers with allergies who’ve said simply diffusing Eucalyptus Radiata in the Nebulizer regularly worked wonders for their allergy-related condition, and others who have said they’ve stopped catching colds when using Super Immune (or their own anti-vial concoction).

      For use while managing cold symptoms, it is also common to put a few drops of your oil of choice in a steaming bowl of water, cover your head and the bowl with a towel, and inhale deeply a few times, doing this a few times per day.

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