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Words By Tara Wagner

Essential Oils For Sleep. How I Turn My Brain Off At The End Of A Long Day

Tara pouring oil into her hand

In this blog, I’m going to show you how to use essential oils for sleep, to help your body and your brain shut down. So if your body is wired, and your mind is racing, and sleep is looking dang sexy right now, let’s get oily.

Watch here or read below.

Essential Oils For Sleep. How I Turn My Brain Off At The End Of A Long Day Click To Tweet

Normally I’m talking about how to use essential oils to hack your psychology and change your mindset or uplevel your beliefs.

But today I specifically want to talk about self-care in the form of sleep.

As entrepreneurs, our brains don’t stop.

24/7, our business is our baby and we’re always:

  • Thinking about it
  • Making plans
  • Analyzing what we’ve done
  • Thinking about what we should have done

We can’t shut our brains off, even though our bodies are completely exhausted and screaming at us sometimes to shut off, or sometimes our bodies are so wired because we’ve been going, going, going, we’re overstimulated, we’ve got all this noise and input coming at us all the time.

Today I’m going to talk to you about how to use the oils, where to apply them, and then at the end of the blog, I’m going to talk to you about my favorite oils, including my number one favorite oil that shuts my brain off like an off switch.

women sitting with Tara in coffee shop sharing oils


The first recommendation is that you get a good diffuser.

I look for ones that have an 8 to 10-hour setting, especially if it’s a cycle, so maybe it will go for 30 seconds and turn off for 30 seconds. Sometimes it’s on five minutes, off five minutes.

This allows you to use that small amount of water over a longer period of time.

If you get one that lasts four hours, you’re probably going to find that when it shuts off, you wake up. Maybe because the white noise has turned off with it (you’re not hearing the water).

But a lot of times also, that oil is no longer cycling through your system in a slow methodic way and so your body starts to wake up again.

Make sure the diffuser is an ultrasonic diffuser, and make sure that the light on the diffuser can turn off when you are diffusing at night for sleep.

The number of drops we’re gonna use is going to vary based on the diffuser and how many drops it calls for, also based on the oils that you’re diffusing.

If you’re using really light oils, I find that those usually don’t last eight to 10 hours. Heavier oils tend to last a lot longer, but also your diffuser may call for a certain number of drops.

What I find with most diffusers is it’s about 6-8 drops on average, but you might have to experiment to just find what’s going to work for you based on the blend that you’re using as well.

I will use the diffuser to give me that steady aroma throughout the night that’s going to help my body to stay calm.

Diffuser recipe called Sleep Tight depicting the recipe: 3 drops each of lavender, geranium, and roman chamomile and 2 drops each of clary sage and ylang ylang essential oils
Diffuser recipe called Let’s Sleep In depicting the recipe: 2 drops whisper, 2 drops lemon, and 1 drop cedarwood essential oils

Sometimes, just to calm the body down in the beginning, I might actually go with a topical use.

In that case, what you would do is use an oil topically either on the bottoms of the feet, or my favorite, I will use it on the back of my neck. This is over the brainstem, and what this is going to do is settle your nervous system.

So if my body’s really wired, I will usually use a topical use of the oil first, and then have the diffuser going to kind of keep me calm and steady.

It will help you fall asleep, but it doesn’t always keep people asleep because your body is going to metabolize the oils generally in about 4-6 hours, depending on the oil that you’re using.

I use this to just help me calm my body down, calm my nervous system down (especially if I’m feeling wired), and then use that diffuser to keep me asleep and keep me calm throughout the night.

You do want to make sure that you are diluting your oils and I have a free dilution guide that you can actually print out that goes through both physical uses and emotional uses and talks about the dilution rates based on age, skin sensitivity, even the size of your bottle, so if you’re not quite clear on dilution rates, make sure you grab that guide here.


The next thing that I love to do is always work in that mind-body connection and a little bit of a mindset piece using an affirmation.

There’s an affirmation by Louise Hay that I absolutely love for sleep.

“I lovingly release the day and slip into peaceful sleep, knowing tomorrow will take care of itself.”

I love this affirmation and I will oftentimes repeat this a few times.

Between the oil calming my nervous system, calming my emotions and my mind, and that affirmation just kind of helping me to focus my mind, but also kind of telling my body like, “Hey, it’s okay to let go,” usually I’m falling asleep within just a couple of minutes.


