6 Scents That Help You Sleep

Sleep issues plague between 50 and 70 million Americans. That’s a lot of sleepless nights! Whether you have the occasional night of bad sleep or chronic sleep issues, aromatherapy can be a helpful tool in your quest for better sleep. However, it’s important to choose the right scents to help you sleep. Some scents such as citrus have an energizing rather than a calming effect, and they will wake you up instead of helping you drift off to the land of nod.

Here are six scents that help you sleep:


Lavender is one of the most popular scents for sleep, and with good reason. This soothing, calming scent will help to relax your body and mind and help you fall asleep. Lavender is perhaps the best-studied of all essential oils, and it can also help with anxiety and pain relief–two things that often keep people up at night. Thanks to lavender’s popularity, there are many ways to perform aromatherapy with this soothing scent, from decorating with lavender sachets to lighting a bedroom candle.


The sweet, light scent of vanilla is another fragrance that will help you fall asleep. If you love the smell of warm baked goods, you can recreate the scent with a vanilla-scented candle—minus the mess of actually getting in the kitchen. Whether you’re looking to soothe nervous tension or calm down after a tough day, a vanilla fragrance can help you do just that and prepare for a restful night of sleep.

jasmine flowers


If you’d prefer a more traditional floral scent, jasmine is an excellent choice when it comes to scents that help you sleep. Jasmine can both boost daytime alertness and reduce restless sleep at night, a one-two combo that can make a big difference for your sleep. If lavender’s efficacy has begun to wear off for you, or you just want to shake things up with a new floral scent, jasmine is a good bet.

Rose and Geranium

We’re listing rose and geranium together because they smell quite similar and have similar effects, even though their flowers don’t resemble each other in looks as much as you might think. These fragrance oils can help reduce stress and anxiety, which in turns helps you sleep better. Some experts also recommend valerian for sleep, but it can smell a bit stinky. If you’re wanting a fragrance oil for sleep, we recommend rose and/or geranium instead.

Sweet Marjoram

If floral isn’t your preferred fragrance family, you can try sweet marjoram instead. While the name sounds like a flower, sweet marjoram is actually an herb that has more of a woody, spicy undertone. It smells a bit like oregano, though less pungent. Sweet marjoram can help you relax at night and make it easier for you to fall asleep. If you find the other scents on this list too sweet, give sweet marjoram a try and see if it helps.

cup chamomile tea


You don’t have to drink chamomile to get its sleep-inducing benefits. Just smelling it can help you feel more relaxed and sleepy. If you’ve only ever used chamomile tea to help you sleep, consider incorporating chamomile into your aromatherapy routine as well. This fragrance oil can help soothe nervous tension, reduce pain and digestive upset and help you chill out before bed. You’ll wonder how you lived (or rather slept) without chamomile fragrance oil.

Now that you know what scents will help you sleep, here are some tips for doing aromatherapy before bed:

  • Light a scented candle in the evening as you begin to wind down. Make sure to extinguish it fully before going to sleep.
  • Run an aroma diffuser before bed. Like the candle, make sure to shut it off and unplug it before going to bed.
  • Set up a reed diffuser in a stable space for 24/7 aromatherapy.
  • Add a few drops to a carrier oil and use it as a massage oil. You can also incorporate it into lotion and use it to moisturize.
  • Draw yourself a warm bath and add a few drops of oil to soothe yourself while you soak.

If you’re one of the many people who struggle with sleep issues, aromatherapy might be able to help. Try one of these six scents that help you sleep to improve the quality and quantity of your shut-eye.