Top 10 Best Essential Oils For Sleep Apnea

Best Essential Oils For Sleep Apnea

These Essential Oils For Sleep Apnea Might Give You Some Extra Relief

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder, resulting in short breath pauses, shallow breathing and alternation between deep and light sleep. Such pauses can be for a few seconds or minutes and occur bet 1-100 times per hour. The study has shown that up to 40% of the current population are impacted in a way, with up to half of them requiring remedy. The breath intermissions usually continue all through the night. It disrupts sleep, reduces sleep quality, and may affect your daily routine. Sleep apnea has been found to be the leading cause of daytime sleepiness.

There are two types of sleep apnea: the commonest type is the Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), caused by a blockage in the nasal air passages and relaxed throat muscles. The second is the Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), caused by the inability of the brain to send breathing signals to the respiratory muscles.

It is hard to diagnose Sleep apnea because there are no blood tests for it. Family members are usually the first to notice. The blockage of the air passages usually results in snoring as breathing becomes a forced attempt. The obstructive sleep apnea is usually seen in obese people, but anyone can be affected e.g. children with enlarged tonsils in their throat.

Sleep Apnea can result in high blood pressure, increased chances of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.

Potential Causes of Sleep Apnea

  • Age Factor: Sleep Apnea is found to be a common occurrence in older people, especially those above 40.
  • Gender: Men are twice more likely to have the condition than female. However, overweight in women can make them susceptible too.
  • Family History: People with affected family members are likely to develop sleep Apnea too.
  • Alcohols, sedatives, and tranquilizers: The use of these substances can make the muscles in your throat relax.
  • Obesity: People with excessive weight are more prone to develop sleep apnea. This is because fats can be deposited along the upper airways and may hinder free breathing.
  • Smoking: Smokers are more liable to develop Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Smoke increases the inflammation and fluid retention of the upper airway.
  • Nasal Congestion: Due to anatomical problems or allergies, you may find it hard to breathe through your nose, and this may lead to OSA.
  • Other causes include narcotic pain medications, heart disorders, and stroke.

In severe cases, medical attention may be necessary to determine the extent. In ordinary cases a change in lifestyle, like quitting smoking, alcohol may provide relief in sleep Apnea.

Essential Oils have been proven to help various sleeping disorders like insomnia, snoring, as well as Sleep Apnea. So what are the best essential oils for sleep apnea? Continue reading!

Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea

Peppermint Oil

For Sleep Apnea resulting from the congestion of nasal airways,  peppermint is an excellent Oil to help. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help to clear irritations or inflammation in the lining of the passages.

Usage: You can apply the Peppermint Essential Oil to help sleep Apnea by rubbing a few drops of the oil under your nostrils before going to bed.

You can also apply through a facial steam bath. Put 2-3 drops of the oil in a bowl containing hot water. Then cover your head with a towel and inhale straight from the bowl.

Another method you could try is outing 2-3 drops into a glass of water and gargle before bedtime for 3-4 minutes. You be careful however not to ingest the mixture.

Lavender Oil

The therapeutic properties of Lavender Oil make it desirable in treating many health conditions. It produces a relaxing and soothing effect on sleep and nervous disorders. Lavender Oil can help to reduce breathing disruption while sleeping, and even snoring.

Usage: Before sleeping, rub a few drops of the oil to the bottom of your feet, around your neck and your chest. This will provide relief.

Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme Essential Oil is one with many features like anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-aging, and anti-parasitic. It is known to enhance moods, relief stress and calm the nervous system. Being tired and exhausted can worsen Sleep Apnea, and that is what Thyme prevents. Thyme Essential Oil particularly helps those with Central Sleep Apnea. It has a calming effect on the brain that will help ease your night’s rest.

Usage: You can either choose to use raw or mix with your desired carrier oil in equal proportion. I would suggest, however, that for topical use, dilute. Before going to bed, massage two drops of the oil to the base of your feet. If using with a carrier oil, use 3-5 drops of the mixture.

