Leaving the Diffuser on While You Sleep? – Read This Before Using Oil Aromatherapy At Night

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can you leave a diffuser on while you sleep

Can You Leave a Diffuser on While You Sleep?

We all know how great essential oils can be for our health and wellbeing.

But did you know that leaving the diffuser on while you sleep could actually be harmful to your health?

In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at why using oil aromatherapy at night isn’t always a good idea.

How to use an aromatherapy diffuser while sleeping?

  1. Start by using essential oils such as lavender, chamomile and frankincense 30 minutes before bed. These are known sleep aids.
  2. Use enough essential oil. For a 100mL diffuser, use 3 to 5 drops of essential oil. If you have a larger diffuser, scale up the amount appropriately. For example, for a 500mL diffuser, use 25 drops of essential oil.
  3. Use an ultrasonic diffuser with a timer. This will help you relax and fall asleep more quicker. The timer will ensure the diffuser shuts off after the length of time you set.
  4. Make sure you fill the water tank or reservoir to capacity.
  5. Place the diffuser not too near your bed.
  6. If you are using a reed diffuser, make sure the reeds are turned so you can enjoy the calming and soothing effects while you sleep.

Can you leave a diffuser on while you sleep?

Yes, you can leave a diffuser on while you sleep, but it is best to choose one with a timer that will automatically shut it off after 2-3 hours. Never leave a ceramic burner with a naked flame unattended for any length of time, including when you’re sleeping. Reed diffusers, pillow sprays, and lava bead diffusers are all good choices.

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Do diffusers help you sleep?

The answer is yes. Diffusing essential oils can be a great way to relax and improve sleep quality. Some essential oils such as lavender, marjoram, and frankincense can be calming and can help you relax and fall asleep more easily.

However, it is not recommended to keep the diffuser on all night, as your body and brain become less responsive during sleep and will not receive the full benefits of the essential oils. The best way to get the most out of your essential oils is to start using them in a diffuser 30 minutes before sleep.

In addition to calming the mind and body, diffused essential oils can also provide physical and mental benefits that can help with catching some ZZZ‘s. Aromatherapy can help reduce anxiety and even assist with bodily pains, all of which can lead to better sleep.

However, there are some cautions to take when using an essential oil diffuser. Be sure to keep the diffuser away from any open flames and be aware of your sensitivities to the oils. Additionally, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use an essential oil diffuser.

Can you sleep with oil diffuser on?

Yes, you can sleep with an oil diffuser on, but it is important to keep a few things in mind. Most oil diffusers have an auto shut off feature so you won’t have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to turn it off. It is important to

  • Ensure that the diffuser is set to turn off automatically after a certain amount of time, such as 2-3 hour, in order to avoid overexposure to the essential oils.
  • Ceramic burners with naked flames should never be left unattended while sleeping, as they can cause fires.
  • Reed diffusers, pillow sprays and lava bead diffusers are all safe to use while sleeping, as long as they are set to turn off after a designated amount of time.

Are diffusers safe in bedroom?

Yes, diffusers are generally safe to use in the bedroom. However, it is important to choose a scent that is not too strong but relaxing and soothing, such as lavender, chamomile, or bergamot. Ultrasonic aroma diffusers are often debated, but some experts believe that long-term exposure to diffusers can be bad for the respiratory system, so those with asthma, allergies or other respiratory concerns should exercise caution.

person holding bottle can you leave a diffuser on while you sleep

How does aromatherapy help with sleep?

Aromatherapy has been shown to have a dramatic impact on relaxation and helps to encourage sound sleep. It relies on our sense of smell to send signals to the limbic system, the part of our brain that houses emotion and memory. This allows us to condition our brain to sleep with a certain kind of scent.

Taking an aromatic bath before bedtime with distilled essential oils, such as lavender, can relax the body and mind and is one way to use aromatherapy for sleep. Making a pillow spray with essential oils can be an effective way to encourage relaxation and rest. All in all, aromatherapy can be an invaluable tool for quieting distracting thoughts and getting some shut-eye.


Studies have shown essential oils to have a positive effect on relaxation and can even reduce fatigue:

Li Z, Wu F, Shao H, Zhang Y, Fan A, Li F. Does the Fragrance of Essential Oils Alleviate the Fatigue Induced by Exercise? A Biochemical Indicator Test in Rats. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:5027372. doi: 10.1155/2017/5027372. Epub 2017 Oct 31. PMID: 29234408; PMCID: PMC5684592.


What essential oils can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser?

Essential oils such as lavender, bergamot, lemon, tea tree, and grapefruit can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser to achieve different therapeutic benefits. These oils can help with sleep, improve indoor air quality, reduce stress, and relieve pain. Other essential oils that may be beneficial include wormwood, pumpkin seed, evening primrose, and tomatoes. Additionally, essential oil blends like lavender and bergamot can be used to help reduce anxiety and post-operative pain and combat insomnia.

Is it safe to use an aromatherapy diffuser overnight?

The answer to this question depends on the individual, as well as the type of diffuser being used. Ultrasonic technology emits sound waves which can reach up to 20,000 hertz and may cause discomfort while sleeping. Additionally, aromatherapy treatments may increase cortisol levels, which can be detrimental to one’s health. Some people may experience adverse reactions to certain scents while sleeping, and long-term exposure to diffusers can be bad for the respiratory system.

