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The Top Relaxing Scents for Sleep


The ability to fall asleep faster at night comes from most of your senses.

What you’re hearing can help you nod off or keep you awake. The feel of the sheets on your skin can be soothing or irritating. The light you see may disrupt your sleep, just as darkness might help you find slumber. 

Surrounding yourself with calming smells can play a big role in how quickly you relax enough to fall asleep as well.


Aromatherapy and Sleep

Aromatherapy has been researched enough that scientists believe it has true benefits for sleep and quality of life. It’s also believed to reduce anxiety symptoms

Here’s how experts believe it works: It’s thought that the aroma scents stimulate the nose’s olfactory receptors. From there, messages are sent from the nervous system to the section of the brain that is responsible for emotions. 

Even if the science part doesn’t interest you, the takeaway is that researchers believe that relaxing scents can indeed provide stress relief that helps you sleep. 


The Best Scents for Sleep

While there are many scents that are widely known for their ability to promote relaxation and sleep, there is no one universal scent that will work for everyone. 

While your neighbor may swear by the sleep-inducing properties of lavender, you may be put off by that smell. You may find that a rose scent helps you sleep as soon as your head hits your neck support pillow, but someone else may associate that scent with funeral parlors or elderly ladies. 

You may have to do some trial and error to find scents for sleep that work for you -- and to recognize which scents you don’t like at all. As a starting point, though, here are some scents that most people swear by when it comes to inducing sleep and relaxation. 

  • Jasmine

This floral scent is light, so it may work for you even if you typically find floral scents too strong or overpowering. Jasmine has been found in studies to help with relaxation and sleep

  • Lavender

People consider lavender as one of the best scents for sleep. And it’s no wonder why they love it so much. It has a soothing smell and can cut through the anxiety for many of us faster than any other scent. The oil of lavender is known for its sedative effects.

  • Vanilla

    The scent of vanilla is relaxing for most people, reminding us of baked goods, scented coffees, and all the other goodies we love so much. Its warm and sweet scent is beloved by many. Vanilla is also one of the more calming scents, known to slow things down a bit for your body and mind, even lowering blood pressure and heart rates in some people. 

    • Bergamot

      If you’re into citrus-based scents, you may want to try bergamot. It has a sunny smell to it, with a hint of spice. Some people find it soothing, and others particularly love it when it is mixed with jasmine. 

      • Ylang-Ylang

        This sweet-smelling essential oil comes from a tree native to the Philippines and the Malay peninsula. It’s great for relieving stress and promoting relaxation. 

        • Try Rose or Any Scent You Love

          Rose is another scent some people turn to when they need to curb stress and anxiety so they can improve sleep quality. It’s a classic odor that can remind people of a simpler time in their lives.

          But if the rose isn’t your cup of tea, keep experimenting with scents. You’ll find one that works well for you if you keep searching.


          Ways to Use Scents


          The great thing about incorporating scents for better sleep is that it’s easy to do. There are so many ways to go about it. You can:

          • Add a few drops of your favorite essential oils into your bath water at night. 
          • Apply essential oils diluted with a carrier oil directly to your skin before bed. 
          • Spray a mist of water and essential oil right onto your eucalyptus fiber sheets. Avoid using more than five drops of essential oil for every half cup of water you use. 
          • Use a diffuser to disperse the scent of your favorite essential oil into the air. 

          Always make sure to follow instructions carefully for safe essential oil usage. You should never use undiluted essential oil directly on your skin -- it can cause health issues and temporary irritations. 

          Scents for Sleep May Exceed Your Wildest Dreams

          Even if you’re not a big believer in the power of scents, give them a chance and see if they work for you. At the very least, both you and your bedroom will smell better as you climb between the sheets.