When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Products or services may be offered by an affiliated entity. Learn more.

Best Scents For Sleep – Release Your Stress

Scents for Sleep

How is Smell Associated with Sleep?

Our sense of smell is not directly associated with sleep, but it can influence sleep quality and the process of falling asleep in various ways. Here are a few ways that the sense of smell can be linked to sleep:

  1. Olfactory stimuli: Scents in the environment can affect your sleep, either positively or negatively. For example, pleasant and calming smells like lavender or chamomile can help you relax and fall asleep more easily, while strong or irritating smells may disrupt your sleep or make it more difficult to fall asleep.

  2. Memory and emotion: Our sense of smell is closely linked to memory and emotion. Familiar and comforting smells may help you feel more at ease and promote a sense of relaxation, which can in turn help you fall asleep more easily.

  3. Air quality: Poor air quality, often accompanied by unpleasant odors, can make it difficult to sleep well. Ensuring that your sleeping environment has good air quality and is free from strong or irritating smells can help improve your sleep.

  4. Sleep disorders: Sleep-related breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea, may be associated with a reduced sense of smell. This is because these conditions can lead to inflammation and damage in the nasal passages, which can in turn affect olfactory function.

Overall, while our sense of smell is not directly responsible for sleep, it can play a role in creating a conducive environment for sleep and influence the overall quality of our rest.

Scents during sleep

Best Scents for Sleep

There are several scents that have been shown to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. Here are some of the best scents for sleep:


      1. Lavender: Lavender is a popular scent for promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. It has been shown to improve sleep quality and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.

      1. Chamomile: Chamomile is another scent that is known for its relaxing properties. It can help to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of calmness, making it a great choice for those who struggle with falling asleep.

      1. Vanilla: Vanilla is a warm and comforting scent that can help to reduce stress and promote relaxation. It has been shown to have a calming effect on the nervous system and can help to improve sleep quality.

      1. Sandalwood: Sandalwood is a woody and earthy scent that is known for its grounding and calming properties. It can help to reduce anxiety and promote a sense of relaxation, making it a great choice for those who struggle with sleep.

      1. Ylang-ylang: Ylang-ylang is a sweet and floral scent that can help to reduce stress and anxiety. It has been shown to have a sedative effect on the nervous system, making it a great choice for promoting sleep.


    Scents to Avoid for Sleep

    Scents can have a significant impact on our mood, emotions, and ability to relax. While some scents promote relaxation and improve sleep quality, others can have the opposite effect. Here are some scents you may want to avoid when trying to create a calm, sleep-friendly environment:

    1. Citrus scents: Citrus fragrances like lemon, orange, and grapefruit are known for their energizing and invigorating properties. These scents can make you feel more alert and awake, making it harder to fall asleep.

    2. Peppermint: Peppermint has a refreshing and stimulating scent. While it can help increase focus and mental clarity, it may not be the best choice for promoting relaxation and sleep.

    3. Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus has a strong, invigorating aroma that can help clear nasal passages and improve breathing. However, it can also be too stimulating for sleep, especially if you’re sensitive to strong scents.

    4. Cinnamon: Cinnamon has a warm, spicy scent that can make you feel more alert and invigorated. While it might be enjoyable during the day, it’s not the best option for a calming bedtime scent.

    5. Coffee: The smell of coffee can be both comforting and stimulating. However, since it’s often associated with increased alertness and energy, it’s not the best choice for a relaxing sleep environment.

    6. Heavily scented products: Strongly scented candles, air fresheners, or cleaning products can be overwhelming and may trigger headaches or allergies in some individuals. In general, it’s best to avoid overpowering scents in the bedroom.

    Best Candles for Sleep

    When choosing the best scented candle brands for sleep, consider those that use natural ingredients, such as soy wax or beeswax, and high-quality essential oils for fragrances. Some reputable brands that offer candles designed to promote relaxation and sleep include:

    1. Yankee Candle: Yankee Candle offers a wide variety of fragrances, including those specifically designed for relaxation and sleep. Their “Sleep” series features calming scents like lavender, chamomile, and sandalwood.

    2. Bath & Body Works: Bath & Body Works offers a range of candles with calming scents, such as lavender and eucalyptus, which can help promote a sense of relaxation and sleep.

    3. Voluspa: Voluspa candles are known for their high-quality ingredients, including coconut wax and natural fragrances. They offer several relaxing scents like French lavender, Baltic amber, and Prosecco rose.

    4. NEOM Organics: NEOM Organics specializes in candles made with 100% natural fragrances and a blend of pure essential oils. Their “Tranquillity” range is specifically designed to help promote sleep and relaxation.

    5. Paddywax: Paddywax offers a variety of candles made with soy wax and natural fragrances, including calming scents like lavender and chamomile.

    6. Jo Malone: Jo Malone is known for their luxurious candles made with high-quality ingredients. Their “Lavender & Lovage” and “Peony & Blush Suede” scents are particularly soothing and conducive to relaxation.

