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Does lavender oil help you sleep? Here's what an expert has to say

In the name of beauty sleep, it's time to find out once and for all if lavender is an effective solution.

A good night's beauty sleep is one of life's greatest and, let's be honest, rarest gifts: Sometimes falling asleep is hard and you end up repositioning your pillows more than dreaming. When it comes to falling asleep and staying asleep without medication, you’ve probably heard that lavender is the answer to your sleep woes. But does lavender really work when it's time wind down?

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There are so many lavender products out there that claim to help you snooze as soon as you hit your sheets and curl up under your duvet. From lavender body wash to oils and even a lavender-infused mattress topper (yes, it exists), it’s easy to be skeptical about it. Read on to find out what an expert has to say about the age-old question.

Does lavender oil help you sleep?

Good news to all of you lavender essential oils lovers out there. "Lavender oil can help you relax and get to sleep," explains Shelby Harris, a clinical psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders and is the director of sleep health at Sleepolosis. And it's not just strictly in essential oil form. Lavender might also help as an ingredient in a variety of other products, including shower steamers and nighttime pillow sprays.

Lavender oil may also can help with more than just going to sleep. While experts note that more clinical research needs to be done on the topic, multiple studies support the theory that lavender has the potential to improve overall sleep quality in the long-term, including for those with insomnia, depression and anxiety.

Still, it’s important to note that essential oils are not regulated by the FDA, meaning that companies cannot market their lavender oil as medicinal. If you have major concerns when it comes to your sleep health, make an appointment with your doctor.

young black woman sleeping on white pillow under white sheets
Prepare for lavender-filled sweet dreams. (Getty)

How should you use lavender to help you sleep?

If you want to try out lavender oil for sleep, Harris suggests incorporating it before you start tossing and turning. “Use it just before bedtime to help you relax as part of your routine and to improve your chances of falling asleep easily and quickly.”

When it comes to actually using the lavender oil, Harris recommends massaging diluted lavender oil onto your wrists, neck or temples. In fact, applying specific pressure and motion to these three points come from the traditional Chinese therapy method of acupressure, which clinical studies have shown may help with insomnia. It’s basically a double-whammy way to help you fall asleep.

You can also use it with an essential oil diffuser to inhale it for relaxation and a better sleep. Plus, drifting off to sleep with the soft puffs of an essential oil feels so cozy and luxurious.

Amazon shoppers love this affordable lavender essential oil, giving it an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, including 18,500 five-star reviews. Sourced from Bulgaria, France, Greece and Spain and made without any additives, the 100% lavender oil has been GC/MS tested for purity. 

Note that this product and other essential oils are not regulated by the FDA. 

$7 at Amazon

Are there other lavender products that can help you sleep?

If you’re not down with using straight lavender oil or don’t have a diffuser, there are so many other ways you can incorporate lavender into your daily life.

“At the end of the day, it’s what you enjoy most and helps you get to sleep easier and faster, so feel free to experiment with different ways to incorporate lavender into your bedtime routine and see what works best for you,” says Harris.

Now that that’s settled, scroll below to shop some of the best lavender-infused products to add to your routine!

The best lavender-infused products to help you sleep

Vitruvi Stone Ceramic Diffuser

If you're going to use lavender oil to help you sleep, a diffuser is always a good option. This celebrity-favorite diffuser is made with matte ceramic and BPA-free plastic and has an 8-hour run time. There are a ton of different colors, but you should definitely go with the lavender, for obvious reasons. 

$86 at Vitruvi
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$123 at Nordstrom

Infused with lavender oil, all you need to do is plop this steamer at the foot of your shower. Watch it fizzle as it releases potent oils and take deep, calming breaths. 

$30 at Amazon

You've probably heard of the popular Mario Badescu rosewater facial spray, but did you know that there's also a lavender version? Well, you do now. This calming spray is infused with lavender, chamomile and aloe for a quick boost of hydration and an all-around soothing aroma. 

$10 at Amazon
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$10 at Ulta Beauty$14 at Walmart

Soaking in epsom salt is a beloved way to ease sore muscles. Combine it with the relaxing benefits of lavender at the end of the day and, honestly, you might forget the entire concept of stress — at least for a little bit. Amazon shoppers have rated this fan-favorite epsom salt an overall 4.8 out of 5 stars and say that one bag will last you a long time. 

$5 at Amazon
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$5 at Ulta Beauty$6 at Walmart

Voluspa candles are a great buy if you're going for luxury on a budget. This rustic candle features notes of lavender, French cade wood and lemon verbena to help you unwind after a long day. 

$34 at Sephora
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$34 at Nordstrom

This super-sudsy body wash from the popular clean beauty brand By Rosie Jane is packed with antioxidants and cleanses the skin without stripping its natural oils. The calming scent is an essential oil blend of lavender, chamomile, yuzu and neroli. Can you think of a better way to wash away the day? 

$25 at Sephora
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$25 at By Rosie Jane

On top of the lavender body wash, By Rosie Jane has an entire Calm the F*ck Down collection! This limited edition set includes the body wash as well as a body oil and spray liquid deodorant. 

$35 at Sephora
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$35 at By Rosie Jane

Yes, a lavender-infused mattress topper exists. And according to Harris, it might help — emphasis on the might. "A lavender-infused mattress topper helping you get to sleep is very subjective," she explains. "But it could be worth considering after experimenting with other lavender oil products and seeing how it impacts your sleep before deciding if it's a worthwhile investment for you."

If you do decide to try one out, Amazon shoppers rave about this sustainable one. Not only is it infused with a lavender scent, it's ventilated for better airflow and cooling. Even if the lavender scent doesn't do anything for you, one Amazon shopper describes it as "a piece of heaven" in a box.  

$86 at Amazon
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$87 at Wayfair

This award-winning pillow spray is made with a natural aromatherapy blend of lavender, chamomile and vetivert. Just spritz it on to your pillow before getting in bed. 

$30 at Amazon
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$33 at Nordstrom$30 at SkinStore