Do Essential Oils Give You Weird Dreams?- AAA

by Bella Martinez May 02, 2022

Reed Diffuser with Good Night synergy blend

It’s become a common remark that we get at Edens Garden, “Your essential oils gave me weird dreams.” The first time I heard a customer make this comment, I didn’t think much of it. The second time I thought it was a coincidence, but by the third time, I put my investigative hat on. 

As someone fortunate enough to get a consistent good night’s sleep, using essential oils at bedtime wasn’t commonplace for me. However, when I mentioned this customer feedback to other Edens Garden staff members they voiced that synergy blends like Good Night gave them an unusual, vivid dream as well. 

So I set out to test this strange phenomenon and gain a better understanding of how essential oils affect dreams. Read on to learn more. 

Do Essential Oils Give You Weird Dreams?

Aromatherapy training cultivated in me a desire to learn by being hands-on, and this was something you had to experience to learn about. With that mindset, I grabbed Sleep Ease and Good Night and headed home. 

Here’s how I tested this theory. 

  1. For three days, I wrote down the dreams I had the previous night. Note here that I can typically remember my dreams each night. 
  2. After those three days, I put a few drops of Good Night or Sleep Ease on a cotton ball and placed it inside my pillowcase for three nights. In the morning, I recorded my dreams. 

The result – I had better dream recall and my dreams were much more vivid when I used essential oil than when I didn’t. It was as though my dreams were memories of real events. On the contrary, I couldn’t remember many details about my dreams when I didn’t use essential oils. 

In my opinion, the vivid dreams that Good Night and Sleep Ease gave me enhanced my sleep quality and facilitated a deeper sleep. Despite not having sleep deprivation, I now use these blends occasionally at night for these reasons. 

The Science Behind Aroma And Dreams

Following this experiment, I searched for studies that explained my experience. 

  • According to a study in which volunteers were subjected to the aroma of roses then rotten eggs, it was proven that outward stimuli such as scents can affect dreams. In this study, the volunteers testified to having pleasant dreams when subjected to the aroma of roses, and nightmarish dreams when subjected to the scent of rotten eggs.[1] 
  • In a similar study, researchers found that the aromas presented to sleeping test subjects were at times incorporated into their dreams, though this wasn’t always the case.[2]

Essential Oils' Affect On Dreams

Though dreams can simply be described as images that pass through our minds during REM, they can also be described as the product of REM protein-synthesis.[3] During this stage, a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine (ACh) is in use. Essential oils high in 1,8- cineole like Eucalyptus oil, have been shown to block acetylcholinesterase (AChE) which prevents excessive production of ACh. 

Now let’s put these pieces together. If ACh modulates REM sleep (the stage in which we dream) and essential oils have been shown to block AChE (an enzyme that inactivates ACh), could this be a clue as to how essential oils have the ability to produce vivid dreams? 

It’s interesting to look at the comments on this blog post, where multiple people confessed to having strange, vivid dreams after diffusing or wearing oils of Eucalyptus and Peppermint, both AChE inhibitors.[4] In other words, the next time you inhale essential oils known to inhibit AChE, prepare yourself for the dreams that might ensue. 

Though we wish this was the answer to the mystery surrounding essential oils’ affect on dreams, it’s just a hypothesis. It also doesn’t explain the feedback we’ve received on dozens of other oils like Chamomile- Roman oil, Lavender oil, Clary Sage oil, Rose oil, and Bergamot essential oil provoking strange dreams, as none of these oils have been proven to inhibit AChE. 

As more studies emerge and feedback from aromatherapy users continues, we hope to be able to answer these questions. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. Has using essential oils at night helped with your sleep apnea, insomnia or frequent nightmares? Have you experienced better sleep, sleep disturbance or lucid dreaming with essential oils? Let us know in the comments!


  1. What You Smell As You Sleep Influences Your Dreams.
  2. Olfactory stimuli and their effects on REM dreams.
  3. Do substances like drugs, herbs and foods affect our dreams?
  4. Volatile Terpenes and Brain Function: Investigation of the Cognitive and Mood Effects of Mentha × Piperita L. Essential Oil with In Vitro Properties Relevant to Central Nervous System Function.

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April 5, 2023 at 8:56 am

After using a mixture of frankincense, myrrh, and lavender oils in a carrier of grapeseed oil, I have had 2 nights of very weird dreams and headaches. I am only putting a small amount on my knee and massaging it in for pain control.

Leigh Ann

October 10, 2022 at 11:37 am

COPAIBA! It give our whole family bad dreams… I sleep so heavy with it so instead try to blend it and it has helped! So much to learn…


August 9, 2022 at 8:04 am

I diffuse all day with different types of oils. My husband wears rosemary and lavender on his hair before going to sleep and has no effect to his sleep. He diffuses peppermint and we both sleep so well. Recently I’ve decided to diffuse cedarwood because all of a sudden I have an obsession with cedar wood lol. I can’t get enough of it. I dabbed some on my neck and temples and diffused it with lavender before going to bed. I kept waking up in a panic. I tried it once again and this time my husband told me he kept having the same recurring nightmare. Its so weird!

