10 Best Incense Scents To Help You Sleep

Establishing a good bedtime routine is essential for achieving a restful night of sleep. Incense can play a role in this. The right scent can help to soothe the mind and banish stressful thoughts, so we can sleep better for longer.

10 Best Incense Scents To Help You Sleep

It is important to consider safety when using incense before bed. Make sure to extinguish any burning before falling asleep, as incense sticks and cones can be a safety hazard — definitely not compatible with a good night’s sleep!

The right scent can help you to relax and rewind, transporting you away from your cares and into a deep slumber. In this guide, we’ve explored 10 of the best incense scents to help you sleep, and when to use them.

10 Best Incense Scents To Help You Sleep


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The serene scent of lavender is perfect for lulling you into a deep sleep. Gently floral, lavender is a tranquil scent that helps to calm the body and deepen the breath, so we can slip into a restful slumber with greater ease.

There are many ways to incorporate the scent of lavender into your sleeping routine. Lavender pillow sprays and room sprays help surround you with the scent, while bags of dried lavender can be placed beneath the pillow.

Try lighting a lavender incense stick or cone as you complete your nighttime routine. The scent will slowly infuse the room, enveloping you and helping your body reach a state of calm.

You could try doubling up on the lavender for a more potent effect by enjoying a cup of lavender tea while you burn your incense stick.


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Take a deep breath of rose and you’ll understand why we recommend this scent for sleep. This natural scent brings to mind wandering through a blooming garden on a warm summer’s evening.

You'll begin to feel the tension leave your body, your stress levels lower, and your brain prepare for a night of sleep. Rose is known to reduce both anxiety and stress — two things that will often keep us up at night.

Rose is a very familiar scent, which is another reason it’s so good before bed. As the scent of rose fills your room, you’ll feel as though you’re being wrapped up in a comforting blanket.

As well as burning incense before going to sleep, you can enhance the effects of rose with a bouquet of flowering roses on your bedside table. The scent will help you sleep, and their beautiful blooms will add joy to your mornings.


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Jasmine is a scent with a lot of balance to it. The top notes have a floral sweetness that’s gently delicate. But the undertones are deep and rich with musk, creating a contrasting scent that some would describe as intoxicating.

This might not seem like the perfect solution for sleeping, but jasmine is a highly comforting scent. The combination of both masculine and feminine can help to calm the nervous system, lowering levels of anxiety to help you fall into a night of better sleep.

Jasmine incense sticks can have quite a powerful aroma, so be careful when you use them. Try burning them during the day first, to help you understand the level of the scent. If it’s particularly strong, consider burning jasmine an hour or so before bedtime.

You’ll still enjoy the relaxing properties, and there won’t be an overpowering fragrance to keep you awake!


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We all know the benefits of using sage to help clear a space of negative energies. But sage can also be used to help you fall asleep. Clary sage is particularly good for this.

White sage can work, but it tends to impart feelings of rejuvenation, which isn’t always right for bedtime. Clary sage can help to banish bad thoughts and negative energies before bed.

If you tend to toss and turn as worries overwhelm you, clary sage can help you achieve a clear headspace before sleeping. It can be a little tricky to find clary sage incense sticks for sale, but you can make your own with essential oils (to find out more about the difference between sage and incense, read here).

Try keeping a bottle of clary sage essential oil near your bed. If you wake up in the night with anxiety, you can dab a few drops of the fragrance onto the pillow, to help you sleep.


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The scent of sandalwood is a combination of cream and earthiness, a soft aroma that will make you feel warm and comfortable. It’s known as a relaxant, helping to lower levels of anxiety and calm the nervous system.

Burning sandalwood incense before going to bed can help you find better rest. The woodsy scent of sandalwood can also help to banish negative energies.

If stress often prevents you from falling asleep, sandalwood can help clear away the problems that plague a restless mind.

After a long and stressful day, the scent of sandalwood can focus the mind on better things, removing the upsetting thoughts that might prevent you from sleeping. You can feel the negative energies being cleared as you take in the aroma of sandalwood.


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Of course, we can’t discuss relaxing scents without mentioning chamomile. A mug of chamomile tea has long been a go-to sleep aid for many of us, as it helps the body achieve a relaxing slumber.

Chamomile has a fresh and light herbal scent, with a touch of floral top notes. It’s a very familiar scent, one that isn’t overwhelming but that plays gently in the air. If you can be sensitive to fragrance, dreamy chamomile is a good choice for burning before bed.

As with lavender, you can try doubling up on your chamomile with a cup of chamomile tea while you burn chamomile incense sticks. Chamomile tea is known for its ability to soothe the nervous system and the gut, removing the tension from your body.


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The aroma of frankincense can help to ease both the body and the mind, making it a wonderful choice of incense before going to bed.

If you’re feeling plagued by stressful thoughts that are starting to affect your physical health, burning frankincense can release the tension so you can fall asleep.

Frankincense combines sweetness with a woody scent, a complex balance that reminds you of the calming outdoors. There is a slight undertone of citrus, but it isn’t energizing.

Instead, it helps bring clarity to the earthy scent and adds to the richly layered fragrance. The natural balance of frankincense is very soothing. Burn frankincense as part of your sleep routine and you’ll feel wrapped in the scent of the outdoors.

The calming effect will move from your mind into your body, so you can sleep better.


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Vanilla is an immediately recognizable fragrance. It’s sweet and creamy, a rich scent that feels warming from the inside out. Vanilla is a unique scent, but one that is well known and imparts a feeling of comforting familiarity.

The syrupy aroma of vanilla helps to build a feeling of safety. It’s a scent we typically associate with foods and sweet treats, and this recognition is part of the reason why vanilla is so good before bed.

If you’re traveling, or have recently moved, vanilla incense can help to create that feeling of home. It’s also good for those nights when you feel slightly “off”. It builds the comfort that you might be missing.


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While many of the fragrances on this list are incredibly familiar, patchouli is a slightly more exotic scent. The most prominent note is typically musk, with an earthy richness that builds to a fabulous complexity.

The musk is lightened by touches of spice and sweetness, for a scent that is highly layered without becoming confusing. The muskiness of patchouli is excellent at relieving stress and pain, helping you to sleep deeper and better.

Patchouli is sometimes compared to sandalwood and frankincense, and it does have this same rich power. If you want to lighten the scent of patchouli for your bedtime routine, try pairing it with rose.

Another good match is vanilla, which can add a touch of comfort to this exotic scent.


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Cedar is a woodsy scent without the power of other wood fragrances. There’s a coolness to it, rather than a warmth, and a touch of citrus that’s often missing from the musky wood scents.

This makes cedar fantastic for clearing the mind before going to bed. Cedar also has a touch of familiarity — it reminds us of pencil shavings and old furniture, which can create a sense of safety.

If you’re looking to develop a routine around bedtime,  cedar incense is a wonderful choice. It’s also good for clearing the air when bad energies are hanging around. If you normally sleep well but have found your routine disturbed, try turning to cedar.

Final Thoughts

Incense scents before bed help to clear the mind from negative thoughts and feelings that might cause us to become restless. Anxieties can also have a physical effect, and some of these scents help to loosen body tension so we can sleep better.

We hope this guide has helped you find the incense scent that’s perfect for soothing you to sleep.

Andrea Daehma