Incense and Sleep – Can Certain Scents Aid Relaxation?

Incense and Sleep Can Certain Scents Aid Relaxation

Scents (or aromas) have been found to trigger specific responses. This includes helping you to relax and sleep well.

Burning incense is a great way to set the mood in your bedroom before you fall asleep. However, you should always remember to extinguish the incense before you go to bed. Long-term exposure to smoke from burning incense can cause health problems including heart and respiratory ailments.


Lavender is a soothing, floral fragrance that may help you relax before bedtime. In one study, lavender odor improved sleep quality in patients with insomnia and lowered their anxiety levels.

Another calming scent is clary sage, which has been shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol in women. It also lowers the heart rate and blood pressure.

You can use incense for sleeping to set the mood for a restful night, but remember that it’s important to extinguish any incense sticks before bedtime. You should also avoid incense that contains formaldehyde and benzene, which are both known to cause cancer when breathed at high levels for extended periods of time.

Try mixing some of these sleepy incense scents to create your own customized blend. Just be sure to use any incense in a safe place where it won’t get knocked over or left unattended. For best results, burn incense for 20 to 30 minutes before you go to bed.


We’ve all heard anecdotal stories about how a cup of hot chamomile tea can help you get to sleep, and the science backs up this old-fashioned comforting practice. The herb’s flowers contain apigenin, which binds to GABA receptors in the brain and induces sedation and sleepiness, according to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

The daisy-like flower also contains a class of compounds called phenolic flavonoids, and chamomile oil extracted from the flowers is rich in these phytochemicals, especially the terpenoids a-bisabolol and its oxide azulenes, according to NCCIH. This makes chamomile a natural antidepressant and stress reducer.

When it comes to herbal sleep aids, chamomile is hard to beat, and it can be taken in the form of tea, supplements or aromatherapy (inhaling the oil vapors). Be sure to talk with your doctor before you begin any new supplement regimen, including herbs. He or she can recommend the right dosage for you.

Clary Sage

Like lavender, clary sage reduces cortisol levels and increases 5-hydroxytryptamine to naturally calm the mind and alleviate stress. This oil is also known for reducing blood pressure and heart rate.

Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) is an herb native to the Mediterranean basin and parts of Northern Africa and Central Asia. Its oil is rich in linalyl acetate, which provides many of its therapeutic effects.

Its oestrogen-like properties, due to the presence of sclareol, are very useful in treating hormonal imbalances, such as amenorrhea, menstrual cramps and hot flashes during menopause. It is also used to treat inflammatory skin conditions and to soothe irritated eyes.

Add 2 drops of clary sage to your pillow or linen before you go to bed, and enjoy the aromatherapy experience. You can also blend it with a few drops of chamomile, Lavender and Frankincense Carterii in a spray bottle with distilled water, to make a sleep mist that can be used on the pillow or linen.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang incense can help ease the mind into a state of relaxation, encouraging sleep. Its pleasing aroma comes from the yellow flowers of this exotic plant and is extracted with steam distillation to produce an essential oil. The oil is highly fragrant and contains compounds such as linalool, which promotes the body’s ability to relax and ease anxiety.

It is used in perfumes and body care products to soothe feelings of anxiety, sadness, and tension. Its aphrodisiac qualities make it a popular choice to enhance romantic feelings between couples.

It is also a great anti-depressant and promotes positive feelings of happiness and optimism. Studies have shown that simply inhaling the fragrance can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, stress levels, and arousal. In addition, it can also increase self-esteem and lower negative emotions such as anger. The sweet, delicate scent of ylang-ylang can be blended with many other scents to create a relaxing and soothing aroma.