7 Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea

You can use essential oils to ensure you get a good night’s sleep! Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not! Lavender, lemon, chamomile, and so much more! Read on to find out.

Have you been having trouble breathing when you sleep? Does that interrupt your sleep? Do you wake up exhausted because of it? Are you looking for an alternative to allopathy medications that can bring you relief? If yes, essential oils might just be your answer.

Essential oils can help relieve you of symptoms of sleep apnea. They can relieve you of your congested airways and make sure you’re well-rested once you wake up. So, can essential oils help treat sleep apnea? Before we answer that question, let’s talk about sleep apnea, after which we can discuss whether or not essential oils help treat sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where you experience bouts of breathlessness while sleeping. This can often affect your slumber and can worsen over time if it goes untreated. It can cause loud snoring, daytime tiredness, and at times, heart trouble and high blood pressure. 

If one of sleep apnea’s symptoms is snoring, how does one know to differentiate between regular snoring and snoring that might be a cause for concern? 

Snoring happens when the tissues in the back of your throat vibrate and is usually caused due to nose or throat conditions, sleep style, being overweight, being of older age, or using alcohol or other depressants. People who snore due to sleep apnea do so much louder than those with regular snoring; they also tend to pause while they breathe (for over 10 seconds), take shallow breaths, gasp, or choke, and are often very restless.

Can You Use Essential Oils to Treat Sleep Apnea?

Essential oils help relax your brain by aiding the production of dopamine and serotonin, hormones known to elevate mood. These hormones, also known as neurotransmitters, not only make you feel calm and relaxed but can also help you get to bed. Melatonin, a hormone responsible for making you sleepy, is produced with the help of serotonin. 

Essential oils may not help treat sleep apnea directly, but they can help with the symptoms and might be able to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep. This way, you will not wake up exhausted; instead, you will be ready to conquer the day.

Top 7 Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is an essential oil that is distilled from the plant Lavandula angustifolia. It was used by the Egyptians and the Romans for its calming effect. It is also used as a perfume and for cooking purposes.

Lavender essential oil is known to help with disruptions that are often a result of sleep apnea. It also helps people with insomnia [1]. Apply a few drops of this oil on your feet, neck, and chest before you go to bed to avoid disrupted sleep.

Peppermint Oil

The peppermint plant is a cross between the watermint and the spearmint plants. It is widely cultivated in many regions of the world and produces peppermint essential oil. 

If a congested nasal passage triggers your sleep apnea, peppermint oil can help relieve it. Its anti-inflammatory property can reduce inflammation and irritation in the nasal passage. Massage a drop or two of this oil under each nostril before bed, or add it to your humidifier to wake up well-rested.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is a popular oil used worldwide for its antiseptic, repellent, and pharmaceutical properties. It is distilled from the leaf of the eucalyptus plant, which is a part of the Myrtaceae family and is native to Australia. 

The anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus oil will ensure to clear out your nasal passage and your throat, therefore, relieving you of any congestion that might be disrupting your sleep. Before using eucalyptus oil, mix it with a carrier oil. Dab a few drops of this mixture under your nostrils, or use it during steam inhalation.

Chamomile Oil

For ages, the chamomile plant has been used for herbal infusions and traditional medicines. The chamomile essential oil is extracted from the chamomile flower. Apart from being used for its extract, this plant is also used for beverages, mouthwash, soaps, and cosmetics.

Chamomile essential oil aids relaxation and promotes sound sleep. It is also said to treat problems with the central nervous system and can therefore be helpful for individuals who might have central sleep apnea [2]

Geranium Oil

Geranium essential oil is often compared to rose essential oil for its similar therapeutic properties. Geranium essential oil is extracted from the leaves and stems of the perennial shrub, Pelargonium graveolens, commonly known as geranium. This floral essential oil is sweet, long-lasting, potent, and has several beneficial compounds. 

Geranium essential oil is known for its calming effect. It can help relax the body and induce peaceful, undisturbed sleep. Apply a few drops of this oil on your chest, neck, and feet. Always mix it with a carrier oil before using it topically.

