Essential Oils For When You Just Can't Fall Asleep

Photographed by Michael Beckert.
In this crazy world full of honking horns and warm pillows, it can be hard to get the sleep you need. Doctors and sleep specialists can give you tricks, tips, and remedies for falling asleep, but there’s also a homeopathic tactic that some people swear by: Essential oils.
You can add them to your bath, spray them onto your pillow, diffuse them, or apply them directly to your skin to soak up the benefits. Elena Brower, an essential oils educator at dōTERRA and author of Practice You: A Journal, says it's most effective to dab the oils on the soles of your feet. “That’s where you have the most nerve endings capillaries,” Brower says. “It’s a very sensitive part of your body… It’s one of the best ways to welcome the properties of the oil into the system.”
She recommends using the oils sparingly, always diluting them, and trying a patch test on your inner forearm before applying the oil topically. Once you know that you’re not allergic to the oil and your skin isn’t reacting to the area you tested it, you should be all set to apply the oils when you can’t fall asleep. You should see a doctor if you're having constant issues falling asleep, but there is some research backing the oils. One study published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that aromatherapy treatments using the essential oils lavender, roman chamomile, and neroli improved the sleep quality and anxiety levels of the 56 people studied.
But don't just douse yourself with any old essential scent — there are specific formulas and oils that will help you fall asleep, fast.

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