Lavender Could Be The Natural Sleep Aid You Need, Here’s Why!

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

Last Updated on December 19, 2022 by theworldofsleepstaff

Lavender is an excellent natural remedy for those looking to improve their sleep. It’s even been used for centuries in many cultures to calm the mind, body, and spirit, ultimately aiding relaxation and a good night’s rest.

Recent scientific research backs up the traditional use of lavender for promoting better sleep. That’s because the primary active ingredient in lavender oil, linalool, has been found to have sedative and anxiolytic effects.

And if you’re thinking about buying or making your own lavender oil to help with getting better sleep then you’re in the right place.

This guide will explain how lavender can help insomnia, its benefits for sleep, how to use it properly and safely, tips for getting the most out of your experience with lavender, potential side effects and contraindications, and even instructions on how to make your homemade lavender oil. Let’s get started!

Note: This content was only written as a reference, using third-party background information. It is not medical advice; As always, it is essential to do your research and speak with a healthcare provider if you have questions or before taking any new supplement.

Young woman sleeping on the couch at home, she is wearing wireless headphones and listening to music
iStock.com/cyano66

How Lavender & Lavender Oil Works

Lavender oil is an essential oil derived from the lavender plant, a flowering herb in the mint family. It has a long history of use as a medicinal and cosmetic remedy with calming and healing properties.

The active components of lavender oil are believed to be linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-ol, and lavandulyl acetate. Research suggests that these components have calming, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and soothing effects on the body and brain.

Lavender is believed to work by influencing the activity of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which can help induce relaxation and reduce stress levels. This helps improve sleep by calming the nervous system and reducing anxiety.

lavender flower,oil,salt, spa beauty concept on old wood background.
iStock.com/id-art

How to Use Lavender for Sleep

There are a few different ways to use lavender oil to get better sleep. You can inhale it directly, diffuse it in your bedroom, or even apply it topically on the skin.

Inhaling lavender oil: Direct inhalation is the most common method for using lavender oil for sleep. To do this, add a few drops of lavender oil to a tissue or cloth and place them near your pillow as you prepare for bed. You can also put a few drops on your hands, rub them together and cup them over your nose and mouth.

Diffusing lavender oil: You can also diffuse lavender oil in your bedroom with a diffuser or an essential oil burner. This will fill the entire room with the calming scent of lavender, which many people find soothing and relaxing.

Applying topically: If you prefer, apply lavender oil or lotion directly on your skin. Then, dilute a few drops of lavender oil in a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil and rub it onto the temples, forehead, or neck for a calming effect.

Lavender oil bottle and pipette.Essential oil, natural face and body beauty remedies.
iStock.com/leonori

12 Excellent Benefits of Using Lavender for Sleep

In addition to promoting relaxation and easing stress levels, studies have shown that using lavender to get better sleep may have several other health benefits. Some of these include:

1. Reduces Stress Levels

Lavender has been proven to reduce cortisol levels; the hormone released when stressed. Studies have also shown that it can improve symptoms of stress-related disorders such as anxiety and depression.

What makes it so effective for stress relief is its ability to directly target the areas of the brain that control emotions, making it easier to relax.

A young brunette woman sleeping in white bed,
iStock.com/puhimec

2. Promotes Restful Sleep

Some say that lavender can help people fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply throughout the night. It calms the nervous system and reduces restlessness, allowing for better sleep.

The main reason it is so effective for sleep is its ability to trigger the release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which helps regulate sleep cycles – as we’ve written about before.

3. Helps Treat Insomnia

Insomnia can be incredibly frustrating, affecting both physical and mental health. Thankfully, using lavender may provide some relief from this condition.

Many people with insomnia have found that lavender oil can increase sleep time, reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, and improve the overall quality of sleep. It works by calming the body’s nervous system and clearing away mental clutter, making it easier to drift off into a peaceful slumber.

Depressed man suffering from insomnia lying in bed
iStock.com/Amenic181

4. Aids In Pain Relief

Inhaling lavender oil effectively reduces pain associated with headaches and other conditions, such as muscle tension. It works by activating the body’s endorphins, which are potent hormones that help reduce the sensation of pain.

5. Helps Relieve Anxiety & Depression

Lavender may be especially useful for those suffering from anxiety or depression.

It works by directly targeting the areas of the brain that control emotions, allowing us to relax and feel more at ease.

6. Boosts Cognitive Function

It is said to be good for improving cognitive function too. This is because of its calming effect on the nervous system, which can help reduce stress and improve focus.

iStock.com/jolygon

7. Fights Bacteria and Viruses

Lavender has powerful antiseptic properties that effectively treat skin infections caused by bacteria or viruses. It works by killing off any harmful microorganisms on the skin.

8. Reduces Inflammation

Lavender may effectively reduce inflammation caused by various conditions, such as arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.

It works by targeting the body’s natural anti-inflammatory pathways and stimulating them to reduce inflammation.

9. Improves Digestion

It is said to help improve digestion, as it stimulates the production of digestive juices in the stomach. This can help reduce bloating and other symptoms related to indigestion.

What makes it effective is its ability to increase the production of gastric juices, which can help break down food more easily.

iStock.com/Prostock-Studio

10. Soothes Skin Irritations

Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties make it great for treating various skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis. It can also be used to soothe insect bites or sunburns.

11. Strengthens Hair

During sleep, our bodies go into a state of repair and regeneration. Many people swear by lavender oil for more robust, shinier hair. It works by stimulating the scalp and promoting new growth.

