How To Use Lavender Oil For Sleep

Friday, August 4th 2023 | Article by: Liza Docken

Lavender essential oil, from Lavandula angustifolia, is known in the world of aromatherapy as a panacea. Panacea is defined as “a solution or remedy for all difficulties.” Nothing could be truer of Lavender essential oil than this. While many essential oils offer similar benefits to Lavender, no single oil has the same varied and numerous capabilities as Lavender. One such capability is to help us with sleep, equally so with routine, quality, and longevity.

When it comes to sleep, or lack thereof, we all know the feeling between feeling rested and exhausted and we can often connect the lack of sleep to issues that crop up throughout the day. Irritability, impatience, brain fog, lack of motivation, sadness… the list goes on and on. While Lavender essential oil can help in each of these iterations, its ability to support us before it’s too late is even greater. First, let’s look at sleep routine.

The importance of consistency.

A sleep routine is staying consistent to a schedule when it comes to sleep. As much as we can, for the most optimal sleep and best results from said sleep (because let’s face it, there is such a thing as ‘bad’ sleep), we need to stick to a schedule of consistent bedtime AND waking time. The former is often talked about, the latter, not as much. If we can get to bed within a half hour range every night, and wake within a half hour range every morning, we will find amazing results within a week. And yes, you can get into bed and even fall asleep before you’re supremely exhausted. Believe me, I was shocked the first time I got into bed not yet tired and still managed to fall asleep.

The reason for a consistent bedtime and wake time is because our bodies like a routine, and when we consistently sleep at the same times every night our body recognizes the pattern and is more likely to do the work it needs to do while we sleep. (This is true for those who work 2nd and 3rd shifts as well, no matter what time of day you get your sleep, be consistent.) That’s right, while we sleep is when the body and its internal structures reset, regenerate, and replenish for the next day. We then wake feeling more energetic, more alert, and in a mood that makes our day-to-day activities less of a grind and more tolerable.

How does Lavender support?

Let’s look at how Lavender essential oil supports you in your routine and where to put Lavender for sleep. When establishing a new routine it can be helpful to have a ‘switch’  to let your mind and body know what’s coming next. Lavender essential is a great oil to put into your diffuser when you’re getting close to bedtime. If you do this consistently your mind will recognize the smell and encourage you to get to your end of day routine and into bed. Adding Lavender essential oil to your skincare routine at night is another way to both benefit the skin and relax the body for sleep. Lastly, having the smell of Lavender essential oil by your bed, either on a cotton ball or tissue next to your pillow, will further round out this oil’s support of deep, restorative sleep.

What makes Lavender so effective?

Lavender contains two primary constituents, linalool and linalyl acetate. In his book Contemporary French Aromatherapy, Dominique Baudoux describes Esters, like linalyl acetate, as being calming and sedative with abilities as a neurotropic antispasmodic. This means that it can help support the nervous system and the body’s ability to keep it in balance. The nervous system needs to be balanced and relaxed in order for the mind and body to relax, fall, and stay asleep. Monoterpenols, like linalool, also offer neurotonic support and sedative qualities, both of which further support the body’s ability to get restful, meaningful sleep.


Some simple ways to use Lavender essential oil for sleep

Palm inhalation is one of the quickest and easiest ways to use essential oil. Add a drop of Pranarōm’s Lavender essential oil to your palm and rub the palms together. As the palms rub together, the heat and friction created help to open the oil’s aroma by breaking down the molecules and offering a very rudimentary method of diffusion. Then cup the palms and bring them toward your nose. If it’s comfortable for you, close your eyes and start breathing in deeply through the nose. Let your breaths be easy and slow, not forced or urgent – slowing and softening the breath supports your body’s ability to relax. Take 3-5 breaths in and out through the nose and notice how you feel afterward. This is a great method when you don’t have a diffuser or want a more personal experience.

The skin of the palms is thicker than most other places on the body (aside from the feet) which means the essential oil cannot penetrate the skin as easily or as quickly as it can on other parts of the body. And while essential oils are oils, they are volatile and act a lot like a gas, which means that the oil that can’t penetrate the skin quickly often evaporates.

