Today is a rainy autumn one, the kind of day that turns the leaves and makes soup sounds extra yummy. It’s my favorite kind of day, although I am also someone who prefers soup year round! As a homebody, I feel it gives me graceful permission to tend to our home more mindfully with care, while trodding a bit slower, and wearing things that are soft and warm. One of the things I enjoy doing on dreary days such as this, is taking stock of my homemade items and making more if need be. Do I need to whip up a batch of bath tub scrub or any other homemade natural cleaning solutions? Laundry cleaner? Wood butter? Deodorant? Or owie balm? When you stock your pantry with quality natural ingredients, you find that it doesn’t take much time or energy to make things at home.
Making products at home not only aligns with zero-waste practices we’ve been trying to implement more at home, it’s also more affordable, more natural, and can be tailored to fit your specific needs and preferences. When it comes to bedtime rituals, there are several homemade products and remedies the five of us use, specifically: a blend of oils to diffuse in our bedrooms, a sleep balm to rub on our necks and back, a warm massage oil, an oatmeal bath powder, and a spray to mist our pillows with when all else fails and we need some serious snoozes. It’s been awhile since I have shared a Natural & Whole post with you, and as we glide into a season that is geared towards rest and restoration, I thought it would be fitting to share several simple recipes you can try at home!
My 5 Favorite Sleep and Relaxation Essential Oils:
- Cedarwood – I prefer to use this only with adults
- *I buy all of our essential oils through Young Living
Each of these oils have their own unique ways of balancing and restoring what each of our bodies need, so if you do not have luck with one, try another. It’s also important to note that in addition to using quality essential oils, there are other variables that can have a tremendous affect on how well we rest at night. I suggest trying to implement the two following suggestions if you or your little one is having a hard time falling asleep or feeling fully rested when you wake:
- Keep a Rhythm: Rhythms are natural and familiar flows our bodies learn to adjust to so that we may find balance and peace. Going to bed at roughly the same time each night, and doing the same order or rituals with you little ones will signal that it is time to start winding down for rest.
- Cool It On the Stimulants: Toss aside anything before bed that revs you up – be it caffeinated tea, the glare of your phone, a high-energy TV show, or bright lights. Turn everything doooown and ease into your evening.
- Store in small, round, tin containers
- 1 tablespoon organic beeswax pellets
- 1 tablespoon organic vitamin E oil
- 1 tablespoon organic olive oil
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops roman chamomile essential oil
- 10 drops vetiver essential oil
To make, melt the beeswax + vitamin e oil + olive oil in a double boiler (or microwave safe pyrex measuring cup). Once melted, add essential oils and stir well before carefully pouring into your metal tins. Set aside to cool overnight. To use, rub gently on your neck, back, wrists before bed. This will make several tins for to store near bedsides, and make for a nice take along when traveling.
Sleepy Time Diffuser Blends:
I like diffusing a combination of the five oils above a half and hour or so in our bedrooms before we actually go to sleep. I change things up quite a bit, but really enjoy a base of lavender. My usual ratio is 6 drops of oil to one full diffuser, and I usually let that run for two hours max. It sends a soft, floral aroma throughout our room and creates a space that makes it easier to fall asleep. We are so used to associating these smells with bedtime, that now when we smell them our brain signals rest is around the corner. Sensory connections are pretty amazing!
This is my new favorite bamboo diffuser.
- 2 oz. glass amber spray bottle
- 1 teaspoon organic witch hazel
- distilled water
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops cedarwood essential oil (for adults) or 10 drops chamomile (for kiddos)
- 10 drops bergamot essentail oil
To make, funnel the witch hazel into your amber bottle, followed by 30 drops of your favorite sleepy essential oils. Fill the rest up with distilled water, screw on the cap, and mist your pillows and sheets before naps and bedtime. This ritual is one the kids enjoy doing themselves.
Relaxing Oatmeal Bath Soak:
- 2 cups finely ground organic oatmeal
- 2 cups epsom salts
- 20 drops of any combination of sleepy essential oils – we frequently use chamomile & lavender
Mix and store the ingredients above in a large glass container. Add one scoop, around a 1/4 cup or so, to warm bathwater before bed. The oatmeal will soothe dry skin, the salts will help detoxify, and the oils will promote a good night’s rest, along with other healthy skin benefits. This mixture should last around a month, depending on how many bath lovers you have at home.