12. Aids In Headache Relief

Inhaling lavender oil can help reduce headache pain caused by stress or other conditions, especially when trying to get some sleep. It works by calming the body and mind.

iStock.com/dragana991

Top 10 Tips for Using Lavender for Sleep

1. Understand The Science

Lavender is known for its calming and soothing effects, which can help improve sleep. The active components in lavender oil work on the brain and nervous system to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.

In addition, research has found that using lavender oil can increase relaxation hormones like serotonin and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), promoting better sleep.

woman sleeping on her side
iStock.com/gorodenkoff

2. Choose The Right Type Of Lavender Oil

When selecting lavender oil for sleep, you must be sure you are buying pure and unadulterated lavender oil.

Look for essential oils that have been certified organic or ethically harvested, as they will be free from synthetic ingredients. Also, check the percentage of lavender oil in the blend and avoid products with added fragrances or fillers.

3. Use It Before Bedtime

Lavender can be used both before bed and throughout the day to help reduce stress levels, improve relaxation, and promote better sleep.

Before bed, try diffusing the oil in your bedroom or adding a few drops to a warm bath. You can also apply the oil directly to your skin by combining it with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil.

Sleeping woman in bed at night in dark bedroom.
iStock.com/Tero Vesalainen

4. Try Aromatherapy Massage

An aromatherapy massage reduces stress levels, improves relaxation, and promotes better sleep.

Mix ten drops of lavender oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil to make your aromatherapy massage oil. Massage the mixture into your skin in circular motions before bedtime or anytime you need to relax.

5. Use A Pillow Spray

Do a pillow spray to get the most out of lavender when sleeping.

Mix ten drops of lavender oil with 1 ounce of distilled water or witch hazel in a spray bottle and spritz it onto your pillow before bed. This is a great way to enjoy the relaxing scent of lavender as you drift off to sleep.

Portrait of young woman wearing sleep mask during sleeping on the bed.
iStock.com/Boyloso

6. Eat Lavender-Infused Foods

Eating foods infused with lavender can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Add a few drops of lavender oil to your favourite recipes, such as cookies or muffins, for a subtle hint of flavour and calming effects. You can also add a few drops to herbal teas for a calming and soothing drink before bed.

7. Make Your Own Lavender Bath Salts

Making your lavender bath salts is an easy way to enjoy the benefits of lavender oil before bedtime.

Combine 1 cup of Epsom salt, ½ cup of baking soda, and ten drops of lavender oil in a bowl. Mix the ingredients and store them in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

8. Use Other Calming Oils

In addition to lavender, other essential oils can promote better sleep.

Mix 2 drops of lavender oil with one chamomile, frankincense, or cedarwood oil. This combination can be diffused in the bedroom before bedtime for added relaxation benefits.

essential oils for aromatherapy treatment with chamomile and lavender on white background
iStock.com/botamochi

9. Keep it Away From Pets and Children

When using lavender, keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Lavender oil can be toxic if ingested and should never be used in products intended for use on children or animals.

10. Consult A Healthcare Professional

If you consider using lavender to improve your sleep, you must speak with a healthcare professional first.

Your doctor can provide advice and guidance on the most effective way to use the oil and help you determine if it is the right choice.

Shot of a woman doctor having a consultation with a patient
iStock.com/PeopleImages

Side Effects Of uSING Lavender For Better Sleep

Lavender has been used for centuries to treat various ailments, including sleep disorders. It is known for its calming and soothing effects, and it has become popular in recent years as a natural remedy for insomnia and other sleeping problems.

Yet whilst lavender is generally safe to use, there are some potential side effects of using it for sleep that you should be aware of.

The most common side effect of lavender is skin irritation. It can cause a burning or stinging sensation on the skin when applied directly to the body and cause allergic reactions in some people.

Additionally, if too much lavender oil is used, it may have a sedative effect, making it harder to stay awake during the day.

On top of that, lavender oil is not recommended for pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding due to its effects on hormones.

Another side effect of using lavender oil for sleep is an altered sense of smell. Some people may experience a change in their ability to identify smells, making it challenging to identify scents associated with sleep. Additionally, some people may experience a strange taste or smell in their mouth after using lavender oil.

Although these side effects are usually minor and temporary, you should always consult a doctor before using any new product to try and get better sleep. If you have any allergies or medical conditions, you should talk to your doctor before using lavender oil too.

Additionally, you should always follow the instructions on the product label and use them as directed.

Sick female with allergies
iStock.com/MonstArrr

How To Make Your Own Lavender Oil

You can easily make your lavender oil at home. All you need is a high-quality lavender essential oil, a carrier oil (such as almond or jojoba), and dark glass bottles to store the finished product.

To make the oil, slowly add drops of the essential oil to the carrier oil until you reach the desired scent. Once you have reached your desired scent, pour the mixture into dark glass bottles and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

When using homemade lavender oil it is essential to remember that less is more. Start with a small amount and increase gradually until you find the amount that works best for you.

Additionally, test the lavender oil on a small skin area before applying it all over your body.

Dried lavender with a bottle of essential oil isolated on white background.
iStock.com/Anna Kim

Our Final Thoughts

Lavender is a popular natural remedy for sleep disorders, but it is essential to be aware of the possible side effects. Skin irritation, altered sense of smell, and sedative effects are some of the most common side effects of using lavender oil for sleep. Additionally, you should always consult your doctor before using any new product for sleep.

Making your own lavender oil is easy and cost-effective, but you should always start with a small amount and increase gradually until you find the best amount.

Overall, lavender oil is generally a safe option for improving sleep quality. It can be used as an essential oil or homemade remedy, but it is important to be aware of any potential side effects and consult your doctor before using it for sleep. However, with proper use, lavender oil can be an effective natural remedy for insomnia and other sleeping problems.