With six kiddos in the house, sleep can be hard to come by sometimes. Fortunately, I’ve found ways to naturally improve sleep quality, including ditching the night lights and using magnesium oil before bed. This relaxing pillow spray is another healthy (and great smelling!) way to promote a good night’s sleep.
So would a simple scent make a difference in your sleep? Good question!
Pillow Spray for Your Sleep Routine
As I’ve searched for answers on sleep over the years … as every parent has I’m sure … I’ve learned a lot about just how essential sleep is for our health. In fact there’s no way to be healthy without good, quality sleep, and enough of it.
It turns out that establishing a solid sleep routine with little cues that it’s time to wind down and get some shut-eye is not just important for babies and kids. Grown-ups need these routines too, whether it be an epsom salt bath, or some self-massage, or just reading a good book.
In the same way, smelling a familiar, relaxing scent every night moments before we hit the pillow can send a strong and comforting signal to our over-wired, over-stimulated brains to prepare for sleep.
Proven Essential Oils for Sleep
Part of the answer is that this pillow spray recipe uses the proven sleep-inducing powers of some great essential oils. I’m sure you’ll recognize some of the players here!
Soothing Ylang Ylang
It may be a little difficult to pronounce, but ylang ylang is a potent relaxer. Its unique scent is frequently used by perfumers (and just so happens to be a featured ingredient in the popular Chanel No. 5!).
Ylang ylang has been used to relieve anxiety and as a sedative for more restful sleep. Even though it has a feminine, floral smell, a 2016 study showed its anti-anxiety benefits were even more pronounced for male mice (interesting!).
Bergamot essential oil, like other oils of the citrus family, has an uplifting scent that helps ease tensions. This oil is versatile since it can be used to both rejuvenate the mood while relaxing the mind. (Bergamot is highly phototoxic … but this is more of a concern in a lotion than in a nighttime pillow spray.)
Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for both its scent and its skin-healing properties. It’s also well known for its ability to relax the mind and improve sleep quality. In one study, sleep-deprived college students inhaled either lavender or a placebo. Those who used lavender slept better and felt more refreshed upon waking up.
A Word on Carriers
Normally when making something with essential oils a carrier oil is used to safely dilute the oils. Honey, glycerin, and even castile soap will also help to disperse essential oils.
Since this spray is meant for fabric, olive oil or honey aren’t really the best options here. This spray uses alcohol to disperse the essential oils. The vodka also evaporates quickly to avoid damaging or staining fabrics.
Relaxing Pillow Spray Recipe
I’ve been using this homemade pillow spray for several weeks, and have noticed that I’m sleeping more deeply and feel more rested upon waking up.
Pillow Spray Ingredients
- 4 drops ylang ylang essential oil
- 12 drops lavender essential oil
- 8 drops bergamot essential oil
- 1/2 tsp vodka
- distilled water
- 2 oz glass spray bottle
Pillow Spray Instructions
- Put the vodka and essential oils into the glass spray bottle and swirl the bottle to combine.
- Fill the bottle with water until almost full, leaving room for the lid. Cap the spray bottle, and shake well to combine.
- To use the spray, lightly mist a pillow a few minutes before bedtime. Be sure to shake the bottle well before each use.
Do you use any scents or essential oils in your sleep routine? What has helped you the most with getting better sleep? I’d love to know!
- “Best of Beauty” 2016 Review, Allure Magazine.
- Nan Zhang, et al. The anxiolytic effect of essential oil of Cananga odorata exposure on mice and determination of its major active constituents. Phytomedicine. Dec 2016, 23(14).
- Lillehei Smith, et al. Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. July 2015, 21(7).
- Shirley Price. Practical Aromatherapy. Thorsons, 2000.