Lavender Essential Oil For Sleep: How It Could Beat Insomnia & More!

Dried lavender with a bottle of essential oil isolated on white background.

Last Updated on November 19, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff

What an iconic scent, the sweet aroma of lavender! It’s no wonder why this essential oil has become a favourite among people looking to improve their sleep.

Not only is lavender essential oil calming and soothing, but its use in aromatherapy has been shown to reduce insomnia symptoms and help you get a better night’s rest.

But what are the known benefits of lavender essential oil for sleep? This article will look at how lavender essential oil works, the research behind its use for sleep and insomnia, and the long list of benefits as well as safety tips.

Disclaimer: It’s important to note that these potential benefits are based on anecdotal evidence and some from scientific research, but they should not be taken as medical advice. Speaking with your doctor before starting new supplements or treatment plans is what we always recommend. Additionally, it is your responsibility to do due diligence.

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How Does Lavender Essential Oil Work?

Lavender essential oil is made from the flowers of the Lavandula angustifolia plant. It contains high amounts of linalool, a compound responsible for lavender oil’s calming effects.

When inhaled, linalool enters the olfactory receptors in your nose and is then sent to the limbic system in your brain. This is the part of your brain that controls emotions and memory, so it’s not surprising that the scent of lavender can evoke feelings of relaxation, calmness and peace.

Research Behind Lavender Essential Oil for Sleep

Many studies have looked at the effects of lavender essential oil on sleep quality, with many showing positive results. For example, a study found that using a combination of lavender essential oil and an aromatherapy massage improved subjective and objective measures of sleep quality in participants.

Another study found that a single dose of lavender essential oil could reduce insomnia severity. In addition, the effects lasted up to two weeks after the initial treatment!

This suggests that using lavender essential oil may be a safe and effective way to improve your sleep quality in the long term.

Lavender oil bottle and pipette.Essential oil, natural face and body beauty remedies.

Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oil For Sleep

1. Helps Improve Quality of Sleep

Lavender oil is trendy for its ability to help improve the overall quality of sleep. It’s thought to reduce insomnia and restlessness by soothing the body and mind, calming anxiety, and decreasing stress levels.

Additionally, lavender oil can provide a more natural alternative for people trying to wean off pharmaceutical sleeping aids such as Ambien or Lunesta.

Many people can vouch for the fact that using lavender oil has improved their quality of sleep. Some say they notice a difference in sleep quality after just one use.

Its effectiveness may be attributed to its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as its ability to stimulate the release of serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has been linked to improved sleep quality.

Man sleeping with eye mask on Diaz

2. Reduces Stress & Anxiety

Aromatherapy has long used lavender essential oil to help reduce stress and anxiety. Studies have found that aromatherapy with lavender oil significantly reduced anxiety and stress levels among participants.

The calming scent of lavender oil has been shown to help reduce cortisol levels in the body, which is linked to lower stress and improved moods.

Additionally, some people find that the calming effects of lavender oil also help them relax and get ready for a good night of sleep.

3. Decreases Nightmares & Night Terrors

Lavender oil is also known to help reduce nightmares and night terrors in both adults and children. Studies have found that lavender oil can help decrease nightmares frequency in those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can also help reduce nightmares and night terrors in children.

In one study, researchers found that when the scent of lavender was diffused into a child’s bedroom for 10 minutes before bedtime, the frequency of nightmares decreased significantly. So, the next time you want to calm an anxious child or reduce their nightmares, try adding a few drops of lavender oil to their room.

Man sitting on bed at night looking stressed

4. Has Antibacterial Properties

Lavender essential oil is also known for its antibacterial properties. Studies have found that it can help decrease the growth of bacteria in wounds and reduce infection rates. This makes lavender oil an excellent choice for those prone to getting sick or weakened immune systems.

In addition, the antibacterial properties of lavender oil can also help reduce skin irritation and inflammation, which can be beneficial when trying to get comfortable before bedtime.

Finally, it’s also known to act as an insect repellent and can keep away pesky bugs while you sleep.

