Do essential oils really help with nightmares? Many people believe that using the scent of flowers or spices can make them more tranquil, relaxed and less tense.
I have a toddler and I am noticing some different types of night time wake-ups and cries. Nightmares are common among children; although they can occur to people at any age.
I’ll show you how to use your essential oils to help banish bad dreams, and improve sleep for your child.
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A nightmare is that weird and horrifying bad dream occurring during the night time hours. It is quite an appalling experience that can wake your child up drenched in sweat, fear, and fatigue.
Symptoms of a nightmare can include:
- Heavy breathing
- Profuse sweating
- Crying and shouting
- Aggressiveness while asleep
- Emotions in our Brains
- Top 7 Essential Oils for Night Terrors
- Sleepytime Essential Oil Blends
- Sleep Essential Oils Recipes
- How to Use Essential Oils for Nightmares
- Final Thoughts
Emotions in our Brains
The limbic system is the part of our brain that deals with emotions, stimulation, and memories. Its main function is to govern emotional reactions and behaviors ². A lot of stress and anxiety originates from previous emotional memories or triggers.
Aromatherapy can help balance your limbic system. For example, through inhaling the scent of essential oils with calming properties, you are helping your brain to act more calmly. In turn, you allow yourself a better state of mind to achieve restful sleep.
Top 7 Essential Oils for Night Terrors
If you’re used to using aromatherapy around your home, you may wish to use essential oils to ward off bad dreams for children. Here are the seven best essential oils carefully selected to combat nightmares and help your child enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with these oils. You’ll find that certain essential oils will please your nose more than others. Find one that you find soothing for your whole body and mind.
IMPORTANT: These oils are all safe for kids to use over 2 years old.
1. Roman Chamomile
Roman Chamomile is a very gentle essential oil suitable for children. Using some drops of natural Chamomile oil can ease the buildup of tensions and exhaustion in your little one. It can help your child to sleep through the night, banish vivid dreams, and addresses other sleep problems.
If your child is experiencing nightmares due to feeling fatigued and anxious, Roman Chamomile would be my first choice of EO.
2. Lavender or Lavandin
Lavandin essential oil is a close cousin to Lavender essential oil, which is well-known for its calming properties. It can help your kids enjoy uninterrupted night sleep. It is also used to reduce cases of insomnia. Being afraid of dreaming or strange dreams returning can be a big factor in not wanting to fall asleep.
Apply 2 drops of the essential oil on a cotton round under their pillows before they go to bed every night. Repeat each day, even if you don’t notice immediate effects. Aromatherapy is a very subtle practice that requires patience and trust.
Another method to use Lavender or Lavandin for better sleeping is by rubbing it at the back of their ears before they drift off to sleep. A lavandin roll-on bottle is easiest for this. My child uses his own roller by now, it’s quite cute to watch!
Blending lavender or lavandin oil with other essential oils is also quite popular. But you may need a diffuser to apply the blend in your children’s room at night.
3. Cedarwood Atlas
Cedarwood Atlas essential oil has soothing and therapeutic properties. It helps to handle anxiety, depression, and improve the quality of sleep. Diffusing the oil in your child’s room at night can help prevent night terrors.
Cedarwood Atlas contains sesquiterpenes. They are an active chemical ingredient that helps to maintain emotional balance 3.
After a nightmarish encounter, massage the bottom of your child’s feet with some drops of Cedarwood oil, blended in Sweet Almond carrier oil, to restore calm and peace to your loved one. Remember to also use gentle words to help calm your child.
4. Frankincense Carterii
Frankincense Carterii has a spicy fragrance with mild camphor and woody scents and can be used for improving sleep. It offers a soothing effect on an individual, especially children. Feelings of fear, insecurity, rejection, and low self-esteem can be handled with frankincense. Most importantly, childhood nightmares can be prevented if you use this oil in your sleep blends.