Diffusion is another great option to help support sleep, I recommend an ultrasonic diffuser. Ultrasonic diffusers work by decreasing the molecules size through ultrasonic movements from the small plate at the bottom of the diffuser. The smaller the molecule the easier the aroma will move with the cool mist and diffuse into the air, giving you the best dispersal in your home or bedroom. If your diffuser has an intermittent function, it will diffuse for shorter periods of time in bursts but last over a longer period, supporting you throughout the night but not overwhelming the system. Another method with diffuser is to set the diffuser and run for an hour before you go to bed, leaving the bedroom infused with Lavender’s calming and supportive scent. * Please note, if you have pets that sleep in the bedroom with you, this second method of diffusing before you get into bed is best for them until you know how they respond to having Lavender diffused in their presence.

Ambient Diffusion is a great option if you don’t have a diffuser or your pets don’t respond well to diffused essential oils. Add 4-5 drops of Pranarōm’s Lavender essential oil to a cotton ball, cotton round, tissue, or handkerchief/bandana. Then place your item of choosing beside your pillow or just inside the pillowcase. This will offer close, personal aroma without affecting others or disturbing pets who don’t like the smell.

Pillow & Linen spray is easy to make and easy to use. Fill an empty spray bottle with ¾ water and ¼ witch hazel or rubbing alcohol. To this, add 30 drops of essential oil per ounce, so it’s best to start with a smaller bottle to see how you like this method. Replace the top and shake well for 30 seconds, then you’re ready to go! Spray on linens and pillows 15-20 min before bed – just before you brush teeth, wash your face, etc. – and you’ll have a relaxing, calming aroma surrounding you as you get into bed and drift off to sleep.

Foot massage with Lavender essential oil offers two benefits: the sedative qualities of Lavender and the relaxation of a foot rub. Using lavender oil on feet for sleep is a quick and easy option. Fill an empty bottle with your favorite Pranarōm Virgin Plant Oil, I like Jojoba for the feet thanks to its nourishing and moisturizing abilities, then add 20-30 drops of Lavender essential oil per ounce of carrier oil, then swirl or shake to disperse the essential oil into the jojoba. Each night when you get into bed, put 5-10 drops into your hands, warm the oils between your palms, and massage into your feet. Give yourself at least a minute to massage each toe, the arch, the heels – every little bit of the foot should be covered. Add a pair of socks if you’d like or wait a moment for the oils to absorb and then get under the covers and drift off to enjoy a restful night’s sleep. To avoid oil on your sheets or the need for socks, you can put a drop of Pranarōm’s Lavender without dilution right on the bottoms of the feet. Directly placing lavender oil on feet is a great way to save time and is wonderful while traveling.

Body massage is another great massage option, you just need a little more oil. I like Jojoba here, too, and find this method to be best where you have a little extra time or have had a particularly difficult day. Give yourself some time to absorb the oils into the skin after the massage or sleep on sheets you’re okay with getting some oil residue on. It’s worth the extra time if you have it!

Bath oil and bath salts support you when an end of the day bath is an option. Warm baths alone can help calm and relax the body. Add a Lavender-infused oil to your bath for added benefits! Using the same formulation as the Foot or Massage oil, add 10-15 drops of the mixture to your bath after the bath is done filling and you’ve gotten into the bath water. Alternatively, you can add 5-10 drops of Lavender essential oil to two cups of Epsom salts, mix well to let the salts fully absorb the essential oil, and add to the bath after you get in. Relax for 20 minutes in your lavender bath water. Combine with the linen & pillow spray for ultimate pampering.

Facial oil with Lavender is an ancillary method of using Lavender for sleep and a primary way to support your skin while you’re at it. People often wonder how to use Lavender oil for face care and here we’re getting the benefits for better skin and sleep quality. Again from his book, Dominique Baudoux describes Lavender’s abilities as both a skin regenerator, thanks to its constituents, and an antiseptic agent. This means that adding Lavender oil to skin care can support clear, clean, healthy skin. Add Pranarōm’s organic Lavender essential oil to your existing serum or moisturizer for quick and easy benefits. You can also dilute 10 drops of Lavender per ounce of Argan Virgin Plant Oil for a simple yet effective DIY facial serum. To use, dampen face with Pranarōm’s organic Lavender hydrosol (or any other variety), warm 4-5 drops of your Argan-Lavender combination in the palms, then press mixture into still-damp facial skin, letting the hands press into all parts of the face for a complete rejuvenation of the skin.

Quality Criteria

Pranarōm’s Lavender Essential Oil offers you quality and consistency without fail. Each batch of Pranarōm’s Lavender is individually tested to be sure it is the correct varietal of Lavender. Other varietals of lavender can be stimulating and invigorating  (Spike Lavender) so you want to be sure you’re getting true Lavender Lavandula angustifolia for the purposes of this article. This batch testing also ensures that the constituent levels are consistent and therapeutic, ensureing every bottle of Lavender essential oil will offer the wonderful benefits we know Lavender to contain. Each oil goes through the rigorous process of both USDA and ECOCERT organic certification as well, offering you a responsibly and sustainably grown and harvested Lavender essential oil.