Lemon Oil

Lemon essential oil is extracted from the lemon peel because it contains oil-containing cells. Apart from being used for aromatherapy, it is also used for cooking, baking, and making drinks or spice blends.

Lemon essential oil was initially used to stop snoring and was very effective. Since snoring is also a symptom of sleep apnea, lemon essential oil might also help with sleep apnea. You can use this oil in combination with others or as is.

Pine Oil

Pine essential oil, with its woody scent, is derived from pine tree needles. Apart from being used in traditional medications, this oil is also found in various everyday items like floor cleaners, disinfectants, air fresheners, etc.

Pine essential oil can help open up the vessels and support the respiratory system; this is especially beneficial if one might have asthma, sinusitis, bronchitis, etc. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties can ensure that the airways are never congested, resulting in a peaceful, undisturbed sleep.

How to Use Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea?

Essential oils can be used during aromatherapy or can be used topically. If you’re using it topically, ensure to mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba. 

For your aromatherapy, you can

  • Use a diffuser to spread the aroma of your essential oils throughout your room.
  • Add a few drops on a handkerchief or napkin to have them on you at all times.
  • Spritz a few drops on your pillow
  • Add them to your shower

Keep in mind to always consult a professional before incorporating different kinds of medications and treatments into your treatment plan.

Precautions to take while using Essential Oils

Essential Oils are generally safe to use; however, looking at their chemical composition, concentration, and other components before usage is the responsibility of the one using these oils.

You should also keep in mind your age, allergies, and other medications that you might be on before using these oils.

Mentioned below are certain general precautions you might want to take,

  • Always dilute the oil before use unless advised not to by a professional.
  • Conduct a patch test before using these oils to ensure no allergic reaction.
  • Consume these oils orally only when prescribed by a doctor or a professional.

Apart from these general precautions, each essential oil might come with its own set of precautions; always ensure to read up on said oil before usage.


Q: How do you permanently cure sleep apnea?

A: Sleep apnea is often a result of anatomical characteristics, and therefore, to permanently cure this condition, you would require medical intervention. You could get surgery to remove excess tissue from the palate or throat, or you could use a CPAP machine or other oral devices that clear up the airway.

Q: Where do you put essential oils for sleep?

A: Essential oils can be used in a variety of ways. You could use it in your humidifier, add a few drops to your bath, spritz some on your pillow, or get a massage with it; your options are endless. Is there a particular way to use essential oils for sleep? No. You can use any method mentioned above, and you will still reap the same benefits. However, avoid ingesting these oils unless told otherwise by a health professional.

Q: What essential oil helps to breathe?

A: Among many others, peppermint is one of the most effective essential oils for breathing. It helps relax the windpipe muscles and reduces inflammation and irritation of the nasal passage.

Q: What essential oil blend is good for sleep?

A: Pure copaiba, geranium, lavender, eucalyptus, and clary sage essential oils, a blend of these oils can help induce a relaxing sleep. The woody scents and the sweet floral aroma work well together. You can add these to your diffuser or mix them into a natural room spray.

Wrapping Up

Sleep apnea is a condition where your sleep is disrupted. This can often lead to a lethargic start to a day that otherwise might’ve been fuelled with energy if you were well-rested. Although essential oils may not be able to cure you of this condition fully, they still can help ensure that you are well-rested once you’re awake. How, you ask? Well, it can help you relax and induce a relaxing sleep.

Essential oils can help you find relief from some of the sleep apnea symptoms; however, it is still necessary that you get in touch with a doctor regarding this condition since it could require medical attention.

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  1. Lillehei, Angela S, and Linda L Halcon. “A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 20,6 (2014): 441-51.
  2. Adib-Hajbaghery, Mohsen, and Seyedeh Nesa Mousavi. “The effects of chamomile extract on sleep quality among elderly people: A clinical trial.” Complementary therapies in medicine vol. 35 (2017): 109-114.TIT
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