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

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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?

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.

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.

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.

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!