Best Essential Oils for Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can be a very difficult disorder to live with for both the sufferers and those who happen to live with them. Unfortunately, many people tend to leave this particular disorder unchecked, despite the fact that it has likely disrupted their much-needed sleep countless times. It can be a miserable time, and it can even lead to other problems and disorders, such as depression.

For children, one of the most common ways to cure sleep apnea would be through tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, because the tonsils and the adenoids tend to be the main causes of sleep apnea in children. In adults who have the disorder, however, it’s a different story.

Those who don’t get medical help tend to look for home remedies, such as taking a teaspoon or two of olive oil to keep the airways moist when sleeping. Another particularly effective way of treating sleep apnea on your own is through the use of essential oils. Here are some of the best essential oils for the treatment of this sleep disorder.

Thyme Essential Oil

When it comes to the use of essential oils, they aren’t necessarily used simply to soothe the symptoms. There are certain essential oils out there that instead try to nip the problem in the bud. Thyme essential oil is commonly used by individuals who get stressed or exhausted easily.

It has antibacterial, antifungal, as well as antiparasitic properties, and it is best known for helping to calm an individual. Being exhausted often is one of the key reasons people tend to get sleep apnea, which is why this particular essential oil is so effective.

As if that weren’t enough, the fact that it can calm the nervous system makes it particularly effective for those suffering from central sleep apnea. Compared to obstructive sleep apnea, which is caused by blocked airways, central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not sending the correct signals to keep the body’s breathing steady at night.

Dilute the oil with a carrier oil of your choice, and gently massage about three to four drops on your feet before going to bed.

Eucalyptus Oil

Whereas thyme is used primarily to help calm the nervous system, eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory properties, which means that it is best used for individuals who have obstructive sleep apnea. It helps by dissolving the line of mucus around your nasal passageways, and it will also reduce swelling that may occur during sleep, resulting in an easier time overall.

The best way to apply this essential oil is through steam inhalation. It’s a relatively easy process, involving warm water in a bowl, a towel (wrapped around your head), and the essential oil. Add two to three drops of eucalyptus oil on the warm water, and slowly breathe in the steam that comes out from the bowl.

You can also apply the oil directly to your nose and right under your nostrils, though it’s recommended that you dilute the essential oil before doing so.

Cannabis Essential Oil

For people who suffer from sleep apnea, constant anxiety attacks during the night or simply struggle having undisturbed sleep, cannabis essential oil is a must-try. It induces relaxins in the body, lowers the energy level and slows the heart rate for a long night of restful slumber. But being that cannabis essential oil comes from marijuana, one might worry that they’ll fail a drug test if they choose to use it. If you are concerned, you can always use a blood detox kit to eliminate any trace of CBD or cannabinoid.

Passionflower Oil

This essential is primarily known for acting as a painkiller of sorts, helping to soothe the system. However, when used by those who have a sleep disorder like sleep apnea, it has a similar effect to thyme essential oil: calming the nervous system. This again makes it one of the best essential oils to use by individuals who happen to have central sleep apnea.

As a bonus, it will also help soothe aches and pains, making it even easier to get a good night’s rest. This is normally applied topically, particularly on aching muscles.

Valerian Oil

This essential oil is well-known for helping as a sleeping aid no matter the situation. As a matter of fact, many people swear by the ability of this oil to help get them to sleep when the going gets tough. This makes it a prime candidate for those with sleep apnea as well.


Surprisingly enough, it is not known just how valerian oil is capable of achieving this, but that does not diminish how effective it is, even for those who happen to have sleep apnea. Similar to eucalyptus oil, this can be used through either steam inhalation or by diluting and directly applying on the nose.

Additionally, it may be best for those who suffer from severe sleep apnea to get a pulse oximeter like the mediaid SpO2 sensor, which can monitor possible deprivation of blood oxygen in the body associated with sleep apnea events. Episodes of disrupted breathing that lasts more than five minutes can lead to hypoxemia, which is fatal.

Marjoram Essential Oil

Last but certainly not the least, marjoram essential oil is particularly effective because of its sedative properties. In fact, it’s been known to help treat a host of different breathing and sleeping disorders, and sleep apnea is certainly one of them.

This is one of the best essential oils for general use, because it tends to be equally effective for either obstructive or central sleep apnea. Its properties not only help the respiratory system breathe easier, but they also help the muscles relax and even calm the nervous system as well. Similar to thyme, marjoram oil is applied by rubbing a diluted solution on your feet before going to bed.

Worth a Try

Those with sleep apnea can have a very difficult time if it is left untreated. Fortunately, essential oils come in a variety of choices in order to specifically treat the type of sleep apnea that you have. They’re proven to be an effective way of getting more sleep, and they’re a good means of treatment for sufferers or all ages.