How to Create a Relaxing Bedtime Routine with Essential Oils to Transform Your Next Day
If you’re constantly hitting your alarm’s snooze button or waking up on the wrong side of the bed, it may have nothing to do with morning; your nighttime routine may be to blame.
The quantity and quality of your sleep can radically affect your health and mood the following day. And poor sleep isn’t just a nuisance; it is now considered a public health problem, contributing to everything from poor work performance to motor vehicle accidents.
Your goal at bedtime should be to shake off any negative remnants from your day and get the most from your night’s rest to start fresh when you awaken, looking and feeling your best.
Read on for some game-changing ways you can use essential oils to reboot your nighttime routine and reap the benefits the next day.
The Best Essential Oils for your Nighttime Routine
To let go of tension at the end of the day and get a good night’s sleep, it’s smart to have a basic set of nighttime essential oils on hand. You can use them solo or combine them in any number of ways, as discussed below. Have fun experimenting with these oils to see which ones are most relaxing for you and put you in the best frame of mind:
- ylang ylang
Uplifting Essential Oil Combinations for a Diffuser
One of the easiest ways to use essential oils is in a diffuser, a little ceramic pot under which you place a tea light to provide warmth and thereby spread the oils’ aroma. The beauty of diffusers is that you can have them in multiple rooms of your home, and you only need to strike a match to start spreading wonderful scents everywhere.
Start your relaxing routing at sundown by getting your diffusers going as soon as you come home from work or finish with your day’s duties.
Essential oil diffusers are ideal for setting the right mood if you enjoy meditating or practicing yoga in the evening. Neither of these activities requires more than a few feet of space and a little quiet, and you can do them every day to start off your nighttime in a restful way.
Try these essential oils to help improve your mood and get rid of any lingering stress about your day:
- ylang ylang: promotes cheerfulness and optimism, helps release anger or frustration
- bergamot: reduces stress
- frankincense: encourages tranquility and helps quell “monkey mind,” that feeling of being overwhelmed with too many thoughts or distractions
- chamomile: decreases anxiety
- sandalwood: provides grounding and a feeling of inner peace
Bath Salts for a Relaxing Release before Bed
In Japan, people typically take a bath as soon as they enter the home at night, to wash off the day’s cares and start their evening with a clean slate, literally and figuratively. Whether you want to try a Japanese-style schedule or wait until bedtime, a bath is a fabulous way to set yourself up for restful slumber.
You can easily make your own relaxing bath salts using essential oils and just a few other ingredients. Try this recipe, and use a scoop for a super soak:
- 1 cup Epsom salts
- ¼ cup sea salt
- ¼ cup baking soda
- about 10 drops of your favorite oil or oil combination
Some ideal combinations include:
Soothing, Scented Shower Bombs
No bathtub? No problem. You can make your own scented shower bombs that release their soothing aroma in a steamy environment:
- Mix together 1 cup of baking soda, ½ cup of cornstarch, and ½ cup of citric acid (available where canning supplies are sold). Citric acid is optional, but it gives the shower bombs a nice fizz.
- Add 90 drops of essential oil (either a single oil or a combination, like those suggested above in the bath salt recipe).
- Spritz the mixture with water from a spray bottle, and keep adding water until the ingredients has the consistency of wet beach sand.
- Press your mixture into silicone molds, like fun shaped ice cube trays or chocolate molds.
- Allow the shower bombs to dry (plan on at least a full day), and pop them out of the trays. Store them in an airtight container, such as a tight-sealing mason jar, and refrigerate them if you want them to last more than a few weeks.
- Toss a bomb in the corner of your shower to do its thing before you go to bed!
Simple Unwinding Foot Scrubs
Your feet take a beating all day long, and if you stand or walk a lot during the day, you can wind up with sore, swollen extremities. Do your tootsies a favor and give them a little extra TLC after a hard day. You can soak your feet in the same salts you make for your bath, or you can apply a foot scrub when washing.
Mix 2 cups of raw sugar or sea salt with a few teaspoons of raw honey and about 5 tablespoons of almond or grapeseed oil. Add 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Cypress oil can help stimulate your lymphatic system to boost your immunity, while rosemary can counteract joint and muscle pain. Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties and blends beautifully with lavender for an all-around stress-reducing scrub.
Moisturizers That Improve Your Mood and Put your Mind to Rest
Don’t forget to pamper your skin with a luxurious moisturizer after you bathe or shower. You can add essential oils to a homemade skin-softening lotion or oil. The same essential oils that de-stress you and elevate your mood can be added to your after-bath lotion.
While lavender and chamomile are a natural go-to team, cedarwood and lavender can lull you into pleasant dreams. Rose essential oil can actually make you feel happier, which is very desirable when you are dropping off to sleep.
Aromatic Bed Linens for Deep Sleep
To further encourage sound sleep, create a spray for your bed linens, with lavender as a base. Lavender has been clinically studied to promote good sleep, and it can help you get rid of pharmaceutical sleep aids that can be addictive and leave you groggy the next day.
Cedarwood and vetiver are ideal companions for lavender essential oil. Cedarwood has the added benefit of repelling insects by causing them to close up their respiratory systems, so if mosquitoes plague you in the night, you can fight back. The same spray can be used in your drawers and closet to keep moths and other pests away and to make your clothing smell amazing.
Fill a spray bottle about two-thirds full with distilled water, and top it off with rubbing alcohol. Add 10 drops of essential oil for every ounce of liquid in your bottle. The alcohol will help keep your essential oils mixed with the water, but it’s a good idea to give the bottle a shake before spritzing. You can give your pillows a spray before you climb into bed and even use your mist when you make your bed in the morning.
Essential Oils for your Sleepy Kids
You can use your linen spray on the kids’ bedding too. If you have little ones who interrupt your sleep by waking you up in the middle of the night, try using essential oils to help them to get their 40 winks too.
Here’s a recipe for lavender-scented play dough that is fun for children and a good stress reliever for grownups as well. You can add vetiver essential oil for additional grounding and calmness.
Mix all of the following ingredients together in a saucepan:
- 1 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
- 1/3 cup salt
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon carrier oil (suggested avocado or coconut oil)
- 20-30 drops lavender and/or vetiver oil
- Warm over low heat, stirring continuously, until the mixture starts to thicken. Then, add a few drops of purple food coloring.
- When the dough is thick enough to gather around the spoon, remove it from the heat, and let it cool on a plate or waxed paper.
- Store in airtight containers. This recipe should make three navel orange-sized balls.
More Tips for a Great Night’s Sleep
Here are a few final tips to help you get a solid night’s sleep:
- Keep your bedroom temperature a little on the cool side to encourage sleep.
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Make sure your bedroom is a sanctuary not a storeroom; eliminate clutter and anything that doesn’t need to be there, so the atmosphere stays serene.
- Eliminate the use of blue-screen devices a few hours before bedtime, or use an app that warms up the screen after sunset. Blue light can interfere with your ideal sleep patterns.
- Don’t consume caffeine after 12:00 noon, and watch your alcohol intake in the evening; while alcoholic beverages can make you sleepy initially, they can interrupt your sleep cycles in the middle of the night.
- Replace soothing essential oils in your shower bomb with peppermint or eucalyptus essential oils if you have difficulty sleeping due to clogged nasal passages or snoring. You can also use a drop or two of peppermint or eucalyptus oil in a neti pot to clear your sinuses. When you breathe easier in bed, you get a better night’s sleep and wake up the next day ready to take on the world.
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this article and picked up some good information in the process!
If you have any questions, comments, or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comments!