When you’re using essential oils for sleep, most of the time you’re going to want to use floralstrees, or some roots (those tend to be the favorites.)

Some of those favorites include Serenity, which is specifically designed for sleep, it’s a blend of different floral oils that really helps to relax you.

As well as Balance. Serenity is a little bit sweeter and floral, Balance doesn’t have that sweetness to it, so for people who don’t like the more feminine smells, you would probably really love Balance.

Balance is a grounding blend and I  will use this one more when my body needs to settle, and Serenity I use more when I’m just overtired, or maybe my brain needs to settle, or I just need to calm down and fall asleep.

My favorite diffuser blend right now for sleep that we’re using nonstop is equal parts Balance with Cedarwood. My husband and I both absolutely love this one.

We do 3-4 drops of each in our diffuser and run that all night, and it is … I can’t even describe it. It smells amazing.

But there’s one oil that’s my MAGIC OFF SWITCH, and there’s a very specific way that this oil gets used to help me shut my brain completely down.

It doesn’t matter how much my thoughts are racing. Especially if I combine this one with the affirmation that I just said, holy smokes, so powerful.

Are you guys ready for this?

The oil is Sandalwood.

Sandalwood is considered a very sacred oil and is used a lot in meditation for the same reason that I use it for sleep. It has an amazing ability to just calm your brain, calm your body, allow you to shut things off, allow you to let go.

The way that I will actually use Sandalwood is a little bit different. Instead of putting this on the bottom of my feet, instead of diffusing it, or putting it on the back of my neck, I will actually put this one over my forehead.

The reason for this is that right behind your skull, right behind your forehead, is your prefrontal cortex. Your prefrontal cortex is the part of your brain that is responsible for planning, and for worrying, and for overthinking.

So when your brain is going, going, going at night, it’s happening right there. When I put Sandalwood over my forehead, I can literally feel the gears shifting downwards, and allowing me to calm myself, to rest or yes, even sometimes for things like meditation or prayer. This is a beautiful oil for that.

A Little Bonus Tip For Using Sandalwood:

The compounds in this oil are also great for your skin. I have what I call my WTF LINES on my forehead; this oil is so good for helping smooth out fine lines and wrinkles.

So while you’re helping yourself fall asleep, you’re also doing a little skin care.

Self-care for the win, ladies.

Diffuser recipe called I Wanna Be Sedated depicting the recipe: 6 drops serenity blend, 2 drops frankincense, 2 drops balance blend and 2 drops sandalwood essential oils
Diffuser recipe called Drift Away depicting the recipe: 4 drops sandalwood and 1 drop of rose essential oils

I don’t actually recommend using Lavender for sleep, and the main reason is that it’s so overused.

It’s a great oil for sleep, but your body can actually start to build up a tolerance to things. It’s a good idea to mix things up and not use the same oil over and over again.

Also, because this oil is so popular if you’re getting an off-brand or a cheaper brand, chances are you’re not even getting real Lavender. You’re getting some variation of Lavender.

You might be getting something that is adulterated or contaminated, or just a low quality because as Lavender has gained popularity, more companies are trying to provide it by cutting as many corners as they possibly can.

At the minimum, make sure that you’re getting doTERRA’s lavender, but even then mix it up.

Let’s not overuse Lavender, let’s keep it for when we really need it, or when it works best, but let’s mix it up with other florals and trees so that we’re giving our body the variety that it likes as well.

All right, now you know how to use essential oils for sleep and to help you shut your brain down, but you might be wondering right now, what else does Tara recommend every entrepreneur have on hand? 


Well, I’m glad you asked. I have a free how-to guide that goes through the top 10 essential oil recommendations that I make for female entrepreneurs, based on the emotions and the mindsets that we struggle with while we’re juggling that life and business.

It also includes the affirmations that go along with each oil, as well as information on how to use them and the safest and most effective way possible to help you uplevel your mindset.

It’s called Sniff, Sniff, Affirm, and you can get it by clicking the button below or click here for more details!


Let us all know your favorite essential oils for sleep or any DIY diffuser blends that you really love and recommend.

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*This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links at no additional cost to you. You can read my full disclaimer here.


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Tara Wagner

I’m Tara Wagner, creator of the Breakthrough Boss®. I help small biz owners overcome burnout and create part-time schedules with full-time profits. Not with some new marketing strategy, but with a holistic approach to how you operate.
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