Rachel Selima

May 9, 2022 at 9:51 am

I’ve often heard a number of people say that Vetiver gives them unusually vivid dreams, or even anxiety induced dreams or nightmares. (For me, I have had no specific effects in any of these regards.)

I find spice oils give me more spiritual/ lucid dreams, musky oils tend to activate more primal/ psychosexual dreams, floral oils more pastoral and scenic visuals in my dreams, citruses activate my physical senses more in dreamland, and fruity /herbal oils tend to calm my dreaming and promote deeper sleep.

Peggy Lester

May 6, 2022 at 8:22 am

I also noticed vivid and weird dreams using both Sleep Ease and Good Night oils. I didn’t actually make the connection till I saw this blog and read it. The dreams only happened on the nights I used the oils.


May 4, 2022 at 4:08 pm

When I have used valerian for sleep it has given me very vivid nightmarish strange dreams to a point I have to be very careful with how much I use. I now use it in a blend with chamomile and lavender and a tiny dab is all I need.


May 4, 2022 at 4:08 pm

My husband has bad back pain and I have to be super careful to put Muscle Relief on his back during the day. If I rub in on him at night before we go to sleep I have terrible nightmares.

Edens Garden

May 4, 2022 at 10:14 am

Hi April! We suggest trying a linalool-rich oil or blend such as Lavender, Sleepy Head blend, Clary Sage or Sound Asleep blend. It may take some experimentation to find the oil that’s right for you 💤

Edens Garden

May 4, 2022 at 10:14 am

Thank you for sharing your experience, Debra! One thing to note is that it’s not recommended that you use an active diffuser throughout the night. This can lead to overexposure and cause side effects like shortness of breath. We recommend diffusing for 30-60 minutes before bedtime or using nightly oils in a passive diffuser 😴


May 4, 2022 at 10:06 am

Some sleep blends give me nightmares. I think I have narrowed it down to vetiver.


May 4, 2022 at 10:06 am

Any suggestions for oils that will calm your dreams? I often have vivid, busy dreams that I wake up tired from. Supplements like melatonin only exacerbate the issue.


May 4, 2022 at 10:06 am

I have vivid dreams and nightmares. When I diffuse Lavendar (4drops) and one drop of peppermint I fall asleep and have pleasant less vivid dreams. When my dreams are very vivid I don’t feel as though I’ve had a good nights sleep and who wants nightmares! Sorry to say it but if your sleeping partner has bad breath then your dreams will most likely be unpleasant. My husband wears a c-pap so I place a large pillow between our heads so I don’t have to breath in his exhaled air. I diffuse the oils in my bathroom. I can’t diffuse near me at night. Seems to give me shortness of breath.

Pete G

April 8, 2022 at 10:43 am

When I use Eucalyptus oil with a warm vaporizer at night for allergies & congestion I always have the best dreams. So vivid and lucid!

Edens Garden

March 21, 2022 at 11:16 am

Hi Ashley! We suggest diffusing sedative oils 30 minutes before bed. This should prevent the oil from affecting dreams too much, as opposed to diffusing throughout the night. If you have more questions, you can reach out to our aromatherapists at:


March 21, 2022 at 10:38 am

I suffer from mental health issues. ( OCD, PTSD, anxiety bipolar) I already have vivid dreams/night terrors. I have tried essential oils at night and it seems to make them worse. Am I using the wrong scents. Lavender. Vetiver, chamomile and sandlewood. I have tried different combinations or just single scents. It is causing my anxiety to be worse the next day. Idk what to do anymore…

Sheila Baillie

January 11, 2022 at 11:25 am

I use Lavender oil on my temples, behind each ear and a dab in between my Breast EVERY night. I do have Dreams and I wake up and remember them so clearly. They are usually about my Younger years and quite often my Parents are in them (they are both passed away). I’m always glad I woke up, but I don’t mind the dreams. What I find strange is that most of the time they involve People who have died.


September 2, 2021 at 8:06 am

I have vivid dreams of humans cohabitating with aliens. Also i have dreams that I have superpowers. I use an essential oil difusser and at first I thought it was my cellphone but this past month ive only been watching tennis on tv. One night i forgot to turn my oil difusser on and had a regular dream. It seems when I turn the oil difusser my dreams are really intense and vivid?!?! Mostly dreams about aliens, like from a star trek movie, or drinking an orange liquid that gives me super powers. I had a dream that I was a werewolf shopping in a store like walmart and in each section of the store was a different alien, stick figure aliens, robotic aliens, aliens with long tongues, aliens that dissapeared and reappeared…etc…They were all working in that store?!?! I had a dream 2 days ago that I could jump and fly for a short period.

Anna Kittelson

March 11, 2021 at 8:42 am

I’ve found and blend that has Cedarwood in it gives me crazy, vivid dreams and at times nightmares. I goofed last night and had put in Earth&Wood in my diffuser before bed. I’m so tired now lol

Edens Garden

September 29, 2020 at 1:20 pm

@Felicia Rose oil can help with recalling dreams. This may be what you are experiencing if you do not normally remember details of your dreams.


September 29, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Rose oil is stirring up weird & bad dreams that I remember upon wakening…I wonder if I am trying to process something spiritually or psychologically 🧐?