Incense For Sleep: Go From Arrgh to Zzz In 5 Scents

Is counting sheep just not cutting it anymore? If the answer is no then this is the article for you!
Whether you are experiencing a lack of sleep, frequent nightmares, unusual sleep patterns, or even too much sleep, it can leave you feeling drained, depressed, and out of touch with your body. Luckily, we have assembled a list of our 5 favourite incense scents for sleep.
Read on to start your new sleep journey...

What Is Incense?

Incense is a popular ancient cleansing tool - it involves burning one or more aromatic substances, usually plant matter, to heal energy. Religious and spiritual practices often feature incense because of its soothing and clarifying qualities. Nowadays, incense is frequently used to enhance meditation, yoga, home cleansing, and reiki practices.

Natural Incense

In ancient times, people didn't have the tools and technology we have today, so they foraged for their own medicinal herbs and resins.
The ancient Egyptians and Grecians then came upon wildly healing properties through the act of burning natural substances, usually petals, flowers, bark, stems, and leaves. They also found that they could extract fragrant oils (essential oils) from plants and fruit; as well as this they discovered aromatic resins sourced from the bark of certain trees.
Essential oils, botanicals, and aromatic resins then became wildly revered by these ancient civilisations and more - though mostly enjoyed for their sacred powers and variety in scent (for example, they would burn them as incense whether to fumigate temples or to deliver messages to their gods) they shortly after became popular ingredients within ancient cosmetics, medicine, and for culinary reasons.
Today burning resins, essential oils, and botanicals together is known as 'natural incense' alongside some other types (for example natural incense sticks and loose incense). This is because, nowadays, chemicals and harmful additives are quite commonly found in most incense types. And we believe incense should be taken back to its ancient and natural roots.
Though natural incense is the less sought-after method of incense burning, we believe it is the most authentic, best-smelling, and most healing type. Natural incense has a variety of different, unique scents, all catering to our Chakra alignment needs and fragrance wants...
Click here to learn more about natural incense.

Incense Sticks

Incense sticks were first founded in 200 CE, in areas of China by the ancient monks. They usually consist of a bamboo base, a combination of charcoal dust, fragrance, and other binding materials.
Incense sticks are a great way to keep things easy and fast, however, they aren't as effective or kind on the body as say natural and loose incense are. Burning incense sticks can be harmless if done on rare occasions, once a week for 30 minutes at the most, and when treated correctly, they emit plumes of powerful, cleansing smoke and rich aroma.

The Best Incense for Sleep: Our Top 5

1. Lavender

Refreshing and relaxing Lavender incense is the perfect remedy for assisting a beautiful night's rest. Its unique, soothing, herbaceous, yet floral aroma, can leave you feeling tranquil, joyful, relaxed, and cosy. It has the magical ability to reduce stress-induced symptoms such as an overactive mind, body tension, irritation, and anxiety, all affecting your sleep quality.
Our sense of smell has a large impact on our autonomic and central nervous system - a recent study suggests that Lavender aromatherapy can be useful for those struggling with depression and insomnia.
Those more susceptible to sleep issues, such as students, people with hereditary sleep problems, children, and people working in high-pressure jobs, may see a huge difference in their quality of sleep when burning Lavender incense.
If Lavender incense isn't enough, try placing the herb itself under your pillow (in a cloth bag) or place a diluted dab of its essential oil onto your wrists. 
Other Benefits:
  • Lavender essential oil and hair loss: Scientists have discovered that diluted Lavender essential oil can help with many different hair issues including hair loss, dandruff, and hair thinning.

  • Antioxidant: The Lavender herb and its oil were traditionally used in medicine, mainly by holistic healing circles. It can help reduce inflammation in the body and recover cell damage.

2. Chamomile

Another great incense and herb for sleep is the calming and sweet-smelling Chamomile. It is a natural soul and body-warming herb, which is why its popularity remains during the colder seasons
Not only is it the cosiest scent round, but Chamomile has natural protective and soothing energy, perfect for assisting ease and comfort during meditations, study, work, relaxation, rest, and worship.
Chamomile was a revered botanical and medicine within ancient China - Thanks to its powerful ability to cleanse the body from negativity, toxins, aches, and pains, its medicinal uses remain prominent today.
The pleasant fragrance of Chamomile incense may also have a positive impact on our central and autonomic nervous system. Because of this, it can help to naturally reduce symptoms coinciding with anxiety and depression, for example, insomnia and tension.
The most common and effective ways to use Chamomile for sleep are: burning it as incense, drinking its herbal tea, and using Chamomile-based cosmetics. All of these help you to absorb Chamomile's healing properties.
Other Benefits:
  • Chamomile essential oil and skin: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce acne and bites, and also heal wounds. It is also naturally purifying so can help to improve the appearance of scars, rashes, and other skin imperfections. However, if using Chamomile essential oil for skin, it is always important to dilute it in a carrier oil, such as Jojoba.

  • Antioxidant: Chamomile has antioxidant properties that can help reduce cold and flu-like symptoms. 

