If you’re struggling to get to sleep and need help winding down at the of the day, try scented candles. Candles are pretty relaxing anyway, let’s be honest, but there are certain scents that can help you fall asleep more quickly and get the best night’s sleep possible…
Lighting a candle or two before bed can really help you drift off more quickly if you’re someone who suffers from insomnia. Goes without saying, but make sure you blow the candles out before you fall asleep!
I’ve found some great scents designed to help you doze off, so get settled in and have a browse…
We’ve all heard how great lavender is at helping us get in the mood to sleep – lavender drops on your pillow, lavender-scented eye masks, and soothing lavender oil baths are all pretty popular. If you’ve tried all of these and still can’t sleep, give lavender candles a go.
When I mentioned to friends that I was writing this article, the unanimous response was ‘ooh, have you tried lavender?!’ There’s a reason we all associative lavender with sleeping…
Lavender is great to use if you suffer from anxiety as it’s believed to calm you down and stop your heart (and mind!) from racing. It works to actively slow down the nervous system, making it easier to relax.
This obviously aids sleep, too – as your body relaxes, you feel more as though you can let go and fall into a nice, deep slumber.
This is maybe a weird suggestion as bergamot is often used in the mornings to help refresh you and get you ready for the day, but this actually works really well before bed, too!
It helps you feel refreshed and free of stress, meaning you’re more likely to sleep quickly and for a long time.
Mixing aromas can be really fun and is a great way to experiment with what works best for you – try pairing bergamot with something herby and calming like lavender, or with sandalwood for a warmer, spicier smell.
This is probably one of my favorite scents to use for so many different things! Rose has lots of great properties to it, including helping you sleep. Rose is believed to have sedative effects so should really help you feel nice and dozy before bed.
I find this a lovely, calming scent in general and it’s associated with lots of nice memories, which obviously also helps me sleep.
On a very different note, rose can act as an aphrodisiac – be warned!
I tend to associate fruity scents with helping me wake up and feel energized, but mandarin is a great stress-reliever, too. It has long been used by those suffering from insomnia and is widely cited as a natural alternative to PMS-relief, too. Good news all round!
This is a lovely scent to burn in the home and can be blended with neroli or jasmine to help really set the tone for a night of sleep. On that note, smells like orange and sweet orange can also help you settle in for a night of deep sleep.
Another floral scent, neroli is nice and sweet and works really well as a bedtime partner. It really helps to calm your mind and alleviate any stresses. It’s widely used as an anti-depressant and mood booster which, coupled with its sedative effects, makes it perfect for use before bed.
I won’t lie, I’d never heard of jasmine-scented candles until recently but I am a big fan of jasmine tea so I thought it was worth giving a try! It turns out jasmine is a fantastic sleep aid – it helps relax your body, meaning you can drift off more easily.
This is great for anyone with restless-leg syndrome as your muscles relax before you fall asleep, making it less likely that you have a disturbed sleep full of flailing limbs and twitchy feet.
On the note of tea, chamomile is one of my favorite night-time teas. Coupling this sleepy tea with a chamomile candle could be the perfect way to enjoy a decent night’s sleep. This scent encourages calm and relaxes your body while helping to relieve tension and stress.
This also smells really lovely and light so is great for anyone with a sensitive nose who can’t stand cloyingly-sweet or overly strong aromas.
This is a fairly sweet scent, but don’t be put off – this scent can really help you fall asleep. The main benefit of using sandalwood to aid sleep is that it helps you stay in a pre-REM sleep for longer than you would in your usual cycle. Don’t worry, you still get all the benefits of a good night’s sleep but you also manage to stay asleep longer.
Using a candle helps create a mood of general calm in the room, and inhaling this lovely scent encourages your body to wind down and get ready to sleep.
Warm scents like this are some of my favorites to help me relax, and I love having spicy, woody smells in my flat during the colder months anyway. Luckily, this scent is also great at helping you fall asleep!
It turns out cedar wood is often used to help your nervous system fight anxiety and stress, so if you’re feeling tense and struggling to wind down, light one of these candles and enjoy. This aroma is believed to encourage undisturbed sleep, great for anyone who finds it hard to sleep through the night.
Find Your Own Calm
These scents are all great at promoting calm and encouraging sleep, so play around and see what works best for you. As I said, please burn candles safely and remember to extinguish them before you do drift off!
Try and incorporate scented candles into your bedtime routine – maybe burn them while you have an evening bath, while you enjoy a (decaf!) tea or while you’re reading in bed. Making them part of your routine will only make them more effective in helping you wind down.
If you’re not feeling any of these scents, experiment and buy any scented candles that make you feel relaxed and happy. At the end of the day, any scent that helps you wind down will help you sleep better – if chocolatey aromas make you feel sleepy, go for it!
Just because they’re not believed or proven to aid sleep, absolutely doesn’t mean they can’t help you drift off. Personally, they’d just make me really hungry, but go wild! Maybe keep some Dairy Milk by the bed just in case…
Hi, I’m Lucy and I’m currently traveling around South East Asia with my trusty yoga mat and a constant craving for the ocean. I love finding healthy, eco-friendly ways to improve my well-being, even more of a challenge whilst on the road. When I’m not on the move, I’m writing for SleepHealthEnergy.com, your one-stop shop for everything related to getting a great night’s sleep, enjoying optimum health and having buckets of energy. Follow along on Twitter.