Warm and Calming Massage Oil:
Every now and again the kids will have a night where they just cannot seem to settle down before bed, and jumping on it is a higher priority. On nights like this, Andrew or I will give them an oil massage on their their backs using relaxing essential oils diluted heavily with warm sweet almond. It’s also a nice treat when Andrew does this for me too! 😉 I’ll slowly heat up a 1/4 cup of sweet almond oil in a cup and add 10 drops of any sleepy essential oil above. I usually let the kids smell the oils and then pick out their combination, usually avoiding cedarwood (more suited for adults). This is a very calming ritual that feels especially nice on colder evenings like the ones we are having now, and it’s simple to whip up.
Feel free to share the bedtime rituals you and your family do in the evenings, or sleepy oil combos that you fancy. Are essential oils a part of your rhythm? Do you find that they help calm and relax you as well? Also, I will be making a variety of balms to sell and share with you in several months! I know some prefer to purchase them instead, so I am happy to say that this option will be available for you soon. Sleep tight!
Katie - Such a beautiful post, as usual. I’m sure you’re so tired of getting specific questions on interior design and where you buy items but—the white lamp in your first photo is so nice! Is it vintage? You have such beautiful taste!
admin - Katie, I found that little gem at a thrift store when we were in Iowa visiting family! Such a sweet little lamp – and thank you for your kind words. I love mixing old and new when decorating. Have a beautiful friday! x Amanda
Robin - This sounds amazing! We do foot massages, and my daughter wanted orange. I added ylang ylang and lavender for more of a bedtime feel, and the combo is surprisingly fantastic.
admin - Robin, great idea with ylang ylang! That too is another calming oil and I bet that combo smelled really nice. I might diffuse that today! x Amanda
Stefanie - I have been using Young Living oils for about 4 years now and have never tried another brand of diffusers. How has your NOW diffuser compared to a YL one and do you have any other favorite non-YL diffusers? I would love to get a couple more and the cheaper price is enticing. (Just as a reference I have a home and dewdrop diffuser I currently use and love)
admin - Stefanie, I too am an YL user and stand by their oils 100% but do wish they had more affordable and beautiful diffusers. I think the quality of their diffusers is good, but I also think this one works just as well, if not a little better. It is very similar to the dewdrop which I have as well! I have tried two other brands a long time ago and they did not work well and actually ended up breaking. So disappointing! I stand by this one though. x Amanda
Stefanie - Thank you for the insight! I think I will make it my next diffuser purchase! Your blog has been such a sweet inspiration for me to keep pursuing a slow and intentional life. Thank you for taking the time to share your journey with all of us.
Stephanie - So, so lovely. Thank you.
Chaiss - Hi Amanda,
The ingredients for the pillow mist list one teaspoon of witch hazel, and then in the directions it says one tablespoon. Could you please clarify? I’m new to this & unsure how accurate I need to be! Thanks, so cozy! Xx
admin - Chaiss, thank you for asking for clarification, that was a typo on my part! You’ll want a teaspoon of witch hazel first, then the essential oils, followed by distilled water. x Amanda
Tony Johns - Just stumbled across your blog. Beautifully presented. Awesome info. Thank you.
Shannon - I love essential oils but pretty much stopped using them after I had my first baby 6 weeks ago. I’m just not sure which are safe for babes and haven’t had time to research it. He is a bit of a fussy sleeper and we just started to implement some early bedtime rituals. Would you say the vetiver, chamomile, and lavender are okay to diffuse and use around him?
vanessa - hi Amanda. I am curious as to why you don’t use cedarwood with kids? I am a longtime YL user also and have not heard about it not being safe for children. the one thing I do know is that it can induce nightmares for some. I have been diffusing it with my 7-year old at nighttime, yikes! But now wondering if I shouldn’t.
Anna - Vanessa I’m curious about the same thing! Amanda, can you share why you don’t use cedarwood on children?
Amber - Why do you only use Cedarwood on adults?