3. Jasmine

Breathing in the fresh, floral, and sweet aroma of natural Jasmine incense can soothe the senses, brighten the spirit, and bring peace and serenity to you and your surrounding environment. It is also great for balancing the Third Eye Chakra, which can positively impact our sleep and encourage more pleasant and creative dreaming.
Jasmine was a medicinal botanical in ancient China, greatly impacting its use as an herbal remedy and aromatherapy oil nowadays. It can reduce symptoms coinciding with anxiety and depression, and naturally heal inflammation, insomnia, and mood swings. Though Jasmine is a powerful relaxer, it can also uplift and energise when needed.
Witches and other spiritual people burnt and still burn Jasmine as incense - it can help to keep unwanted spirits away, improve the energy of a space, and heal inner wounds. They also believe it enhances and purifies dreams, perfect for those struggling with frequent nightmares or lack of REM sleep.
Tip: Try keeping a combination of Jasmine petals and stems in a cloth bag under your pillow - this will aid a beautiful night's rest.
Other Benefits:
  • Anti-bacterial: Jasmine can kill germs and unhealthy bacteria festering. This makes diluted Jasmine essential oil great for cleaning purposes.

  • Jasmine and Sex: Jasmine can open your Heart Chakra to love and passion in all forms. This can attract romance into your life and increase libido.

4. Bergamot

Fresh, citrusy, and lightly spiced Bergamot incense is naturally soothing and perfect for cooling the air during hot summer days. It is also one of our favourite scents for healing sleep irregularities and chronic stress.
Studies suggest Bergamot, whether consumed, applied, or burnt, is great for reducing feelings of anxiety and depression, mostly symptoms coinciding. This can positively affect your overall quality of life by improving memory, restlessness, insomnia, happiness, stress, and concentration.
Many spiritually inclined people burn Bergamot to align the seven Chakras, attract abundance, and keep negativity at bay. It's commonly used in yoga and Pilates sessions for its powerful energising, whilst simultaneously relaxing, abilities.
Bergamot is the perfect ingredient for incense blends. It complements perfectly with scents such as Lavender, Sandalwood, Chamomile, Ginger, and Pine.
Other Benefits:
  • Bergamot essential oil and skin: Bergamot essential oil, when properly diluted, can help with complexion issues such as acne, scarring, and rashes, as well as speed wound recovery and reduce itchiness.

  • Joint pain: Bergamot has antioxidant properties and is known to help reduce joint and muscle aches.

5. Frankincense

Natural Frankincense incense has a fresh, earthly, sweet, peppery, and somewhat balsamic fragrance - this combination of scented notes can keep energy grounded, promote gratitude, and enhance positivity. Frankincense resin is also known to naturally reduce stress, improve insomnia, and decrease consistent nightmares.
Frankincense is a sacred and ancient aromatic resin known for its enticing scent and healing abilities...
The ancient Egyptians burnt Frankincense to deliver messages to their gods; they also burnt Frankincense to fumigate temples, blessing those within its walls. Not only that but the most powerful and sacred people were cleansed with Frankincense incense and oil before mummification. It was seen as a symbol of wealth, power, and protection.
Other Benefits:
  • Oral health: Frankincense resin and its essential oil are commonly used in oral cosmetics for their antibacterial effects. Frankincense can also help reduce pain caused by toothache, mouth ulcers, and infected gums.

  • Anti-Inflammatory: Frankincense is known for its ability to strengthen the immune system and tackle illness thanks to its natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Other Scents for Sleep


Valerian root is wildly popular for reducing insomnia and anxiety. Though it is a brilliant stress and neurological healer, Valerian is often described as having a somewhat unpleasant smell, however, others disagree.


Sage was traditionally burned to cleanse a space of evil spirits and negative energy. But did you know that it can also heal aches and reduce restlessness? Burning Sage before bedtime can purify the air releasing calming and sleep-inducing energy.


This sweet, fragrant wood is not only uplifting and heart-healing but can relieve stress on the central nervous system, thus having a great impact on your quality of sleep. Sandalwood has earthly energy that can leave you feeling grounded and connected to your higher consciousness.

When to Burn Your Sleep Incense

Before Bedtime.

Burning Incense for sleep right before bedtime can help to keep the calm energy circulating as you drift off. We recommend burning your incense in the room you are relaxing in before going to bed, or in the room you are going to sleep in. Make sure to blow it out before going to sleep.

During Meditation.

You may find meditating is a great way to promote a peaceful slumber. If a good night's rest is your goal, we recommend burning your incense whilst meditating and repeating sleep affirmations. The cleansing effects of your incense will enhance your meditation perfectly and are the ideal preparation for a positive and long night's rest.

In the Morning.

Morning time is an important part of your day. Whether you are getting ready for work, or school, running errands, or even just getting through the day, it is always a good idea to start your day with affirmations and intent. Burning incense for sleep in the morning can relax the body and mind instantly, also continuing throughout the day and night time, thus preparing you for a healthy slumber.

When Working or Studying.

Burning incense for sleeping whilst working or studying can ease stress and tension which may benefit you later in the day. It can keep you feeling soothed and relaxed, preparing you for a fresh and beautiful sleep.

The Bottom Line

There are all sorts of amazing scents for improving the quality of sleep, so it was too difficult to pick just 5. From Lavender's herbaceous and cooling fragrance to Jasmine's seductive and vibrant energy, all these wonderful scents also have incredible sleep-enhancing properties and so much more.

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