5. Aids Respiratory Health

Aside from helping improve sleep quality, lavender essential oil is also known to have beneficial effects on the respiratory system. Studies have found that it can help reduce lung congestion and soothe symptoms associated with colds, coughs, and allergies.

Additionally, lavender oil can even help reduce symptoms associated with asthma. For example, one study found that lavender essential oils reduced the frequency of asthma attacks among children. So, if you or your child suffers from respiratory ailments such as asthma, try using a few drops of lavender oil in an oil diffuser.

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Potential Side Effects

1. Irritation

Lavender oil can cause skin irritation in some people, so it’s essential to do a patch test before using it.

While it may benefit the skin, lavender oil can also cause minor skin irritations in some people. To avoid this, doing a patch test before using lavender oil directly on your skin is best.

2. Allergic Reaction

If you are allergic to plants in the Lamiaceae family (such as sage, rosemary, oregano, thyme and lavender), you may experience an allergic reaction when using lavender oil.

Stop using the oil immediately if you experience signs of a potential allergic reaction such as rashes, hives or difficulty breathing. Seek medical attention if symptoms persist.

3. Interference with Medication

Some medications can interact negatively with lavender essential oil. Therefore, speaking to your doctor before using lavender oil if you take any prescription medications is crucial.

How To Use Lavender Essential Oil For Sleep

If you’re looking to use lavender essential oil for sleep, there are several ways you can do it. Some of the most popular methods include:

Using a diffuser: This is one of the easiest ways to use lavender oil for sleep. Just add a few drops of the oil into a diffuser in your bedroom and let the scent fill the room.

Inhaling directly: You can also inhale lavender oil directly from its bottle or by using a tissue to capture its scent. This is a quick way to get some calming effects of lavender oil before bedtime.

Adding it to your bath: Another option is to add a few drops of oil to your evening bath. This will help soothe sore muscles and help you relax before bedtime.

Using it topically: Lastly, you can apply lavender oil directly to your skin before bedtime. Make sure to do a patch test beforehand and dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut, almond or jojoba oil.

Finally, use lavender oil sparingly, as it is a potent essential oil. Start with one drop and gradually increase your dosage until you find the perfect amount. With these tips, you’ll experience all the benefits of using lavender essential oil for sleep in no time.

Dried lavender with a bottle of essential oil isolated on white background. Kim


1. How safe is lavender oil for sleep?

Lavender oil is generally considered safe for use when it comes to improving sleep quality. However, there may be potential side effects such as skin irritation or an allergic reaction in some people. Always do a patch test before using lavender oil, and use it sparingly.

2. How long does it take for lavender oil to work?

The effects of lavender oil can range from person to person, but it usually takes about 20 minutes for the scent of the oil to start taking effect. This is why it’s a good idea to use lavender oil about 20 minutes before bedtime.

3. Can lavender oil be used for other conditions?

Yes, lavender oil can also help with various conditions, such as headaches, anxiety, and stress relief. Additionally, it has been found to reduce symptoms associated with colds, coughs, allergies, and respiratory ailments.

Portrait of young woman wearing sleep mask during sleeping on the bed.

Safety Tips When Using Lavender Essential Oil for Sleep

Lavender essential oil is generally considered safe when used topically or aromatically, but that doesn’t mean you should use it without taking precautions. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using lavender essential oil for sleep:

• Dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin, as undiluted lavender essential oil can irritate.

• Aromatically, use it no more than once a day and take breaks from its use throughout the week. This will help prevent your body from becoming desensitized to its effects.

• Do not use lavender essential oil if you are pregnant or nursing, as it has not been tested for safety in these populations and could potentially be harmful.

• As with any new product, do a patch test first to check for possible allergic reactions.

Fiinal Thoughts

Using lavender essential oil can help improve your sleep quality while reaping many other benefits. Whether it’s reducing stress and anxiety or aiding respiratory health, there are numerous ways that lavender oil can help improve your overall wellness.

So why not give it a try? Who knows — you might find it to be the perfect sleep aid for you.