The 5 Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea - How and Why They Work

14th Nov 2020


Essential oils, like crystals, may sound like the latest Hollywood celebrity fad. But in reality, they’ve been around for thousands of years and have been used to treat and heal a variety of conditions.

We’ll be going through some of the best essential oils for sleep apnea in this article. We’ll also discuss how best to use them.

Everyone is different, so what works for your friend/mother/boss/SO may not work for you. That’s why we’ve given you our top five choices - now it’s up to you to choose one and start using it!

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes the sufferer to stop breathing periodically during the night. This can have serious consequences on your health if left untreated!

When you go to sleep at night, you could stop breathing twenty times or even a hundred times. Because of this, your brain and the rest of your body may not be getting enough oxygen.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Waking up with a gasping or choking sensation
  • Snoring loudly
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • Restless sleep
  • Waking up frequently during the night
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches first thing in the morning
  • Daytime fatigue or lack energy throughout the day
  • Memory loss or forgetfulness
  • Changes in your mood
  • Lack of interest in sex

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is an alternative or complementary holistic therapy. It uses natural plant extracts to create oils. These aromatic oils are then used medicinally to enhance the body and mind.

How Can Aromatherapy Help With Sleep Apnea?

If you’re considering using essential oils, it’s important to know how the plant properties interact with the body.

For example, some essential oils, such as peppermint or sweet orange, can help boost your energy and relieve fatigue.

When it comes to sleep apnea, the essential oils that will be helpful are those that perform functions that help the body relax and improve breathing. 


5 Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea 

If you think you may have sleep apnea, it’s always best to consult your doctor! We recommend only trying essential oils if your doctor has given you the go-ahead.

If you’re interested in trying this alternative therapy to improve your sleep apnea, here are our recommendations. 

#1: Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus has been used for centuries to help clear the sinuses and help relieve cold symptoms.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties, and interacts with the mucous membranes to help loosen and reduce mucus.

It’s been used to treat nasal congestion, asthma, bronchitis, as well as disinfecting wounds, and you’ll find it in most chest rubs for colds, like Vicks Vapor rub.

By clearing the sinuses and mucus, it can provide relief to people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea caused by congestion.

#2: Pine

Pine oil has been used to relieve the pain of sore joints and relax stiff muscles.

It also provides relief from bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, colds, and flu. It has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties.

The oil helps to open up the vessels and support the respiratory system, as it contains a substance called pinene. It helps to open up the airways, reduce snoring, and help you breathe easier throughout the night.

#3: Peppermint

Peppermint oil is commonly used to treat a number of conditions, like:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • The common cold

It can also provide relief from itching and pain, as it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Peppermint oil will help clear nasal congestion and soothe the lining of the nasal passages. This allows you to breathe easier, reduces snoring, and helps you to relax so that you get a better night’s sleep.

It will help with the symptoms of mild sleep apnea.

#4: Clove

Clove has a variety of medicinal uses, but it’s most commonly known for relieving toothache. It has antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic properties.

It’s known to help with colds and flu, as it loosens up phlegm in the chest. It will help break up the phlegm when it moves to the back of your throat while you're sleeping at night.

#5: Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang has a reputation of:

  • Reducing high blood pressure
  • Soothing an upset stomach
  • Treating pneumonia, asthma, rheumatism, and gout

It contains linalool which has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties.

It also has a sedative effect. It helps you relax and open the airways, letting you breathe better and reduce snoring. You should find that you get a better night’s sleep and stay asleep throughout the night.


You can also blend different essential oils to create the perfect mix for you.

Research has shown that blending Lemon, Lavender, Thyme and Peppermint together reduces snoring by 82%!

How to Apply Essential Oils

Essential oils are super easy to use. There are a number of ways to get the best out of them, and if one doesn’t work for you, then simply try another method!

The most common ways to use them are:

  • Inhaling them
  • Applying them to your skin

Most people find it easiest to add a few drops to a diffuser and leave it on for the night, inhaling all the goodness as you rest.

You can rub it into your skin, especially around the temples, but it’s a good idea to test a small area of skin first. Try mixing the essential oil with almond oil to help your skin absorb it a bit better.



If you’ve tried everything to improve your sleep apnea, I bet you haven’t tried essential oils! They could be surprisingly effective for you.

The best essential oils for sleep apnea will differ from person to person, but the 5 we’ve covered here are a great starting point.

Take some time and figure out what you like best and what works for you.

Happy sleeping