If you suffer from nightmares, as I unfortunately do, you might be wondering if there are any essential oils that you can use to help you out, as well as which ones you should avoid.
Generally nightmares are caused by acute stress and anxiety. I have chosen oils that really calm the central nervous system, ground you and help you to reach a place of calm. This will ensure that when you lay your head on the pillow, you’re not in a stressful, anxious state with your mind firing all over the place, especially in the negative realm.
Here is my list of essential oils that are awesome.
Essential Oils That Can Help Prevent Nightmares
- Lavender (combats insomnia; potent stress-buster; calms, comforts and stabilizes emotions)
- Sandalwood (powerful grounding oil; helps to address insomnia and stress-related issues; promotes peace and calm)
- Bergamot (powerful stress-buster; known to induce calm happiness while dissolving feelings of anxiety and/or sadness)
- Red Mandarin (calms stress; combats anxiety)
- Rose (helpful with insomnia and stress; softens intense negative emotions; powerful emotional healer, especially with heartbreak and grief)
- Vetiver (provides an “off switch” for the mind; grounding; combats insomnia, stress and mental exhaustion)
- Roman Chamomile (one of the safest, most gentle and most soothing oils for children; sedative and calming; reduces insomnia; subdues anxiety, anger, worry, panic and fear)
You can play around with any combination of these to create a blend that is appealing and works for you. I personally use a blend of sandalwood, rose and vetiver and have found this to be very effective.
Essential Oils to Avoid When Suffering From Nightmares
As a dream inducer, Clary Sage doesn’t specifically lead you down any dream routes, positive or negative — rather, it will create a more vivid image of whatever you’re feeling. So if you’re in a positive place, Clary Sage is great. It can help to induce lucidity, allowing you to just play around in that dream world. However, if you’re having nightmares then it’s just going to magnify them tenfold — and that’s just not what you want at all!
Using Essential Oils to Help Us Reduce The Instance of Nightmares
Twenty minutes before bed, while you’re getting ready, have your favourite blend of the recommended oils going in the diffuser. This will create a calm atmosphere. Just 20 minutes is plenty of time to receive the therapeutic benefits.
In The Bath
Baths are always awesome, especially at reducing stress and anxiety — even without the essential oils, let’s be honest! But essential oils add a double bonus. To help with nightmares, have your bath before bed and take the opportunity to relax fully, in any way you can. Add six drops of essential oils in total to 30 mL (1 oz) Epsom salts or dead sea salts, or to 30 mL (1 oz) carrier oil, and add to your bath water. You could even meditate in the bathtub. Or, read a very calm, comforting book; I personally love Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.
To create your massage oil, blend your essential oils of choice and add six drops total to 30 mL (1 oz) carrier oil such as fractionated coconut (which won't stain your sheets!) or our massage oil blend (which is light, and good for all skin types). Try self massage, or if you can have a loved one gently apply your massage oil blend, even better!
Stress and anxiety are a major cause of nightmares, especially in adults. That being said, there are several other lifestyle changes that we can alter or be mindful of to help reduce those very scary dreams of the night. One in particular that I have noticed to affect my nightmares is food intake — what time you’re eating and which foods. Specifically, eating right before bed is never anyone’s friend. But if you do, watch out especially for cheese or anything that causes indigestion. Foods that are difficult for your body to digest can really upset sleep and induce troubling dreams.
I hope that these tips will help you to have a restful night’s sleep. Pleasant dreams!