7 Best Essential Oils For Nightmares And Recipes For Good Sleep

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Best essential oil for nightmares

Nightmares can be quite common in childhood but there are different reasons that they choose to appear in our adult lives as well.

Sometimes, the reason can be as simple as overconsumption of fatty and greasy food while other times and especially when the nightmares recur, it can be a sign of an emotional turmoil that is expressed through our unconscious mind in the form of nightmares.

In any case, using essential oils for nightmares is a good way to have better control on your emotional wellbeing as well as achieve a better quality more restful sleep. This way, you can deal with some of the effects or causes of nightmares including sleep deprivation and exhaustion related to poor sleep.

Causes Of Nightmares

There are many reasons for nightmares in adults and it is good to know about them prior to forming any plan of action when it comes to dealing with those nightmares.

  • Eating heavy greasy food little time before going to sleep. This increases the metabolism which makes the brain more active and therefore more prone to bad dreams and nightmares. A couple of my worst nightmares in life came as a result of Lucullan feasts with junk food
  • Experts say that sometimes nightmares are a reaction of our mind to everyday stress or a reaction to a form of anxiety or depression that roots to a more complicated health condition such as an unresolved traumatic experience.
  • Different types of stress can negatively affect our mental and emotional wellbeing. Some of the most common ones are those that relate to work overload, our children´s health or household responsibilities. There are also other stress and anxiety factors that are triggered by conditions such as a visit to a doctor, travelling by plane or public speaking in front of a large audience.
  • Stress disorders like PTSD can also be a risk factor for night terrors and nightmares.
  • Addiction to alcohol, caffeine or nicotine and certain medication can have an effect to the brain and whatever affects the brain can affect the quality of your sleep.
  • Extreme fatigue and sleep deprivation can lead to nightmares but it can also work the other way round. Nightmares can lead to poor sleep and exhaustion, a vicious cycle overall.

Can Essential Oils Help With Nightmares?

Essential oils can help you deal with nightmares in different ways:

When inhaled or diffused in the air, essential oil scents affect the limbic system of the brain that controls memory and emotions.

By inhaling essential oils, you can have better control over those stressful emotions that cause nightmares. There are various essential oils that can help you feel more relaxed, calm and grounded.

If you feel that stress, anxiety or depression are the main causes of your nightmares, it is better to inhale certain essential oils that help with these conditions throughout the day and at night, you can also inhale or diffuse essential oils that are good for sleep and relaxation.

Some essential oils are well known for their relaxing, calming and sleep inducing properties. In those cases that nightmares deprive you of adequate and good quality sleep, oils can help you fall asleep easier and enjoy a deeper more restful sleep.

Certain essential oil scents may be linked to positive memories of your past. For example, lavender oil might be connected in your mind to a special person in your life.

So, during periods that you have a restless sleep or nightmares, scents that are personally connected to heart-warming memories can infuse you with feelings of positivity and hope.

Essential oils for bad dreams can not only be used during the day if the underlying reason for the nightmares is stress, or before going to bed in order to induce good sleep.

They can also be used when you wake up from a nightmare in order to remove the focus away from the bad dream so your mind feels lighter and you go back to sleep more easily.

I like to see essential oils as carriers of nature’s wisdom, so I feel that by inhaling essential oils, this primitive type of connection with nature that we all carry within us but modern times have alienated us from is somewhat kept alive.

I also think that the more connected we are to nature, the calmer and more grounded we can be, and this is a feeling that can help us achieve healthier sleep patterns and more pleasant dreams.

Do Essential Oils Make You Dream?

Essential oil for dreaming

This is not an easy question to answer mainly because there is no scientific evidence backing the hypothesis that essential oils can cause dreams. 

Also, the human brain and psyche is very different from one person to another let alone the life conditions that affect the way our brain works daily.

Generally, there have been cases of people who have reported seeing more lucid and sometimes unusual dreams when using essential oils. 

So, is there a connection between essential oils and dreams? Here are two ways that might help us make a safer assumption.

First, we know that inhaling essential oils activates the limbic system which is connected to emotions and memories. So, by activating this part of the brain, we may assume that this brain activation may lead to the formation of dreams.

Second, essential oils can help you get deeper sleep, a state that is often linked to seeing dreams or more vivid dreams.

Can Lavender Essential Oil Cause Vivid Dreams And Nightmares?

As one of the most popular essential oils for relaxation, calmness and promoting good sleep, lavender oil (Lavandulaangustifolia) can relax the mind so you fall into deep sleep. 

Sometimes, deep sleep can lead to vivid dreams but there is no scientific evidence that lavender oil can cause nightmares.

But beware! According to the English Aromatherapist, Nuala Wilkes, there is another side to the coin. If too much lavender oil is used, it can have the exact opposite effect. 

Lavender can become a stimulant, so in this case, less is more! A couple of drops for sleep will be enough.

It is also recommended that when choosing to buy lavender oil for its relaxing and sleep inducing properties you pay close attention to the latin name of the product. Lavender angustifolia is the one that has relaxing properties.

Other types of lavender such as spike lavender (lavandulalatifolia) has stimulating properties and can cause irritability. Also, lavendin (Lavandula x intermedia) is not especially relaxing.

Personally, I am not a big fan of lavender. Although I have experienced the sedative properties of this floral oil, it does not give me the kind of deeper relaxation and calm Frankincense offers.

Best Essential Oils For Nightmares

Here are the top essential oils for nightmares or bad dreams:


Chamomile Roman Essential Oil (Anthemis nobilis)

Chamomile Roman oil is one of my favourite oils in my basic care kit due to its many benefits both to the physical and emotional body.

Due to its high Ester content and other chemical constituents, it is good for calming and soothing the nervous system, so it is one of the best oils for stress and anxiety relief.

This harmonizing essential oil has also been traditionally used as a great natural solution to aid sleep and it is gentle enough to be used for children who have problem sleeping or toddler tantrums.

Whenever I diffuse chamomile roman in the air, I get this feeling of relaxation and inner peace, which follows me all the way to the bed if I use it before sleeping.

In her book, The Fragrant Mind, Valerie Ann Worwood, recommends Chamomile Roman for cases of addiction, aggression, anger, anxiety, nervous and emotional exhaustion, burn-out as well as fear and depression.

If you are suffering from any of the above conditions and you have recurring nightmares, Chamomile Roman may be a good solution.

You can inhale, diffuse or even make a skin rub to use before sleep or any other time. Chamomile Roman oil also has great anti-inflammatory properties, so you get additional benefits if you suffer from topical pain or any inflammatory skin condition.

Chamomile Roman Essential Oil

Plant Therapy

Chamomile Roman Essential Oil