On the other hand, proponents of ultrasonic aroma diffusers claim that they are safe when used correctly and can provide a calming effect for sleep.

To ensure safety, it is advised to use a high quality diffuser with all-natural essential oils, and one with an automatic shut-off mechanism.

Are there any negative effects of using an aromatherapy diffuser?

Yes, there are potential risks associated with the use of these devices.

  • Exposure to ultrasonic technology at night can increase cortisol levels, which could lead to health issues such as heart disease and stroke.
  • Some people may experience negative reactions to scents when they’re asleep, such as asthma and allergies, as well as exposure to volatile organic compounds.
  • Long-term exposure to diffusers can be bad for the respiratory system.
  • People with asthma, allergies or other respiratory concerns should exercise caution and consult with their doctor before using one of these devices.

What is the difference between a mist diffuser and a reed diffuser?

The main difference between a mist diffuser and a reed diffuser is the way that the essential oils are dispersed into the air.

  • A mist diffuser uses an ultrasonic technology to create vibrations that break down essential oils and water, which are then misted into the air.
  • A reed diffuser, on the other hand, uses natural reeds to absorb essential oils from a base solution. The reeds then release the aroma into the air.

Mist diffusers are usually more powerful and can fill an entire room with scent. They are also more energy-efficient and can run continuously for up to 4 hours. Reed diffusers, on the other hand, require regular refilling to keep the scent strong. They are also more affordable and require less maintenance.

How long should you use an aromatherapy diffuser?

Most ultrasonic aromatherapy diffusers can last for up to 8 hours before needing to be replaced. If you are simply using the diffuser to provide some humidity in your home, then you can leave it on for as long as the device can take or until you achieve the level of humidity you desire.

For essential oils, however, it is important to limit usage to between 30 and 60 minutes at a time and then turn it off. For smaller areas, like a dorm room or a bathroom, you may leave your diffuser on for 20 minutes and turn it off after an hour.

Overexposure to essential oils can cause allergies and other side effects, so moderation is key.

There are Hypoallergic weighted blankets designed to not trigger allergic reactions, making them a safe and comfortable alternative for individuals with allergies or respiratory problems.

What precautions should be taken when using an aromatherapy diffuser?

When using an aromatherapy diffuser, it is important to take the following precautions:

  1. Research the specific diffuser for safety purposes before purchase.
  2. Exercise caution, especially if you suffer from any respiratory conditions.
  3. Use the diffuser in a well-ventilated area.
  4. Avoid having the diffuser too close to your eyes or mouth.
  5. Replace the coolant cartridge every few weeks to keep the diffuser running smoothly and odorless.
  6. Keep a glass of water nearby in case of any adverse reactions to the scent.
  7. Be conscious of any allergies you may have to essential oils.
  8. Follow safety guidelines and only use intermittent exposure when diffusing essential oils.
  9. If you sleep with the space heater on then you might crack a window open a bit
  10. Consult a health care provider who knows essential oils if in doubt.

What happens if you forget to turn a diffuser off?

If you forget to turn off a diffuser, you may risk overexposure to essential oils, which can lead to headaches, increased heart rate and blood pressure, skin reactions, and irritations. To prevent this, it is important to use a diffuser with an automatic shut-off mechanism.

How close should a diffuser be to your bed?

When using a diffuser in your bedroom, it is recommended to place it some feet away from your bed for the best results. It is best to place the diffuser on an object above the ground, with a flat surface that will not be damaged by water, and will be stable enough to prevent the appliance from falling off. It should also be kept below eye level.

Editor’s note: If you enjoy the noise of a diffuser, you can use it as a white noise machine as well.

Which essential oils should you avoid before sleep?

When looking for an essential oil to help you relax and get to sleep, it’s important to know which oils should be avoided. Essential oils such as

  • citrus-based oils (except bergamot),
  • rosemary,
  • sandalwood
  • Peppermint and lemongrass

have the opposite effect, energizing and refreshing the body and the mind, increase alertness and prevent you from falling asleep.

To ensure a peaceful night’s sleep, it is best to avoid these oils and opt for scents like lavender and bergamot, which are known for their calming properties.

It is also important to note that some essential oils can cause mild side effects such as nausea, headaches, sun sensitivity, and allergic reactions if not used properly. So if you wake up with nausea after a nap it could be because of the oil.

Combining aromatherapy with a weighted blanket

When used together, aromatherapy and sleeping with a weighted blanket can create a powerful relaxation and sleep-promoting environment. The essential oils used in aromatherapy have calming and soothing properties that can help to reduce stress and anxiety. When combined with the deep pressure stimulation provided by a weighted blanket, the result is a deeply relaxing experience that can promote restful sleep.

Research has shown that using a weighted blanket can help to reduce stress and anxiety, lower heart rate, and increase feelings of calmness. The weight of the blanket provides a sensation of constantly being hugged.

For example: To use aromatherapy with a weighted blanket, you can add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to a diffuser in your bedroom before bedtime. As you settle under your weighted blanket, you’ll be enveloped in the calming scent of the oil, creating a soothing atmosphere that can promote restful sleep.

Weighted blankets can become dirty over time, and if you use essential oils with them, the oils may leave a residue on the fabric. You can wash oil dirt from a weighted blanket by pre-treating any stains, using a gentle detergent, washing in cold water, and rinsing thoroughly.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.