  • You may also diffuse the oil with a diffuser.

Marjoram Essential Oil

Marjoram oil asides being used for various sleeping and breathing disorders can also be used for Sleep Apnea. It has comforting and sedative properties that can help to induce heavy and sensational sleep. Marjoram Oil calms the nervous system, makes the muscles relax and eases the respiratory system.

Usage: Rub 2-3 drops of the Oil on the bottom of your feet, or around your toes before going to bed. Alternatively, you can use the oil with a diffuser.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil, like  peppermint oil, helps to clear the nasal air passages. The anti-inflammatory properties of the oil help dissolve mucus, and reduce inflammation on the lining of the nostrils and nasal airway, making breathing easy throughout sleep.

Usage: You can either use the oil in its raw form or dilute the oil with a carrier oil if you feel it is too powerful.

Rub 2 drops of the oil around your nose, and at the entrance of the nostrils before sleeping. The method I would recommend is inhaling the steam. For this, you will need a bowl containing warm water, a towel, and 2-3 drops of the Eucalyptus oil. Drop the oil into the water, then put a towel around your head. Bring your face closer to the water and let the steam escaping from the water enter through your mouth and nostrils.

Olive Essential Oil

Olive oil works by moistening muscle tissues right below the palate to clear the airways. When the tissue is moistened, the less it is likely to make contact, and therefore allowing free flow of air.

Usage: Taking 2-3 sips of the Olive oil, especially in the evening can help provide remarkable and fast relief for sleep Apnea and with Essential Oil.

Roman Chamomile Oil

Roman Chamomile oil is famous for relieving muscle pains and aiding sound sleep. It is also used in treating problems related to the central nervous system. I would recommend this especially for Central Sleep Apnea as it will help soothe the nerves and restore calmness.

Valerian Oil

Valerian Oil has a long history of being an excellent sleeping aid and for treating sleep disorders. It can help reduce nervousness and relax the mind and body. The Valerian healing powers are not explicitly known, but a study has shown that it can calm the brain and provide quality night sleep. You can decide either to diffuse the oil or use topically.


The Passionflower is a desirable oil for naturally providing relief from pain. It has a soothing effect that specially helps to calm the nervous system. People with Central Sleep Apnea (a neurological ailment) would find this useful. Its anti-spasmodic properties contribute to soothing the muscles and help you to get a good night rest.

Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium Oil is used as a sleeping aid because it helps to achieve a good and calm sleep.

Before using topically, be sure to dilute the oil with your preferred carrier oil. Rubbing a few drops of the oil on your chest neck or the sole of your feet can provide relief from the disruption that Sleep Apnea causes.

Tips for Safe Essential Oil Usage

  • When using Essential Oils, be careful not to ingest them, especially when gargling.
  • Also, for topical usage, try to dilute the oil with any carrier oil of your choice (coconut, jojoba, olive, or sweet almond oil).
  • Hypertensive patients, pregnant women, or people with allergies should seek doctor’s advice before usage.
  • Before applying, perform a skin patch test.
  • Some Essential oils are not suitable for asthmatic patients, nor people with epilepsy. Try to seek professional advice before using any.


The use of Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea should never be an alternative to seeking medical help. Seek medical experts to ascertain the extent and type of Sleep Apnea. Essential Oils are meant to be a natural, safe and potent remedy. Getting a good night sleep is important for productivity, emotional and physical wellbeing. It is important that you should start treating Sleep Apnea the moment you notice it before it starts to take the toll.

About the author

    Sally Wong

    Sally Wong is a manual therapist for about 15 years now and also a massage specialist. She is actively taking care of her body to stay healthy and in shape by doing Yoga and Tai Chi. She has a lot of knowledge and interest in Essential Oils because of her Oriental background. She learnt many things from her Grandmother. Originally from a small village in South China, now she lives in Vancouver, Canada.

    Patricia - March 29, 2017

    thank you i am highly allergic to meds.. this is very informative to help me

    Click here to add a comment

    Leave a comment: