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Essential Oils for Sleep (that aren’t lavender)

Lavender (and its essential oil) is almost ubiquitously suggested for supporting ease in falling asleep, and restful sleep through the night. The trouble is that for some people, it has the exact opposite effect.

Roman chamomile 

The oil of spiritual purpose.

There is strong research connecting Roman chamomile with relieving anxiety + supporting sleep. Roman chamomile has calming, relaxing properties that may alleviate hyperactivity, creating the conditions for sleep. 

Roman chamomile can help to calm the mental chatters that keeps us from high-quality sleep. It creates a sense of peacefulness, self-esteem and relaxation that help to ease insomnia. (This oil is also noted for supporting children in moments of nervousness and irritability.)

As an anti-inflammatory, it may aid in calming cramps, muscle spasms, and hormonal imbalance, making it an ideal companion for those with menstrual discomfort.

Juniper Berry 

The oil of night.

This oil may encourage peaceful dreaming, shedding fear, and a sense of protection.

According to Emotions and Essential Oils: “Juniper Berry offers courage and energetic protection in the nighttime… Juniper Berry helps restore the balance between light and dark, conscious and subconscious, day and night.”

Juniper can be useful on the spiritual level for warding off (or making peace with) negativity; on the mental level, it supports us in releasing negative thought patterns. Emotionally, it supports our ability to relax and release stress.

I enjoy combining Juniper Berry, Roman Chamomile and Cedarwood in my diffuser at night (see below).

Ylang Ylang 

The oil of the inner child.

Research demonstrates ylang ylang may have calming and sedative effect. 
Emotions and Essential Oils states: “Ylang Ylang is a powerful remedy for the heart….It encourages play and restores a childlike nature and innocence. It assists in accessing intuition or ‘heart knowing.'” I think of Ylang Ylang as a cheerful companion to Juniper Berry, which also allows us to access non-ordinary realities and intuitive power.

Ylang Ylang has a sweet floral scent that is a lovely choice for those looking for greater calm or relaxation. It may also help to to ease exhaustion, fear, stress, and tension.

Ylang Ylang is useful for dissolving emotional blocks and calming erratic emotions. It may ease the experience of depressive feelings and is a self-nurturing oil, perfect for nighttime.


The oil of gratitude.

A natural sedative, Spikenard releases tension on many levels: emotional, mental, physical. It works to ease anxiety and muscle tension, making it a calming choice for all systems. It helps the body to resolve insomnia, creating a sense of contentment and peacefulness from the gross to subtle levels.

Spikenard calms self-talk and calms difficult emotions and habits, such as irritability and rage, replacing them with compassion. This oil is associated with Kuan Yin, the goddess of compassion. With high emotions tempered, the body can sleep and sort through anything that still remains unresolved.


This calming blend does contain lavender, but it is blended with several other oils to offer a more holistic approach to supporting rest.

It contains: lavender, ho wood, cedarwood, ylang ylang, marjoram, roman chamomile, vanilla bean, vetiver, hawaiian sandalwood.

This one is my favorite for sleep or tense moments. It shows how beautifully lavender can integrate with other oils to support restful sleep and soft well-being.

It’s also one of my son’s favorites put a bit of this (diluted with fractionated coconut oil) on the soles of my feet or my son’s feet to create calm, balance and restful ease.

Honorable mention

Wild orange

The oil of abundance.

There is interesting research (in adult humans) that demonstrates a relationship between wild orange and a reduction in anxiety symptoms.

How to use the oils

  • In a diffuser for aromatic use
  • Place 1-2 drops in your palms, rub the palms together or inhale
  • Topically, diluted in some fractionated coconut oil: apply to the back of your neck, apply with fingertips to your temples, or rub on the soles of your feet.

How to get the oils

Get all the details on how to bring the oils into your home here.

Or watch this free video workop: Introduction to Essential Oils and Self-Care!




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