Envision a relaxing bedtime scene in your room. The duvet's turned down, the lights are low, and your diffuser is working overtime, most likely emitting the soothing scent of lavender into the air. It's no surprise if your mind immediately goes to that place — as Sara Panton, co-founder of vitruvi tells TZR in an email, "Lavender oil is really known as the epitome of relaxation in the world of essential oils." So it makes sense if it's the first scent you reach for when you need to wind down. But what you might not know is that there are so many other calming essential oil diffuser blends you can try, too — some with lavender, and even some without.
Though if you do want to keep some lavender in your nightly blend, no one would blame you. As Panton explains, it's "one of the most researched essential oils in use with people who experience anxiety and stress" and it's commonly used in sleep products. "The brain loves familiarity and patterns, so beyond the chemical benefits of the scent of lavender essential oil, the common use of lavender to help calm people is also one of the reasons we associate it with time to chill out." With its ability to help decrease feelings of anxiety and stress, it only makes sense to mix equally soothing oils along with it.
However, there are also endless other options when it comes to creating a calming essential oil blend for your diffuser. Hellen Yuan, certified NAHA aromatherapist and founder of HELLEN, a collection of ritual-based modern healing products, recommends essential oils like Roman chamomile for insomnia relief and clary sage to help decrease nervous anxiety, while Panton loves pairing eucalyptus and geranium together in the evenings to promote deep breathing and to provide a calming floral aroma.
Planning to flex your mixology skills and branch out on your own? Just note a few rules of thumb. Both Panton and Yuan recommend staying away from citrus oils when creating a relaxing blend, as well as invigorating oils like peppermint and eucalyptus, as Yuan says "this type of oil stimulates the body rather than calming down the nervous system." That said, as Panton previously noted, eucalyptus is a calming part of her evening routine, so in the end you should choose what works for you — just try testing out some of the more reviving scents in the morning first.
Once you have a few oils in mind, you can start mixing. Yuan says to stick with three to five, and if you have children or pets, make sure to research each oil beforehand to ensure they're safe for your household. Then, in a water vapor diffuser, "You can use 10-15 drops for 30-60 minutes intermittently," she explains, and turn on the diffuser every two hours rather than leaving it on all day.
Panton's final advice on mixing your own blends? "You really can't go too wrong," she says. "I believe experimenting with aroma is such a great practice to have, and to really help check in on what aromas feel bespoke to you and represent how you want your home to feel." Ahead, a few of hers and Yuan's favorite combinations to get you started.
Calming Essential Oil Blend: Lavender & Helichrysum
If you're blending lavender with other essential oils, Yuan says helichrysum is one of her go-tos, as it helps to soothe "anger, anxiety, emotional burnout, and mental unrest." She recommends two additional oils as well, and says you can pair all three together or try on their own with lavender. These options include rosemary for increasing energy, clearing the mind, and restoring psychological balance, along with juniper berry, which can help stimulate motivation, balance fluctuating energy levels, and decrease worry.
Calming Essential Oil Blend: Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, & Patchouli
Looking to avoid lavender? Yuan recommends a mixture of three other oils: Roman chamomile to relieve insomnia, calm an overactive mind, and decrease anger and nervous stress; clary sage, which she describes as "euphoric," and says can lessen irritation and nervous anxiety; and patchouli, a "very relaxing" oil that Yuan says "centers and grounds you while calming and stabilizing mood swings."
Calming Essential Oil Blend: Lavender & Cedarwood
"Cedarwood is a really helpful oil to use to feel more balanced and rooted," explains Panton. "Woodsy oils tend to have that effect." Reap the benefits of this pairing with 10 drops of cedarwood and eight drops of lavender in your diffuser. "Place it in your bedroom with the door closed an hour before going to sleep. When you walk into your room before bed, it will smell like a grounding and calming oasis."
Calming Essential Oil Blend: Eucalyptus & Geranium
For another calming evening scent sans lavender, Panton loves this simple mixture. "Eucalyptus promotes deep breathing and so it is often used in spa environments, and geranium is a very balancing essential oil that has a fresh yet calming floral aroma," she says. "Both are great in a diffuser before bed, and geranium oil can be added to an evening bath with one to five drops to help ease you into bedtime."
Calming Essential Oil Blend: Lavender & Frankincense
"Frankincense is incredibly grounding and calming, which is why it’s an essential part of rest," says Panton. "It has been used for centuries in ceremonies and has a resinous aroma that pairs really well with lavender." To use, the vitruvi co-founder adds 15 drops of each to her diffuser in the evening.
Get to blending with these essential oils, ahead.
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