Blending Suggestions

While Lavender has these many wonderful benefits and uses, you may be wondering other essential oil goes well with Lavender. Sometimes we need aromatic support options when it comes to the most widely-used essential oil on the market. Lavender essential oil pairs well with just about any oil, but for the purposes of a deeper, more restful night’s sleep, I’ve listed some of my favorites that have similar abilities to help relax, calm, and quiet the body and mind for sleep:

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood, Atlas
  • Clary Sage
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Marjoram, Sweet
  • Orange, Sweet
  • Petitgrain
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang Ylang


Shop all our single note essential oils here!

Pranarōm Blends are a wonderful way to get the benefits of Lavender at bedtime without having to blend anything yourself. Trust the team of Pranarōm formulators to provide you with the right oils, in the right quantities, for the best results and your most restful night of sleep.

Sleep Aid offers a blend of  Lavender, Spikenard, Clary Sage, Vetiver, Roman Chamomile, and Sweet Orange which you can diffuse an hour before or at bedtime. Use with a palm inhalation, rub into the soles of your feet at night, or add to a tissue or cotton ball and place by your pillow.

Prana Kids Sleep Diffusion Blend is formulated for safety, gentleness, and efficacy with little ones in mind. Appropriate for those 3 months and up, this blend of Sweet Orange, Petitgrain, Lavandin, Mandarin, Lavender, and Roman Chamomile offers a restful and peaceful environment so your children (and you!) can get your best rest. Diffuse for an hour before bed, briefly at bedtime, or on intermittent setting for an hour at bedtime.

Down Time blends Sweet Orange, Lavender, Cedarwood (Atlas), and Roman Chamomile to help you wind down at the end of a stressful day, especially one involving excessive screen-time. Diffuse in an ultrasonic diffuser at the end of the day or at bedtimes, use for palm inhalation, mix with carrier oil to massage into abdomen or chest, or simply add to a tissue or cotton ball by your pillow. Shop all our Wellness Blends here!

Aromacalm was created to help bring you peace and balance. A unique formulation of Bergamot, Sweet Orange, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, and Fennel, this blend is perfect for the end of a day that felt foreign or difficult to process. Where the day may have caused heavier emotions like anguish or grief, this blend is perfect in the diffuser or in palm inhalation in combination with soft, easy breaths with a focus on the exhalation.

Stress Recovery is a tried-and-true blend of Lavender, Bergamot, Clary Sage, Sweet Marjoram, and Rose Geranium. The name says it all. Stress has a way of preventing our bodies from fully relaxing and releasing at the end of the day. Use this blend in the diffuser, with palm inhalation, on a tissue or cotton ball, or smell right out of the bottle for a middle of the night waking that feels like it might last till morning. Breathe in the aromas, let the experience of the scent be your focus, letting your exhales come slowly and completely. Repeat as necessary.

Ultra Formulas provide a little more support with the inclusion of 150ml of CBD per 10ml roller bottle. These Ultra Formulas come in both Down Time and Stress Recovery. For topical use only, roll these blends onto pulse points, the chest, the neck and shoulders, the abdomen, or the bottoms of the feet for an entourage effect like no other.

Diffusion Blends offer a great way to wind down at the end of the day, starting the relaxation process well before the bedtime hour. Each of these blends includes Lavender essential oil and is intended for use in a diffuser – add 4-5 drops to start in your favorite ultrasonic diffuser. Some of my favorites for relaxation:

  • Aix-en-Provence offers a floral combination of Lavender, Rosewood Leaf, Rose Geranium, Clary Sage, and Ylang Ylang.
  • Avignon combines herbal notes of Lavedner, Sweet Marjoram, Rosemary, Basil, Coriander, Spearmint, and Lemon Verbena.
  • Cannes blends for a coastal, woodsy vibe of Bergamot, Douglas Fir, Cypress, Juniper, Lavender, Clary Sage, and Cistus.
  • Tranquility transports with a whimsical blend of Lime, Atlas Cedarwood, Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, Cinnamon, and Vanilla.

The inspiration is endless when it comes to using Lavender essential oil to support quality, meaningful sleep in your day-to-day life. Try one of these suggestions and let us know how you like it!