    7. This Works: This Works offers a “Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle” made with a blend of pure essential oils, including lavender and chamomile, designed to help you relax and fall asleep more easily.

    roses dreaming

    Scent Diffusers for Sleep

    When selecting a scent diffuser brand for sleep, look for those that use high-quality essential oils and offer calming, sleep-inducing fragrances. Here are some reputable brands that offer diffusers and sleep-friendly scents:

    1. Vitruvi: Vitruvi offers high-quality essential oil diffusers and a range of pure essential oils. Their diffusers have a minimalist design and feature ultrasonic technology, which disperses essential oils without heat.

    2. URPOWER: URPOWER offers a variety of diffusers in different sizes and designs. Their ultrasonic diffusers have adjustable mist settings and feature auto shut-off when the water runs out, ensuring safety while you sleep.

    3. doTERRA: doTERRA is known for its high-quality essential oils and offers a range of diffusers. Their Petal diffuser has a simple design and a relaxing, ambient light that can help create a calming environment.

    4. Young Living: Young Living is another well-known essential oil brand that offers diffusers. Their Desert Mist diffuser has multiple settings, including a sleep mode, and is designed to disperse essential oils evenly for a soothing experience.

    5. AromaTech: AromaTech offers a range of diffusers and high-quality essential oils specifically designed for sleep and relaxation. Their AromaPro diffuser uses cold-air diffusion technology, which ensures the integrity of the essential oils.

    6. Muji: Muji is known for its minimalist design and offers an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser. The diffuser features adjustable settings and a sleep mode, making it a good choice for promoting a restful night’s sleep.

    7. Saje Natural Wellness: Saje offers a range of diffusers and essential oil blends designed to promote relaxation and sleep. Their Aroma Om diffuser has a sleek design and uses ultrasonic technology to disperse essential oils.

    When using a scent diffuser for sleep, it’s essential to choose calming and sleep-promoting essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile, valerian, or a blend specifically designed for relaxation and sleep.

    Can Scents Influence Dreams?

    Scents can indeed influence dreams, although the extent and nature of this influence can vary among individuals. The sense of smell is closely connected to the limbic system, a part of the brain responsible for processing emotions, memories, and motivation. As a result, scents can trigger emotions and memories, both of which play significant roles in dreaming.

    Research on the influence of scents on dreams is limited, but some studies suggest that certain scents can affect the emotional tone and content of dreams. For instance, a study by Schredl, M., Atanasova, D., Hörmann, K., Maurer, J.T., Hummel, T., & Stuck, B.A. (2009) found that smelling pleasant or unpleasant odors during sleep could impact the emotional quality of dreams. In this study, participants were exposed to the scents of roses (pleasant) or rotten eggs (unpleasant) during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. The researchers found that exposure to pleasant scents resulted in more positively toned dreams, whereas exposure to unpleasant scents led to more negatively toned dreams.

    However, it is important to note that the influence of scents on dreams may not be uniform across individuals, as factors such as personal associations, memories, and experiences can also shape how a person perceives and reacts to a specific scent. Additionally, more research is needed to better understand the relationship between scents and dreams and to determine the extent to which scents can consistently influence dream content and emotions.

    Reference: Schredl, M., Atanasova, D., Hörmann, K., Maurer, J.T., Hummel, T., & Stuck, B.A. (2009). Information processing during sleep: The effect of olfactory stimuli on dream content and dream emotions. Journal of Sleep Research, 18(3), 285-290.


    Further Reading About Scents and Sleep

    While there isn’t an extensive body of literature specifically focused on scents for sleep, there are several books and research articles that explore the relationship between scents, essential oils, and overall well-being, which includes sleep and relaxation. Here are a few books and research articles you may find useful:


    1. “The Healing Power of Essential Oils” by Eric Zielinski: This book provides an in-depth exploration of essential oils and their therapeutic benefits, including their use in promoting sleep and relaxation.

    2. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy” by Valerie Ann Worwood: This comprehensive guide covers the use of essential oils for various health concerns, including sleep disorders and stress reduction.

    3. “Aromatherapy for Sleep: The Oil Lady’s Guide” by Katherine Graf: This book focuses specifically on using essential oils and aromatherapy to improve sleep quality and manage sleep disorders.

    Research Articles:

    1. Lillehei, Angela Smith, and Linda Halcón. “A Systematic Review of the Effect of Inhaled Essential Oils on Sleep.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 20.6 (2014): 441-451. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4262447/) This systematic review examines the effects of inhaled essential oils on sleep quality and quantity in both healthy individuals and those with sleep disorders.

    2. Koulivand, Peir Hossein, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri, and Ali Gorji. “Lavender and the Nervous System.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013 (2013). (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/) This review article discusses the effects of lavender essential oil on the nervous system and its potential benefits for sleep, anxiety, and other neurological disorders.

    3. Goel, Namni, et al. “An Olfactory Stimulus Modifies Nighttime Sleep in Young Men and Women.” Chronobiology International 22.5 (2005): 889-904. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16298774/) This study investigates the impact of an olfactory stimulus (lavender essential oil) on nighttime sleep quality in young men and women.

    These books and research articles provide insights into the role of scents and essential oils in promoting sleep and overall well-being. Further research is needed to better understand the specific effects of various scents on sleep quality and to identify the best practices for using scents to improve sleep.


    Leave a Comment

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Have Questions?

    Text us at 858-232-5760 for assistance. We’re happy to help!

    Mattress Reviews and Guides