5. Sweet Marjoram
Sweet marjoram is a kid-safe essential oil that can soothe and invigorate your child’s body and mind due to exhaustion and fatigue. It has a nice herbaceous, garden-fresh, and curative fragrance. Your child will enjoy a sweet sleep if you apply it onto his or her legs before they go to bed at night.
Patchouli essential oil can alleviate emotional tension, anxiety and depression in your child. Massaging this oil onto your child’s body at night before bedtime to address sleep apnea, nightmares, and night terrors.
7. Australian Sandalwood
Australian Sandalwood essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, expectorant, and astringent properties. Most people apply it on their young ones to prevent nightmares. This oil can help in relaxing the whole body’s muscles, soothing mental tension, and ensuring overall health.
The sweet yet woodsy aroma from sandalwood is suitable for calming the mind and maintaining inner peace. Sandalwood is also quite often used during meditation and prayer practice.
Sleepytime Essential Oil Blends
Sometimes, it’s nice not to have to create your own blend for better sleep or to aid with nightmares.
If you prefer a ready-made essential oil blend for your nightmare troubles, here are the ones from Plant Therapy that I can recommend:
- Calming the Child, with Lavender and Roman Chamomile
- Nighty Night, with Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Cedarwood Atlas, Patchouli and Roman Chamomile
Sleep Essential Oils Recipes
If you’re ready to experiment with your own oil blending, you can work towards an aroma that you absolutely love. Further, you can customize it depending on the day or evening, and what you may need in that exact moment.
Further, the benefits of essential oils can stack up when you blend them together. You can address more than one issue or angle at the same time. Start with these 10 essential oils for better sleep.
How to Use Essential Oils for Nightmares
Essential oils are a great natural home remedy that can give your child relief from night terrors and nightmares. There are various uses and applications of aromatherapy to help prevent occurrences of night attacks.
- Put a diffuser in your child’s bedroom: Get rid of nightmarish attacks by putting a diffuser in your child’s room. Try diffusing any of the above listed essential oils of your choice during night times. Aromatherapy is a natural home remedy that can help your young ones overcome nightmares and enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.
- Add 2 – 3 drops of essential oil on a cotton pad: Add about 2 – 3 drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton pad and place it underneath their pillow to help prevent night terrors and nightmares. Many people have used this easy method to give peace of mind to their young ones!
- Make a “Nightmare Be Gone!” room or linen spray: Make a simple room spray and apply it around the room or linens. Prepare this essential oil spray with a combination of oils listed above. A combination of three or more oils is preferred. Combine an equal part of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram and Frankincense if you want to have a classic blend of “Nightmare Be Gone”.
- Apply drops of oil behind your child’s ears: Essential oils can be applied behind the ears of your child to soothe the body, relieve tensions, and induce sleep. Headaches and other sleep conditions known as causes of nightmares can be treated with aromatherapy. Make sure to dilute the essential oil before applying to the skin.
- Use them in the bath: The safest way to add essential oil benefits to a bath is to first dissolve the oils in some Epsom salts. That way, the oil droplets dissolve into the water along with the salt, rather than floating in the hot water on their own. Combine 1 tbsp of epsom salts with 2 drops of essential oils. This is plenty enough for your child’s bath and creates a wonderful aromatic experience. But if bubbles are important, you may wish to opt for this Soothing Sleep Lavender Foaming Bath instead.
So how can you use essential oils for nightmares in kids? The answer isn’t very difficult. Make your child feel better and safer about their night’s rest by peacefully using essential oils during your bedtime routine.
In adults and children alike, stress-related headaches, insomnia, depression and anxiety can lead to nightmares. People who have nightmares experience many negative feelings, including anxiety and fear. To put an end to these feelings, the brain produces chemicals that help it feel better. These chemicals include such things as serotonin, adrenaline and endorphins. By safely inhaling the scent of essential oil, you can achieve better control over these negative emotions that often cause nightmares.
What do you think? Are you using essential oils as part of your evening routine? Please leave a comment below.