For The Essentials is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Can A Diffuser Be Left On All Night?

You’re laying on your back staring up at the ceiling. You’ve been tossing and turning all night, just wishing you could fall asleep.

You think to yourself, if I could just use some essential oils to help me sleep, then I would. You wonder, can a diffuser be left on all night? If only you knew the answer to this question, then you could start sleeping better.

Look no further, because we have the answers for you here. Keep reading!

Can Diffusers Be Left On All Night?

Unfortunately, the safest answer to this question is no, diffusers shouldn’t be left on all night. When you search this question, you will find varying answers, but the safest answer is no.

Chains of bead diffusers

Even during the day, the recommended time for running a diffuser is approximately 30 minutes, and never longer than 60 minutes in one sitting. Pure essential oils are potent, and inhaling them for too long of a time can be toxic and make you very sick.

Not only that but leaving a diffuser on all night can cause more stress and make you sleep worse. No one wants that!

Some of the symptoms you can experience if a diffuser is left on all night are:

  • Restless sleep
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Throat swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures

The Best Diffuser Practice At Night

The Best Diffuser Practice At Night

The best diffuser practice at nighttime is to run your diffuser for 30 minutes before you plan on falling asleep, then turn it off for the night. Your essential oils will still linger in the room as you’re falling asleep.

This practice makes it so you avoid accidental toxic exposure to diffuser oil while still getting the therapeutic sleep benefits from your essential oils just before going to bed. It’s by far the safest practice you can follow.

This is the best practice, but you do have other options to choose from. It is possible to buy a special diffuser or a diffuser with specific features like an automatic shut-off. More on this in the “best diffusers for nighttime” section, so keep reading!

Best Oils To Diffuse At Night

Picking the right oil to diffuse at night is important. As you probably know, some essential oils energize you. That’s not something you want right before bed!

We’ve compiled a list of oils to use at night and then we go into more detail about how they positively affect your sleep. So, without further ado, here is the list of 12 great essential oils to diffuse at night.

  • Bergamot
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Valerian
  • Vanilla
  • Ylang Ylang

1. Bergamot Oil

Normally, when you think of citrus oils, you think it increases energy and uplifting benefits. Most citrus oils are not recommended before bed because of this reason.

Bergamot is special though! Bergamot oil is one of the only citrus oils that have a calming effect. This oil is also shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure, which is a normal process the body goes through just before sleep.

2. Cedarwood Oil

There aren’t many websites that mention Cedarwood Oil as a great sleeping essential oil. I’m not sure why! Personally, I use Cedarwood in my meditation practices because it calms my hyperactive mind.

Cedarwood Oil is also great for opening up your airways to help you sleep better at night. It’s seriously one of my favorite sedative essential oils to smell just before bed!

3. Chamomile Oil

Is anxiety keeping you up at night? If the answer is yes, Chamomile oil can take care of you! It helps relieve anxious thoughts and depression.

Chamomile oil can help decrease rambling thoughts going on in your mind when you are trying to fall asleep. Drop a few drops in a water-filled diffuser and run it 30 minutes before bed. You’ll sleep like a baby!

4. Geranium Oil

Geranium oil is known to reduce stress and anxiety. It’s a great oil to mix with Rose oil to get twice the amount of benefits.

Sleep disorders are upsetting and we’re all looking for better ways to get a full night’s rest. If you struggle with insomnia, Geranium is a great essential oil for you to use.

5. Jasmine Oil

Jasmine oil has some serious sleep helping capabilities! There was a study done in 2002, that showed Jasmine oil improving anxiety more than Lavender oil.

The component make-up of Jasmine is naturally created to help you sleep. The molecules in the Jasmine flowering plant are similar to certain medicines prescribed to help you sleep.

6. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is by far the most popular oil to use for sleep. This oil smells good and it calms the nervous system for better sleep.

Not only is Lavender a sedative, but there are studies done that prove Lavender oil helps out with pain. If you are someone who deals with a lot of pain, like back and neck aches, Lavender oil is a great essential oil to have in your bedroom.

7. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory benefits that help open up your lungs making you snore less at night. This oil is your sleepover buddy if you deal with sleep apnea.

Peppermint can affect people in different ways, so you’ll want to experiment to see if it’s a good oil for your sleep regime. Personally, I don’t use Peppermint oil at night because Peppermint wakes me up and stimulates my mind.

8. Rose Oil

Rose oil is part of the floral family and is known to reduce stress and anxiety. Rose oil pairs well with Geranium oil and can reduce Insomnia if you use it just before sleeping.

If you struggle with depression, anxiety, grief, panic attacks, or stress, Rose oil is a wonderful addition to your sleep routine. This oil is known for its mood calming effects.

9. Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil has been used for a very long time in our history. There are many studies done on Sandalwood and its power to reduce wakefulness and increase non-REM sleep.

Sandalwood and Cedarwood are my go-to scents because of their woody rich earth tones. This oil doesn’t disappoint!

10. Sweet Marjoram Oil

Sweet Marjoram oil is another highly recommended sleeping oil for people who suffer from insomnia. Marjoram is also a great oil for women dealing with PMS symptoms.

There is a difference between Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana) and Marjoram (Thymus mastichina), also known as Spanish Marjoram. Make sure you buy Sweet Marjoram oil if you plan on using it for sleeping purposes.

11. Valerian Oil

Valerian oil is a strong oil that will help put you to sleep. It prevents the neurotransmitter, GABA, from breaking down, which allows you to get better deep sleep.

The one negative is some people think the smell of Valerian oil comes off as stinky. If Valerian oil is too much for you, some people replace it with Rose and Geranium because the scent is better.

12. Vanilla Oil

Vanilla oil has a pleasing scent to most people and it helps with anxiety. It’s also known to help fight off infections in the body.

Vanilla reduces hyperactivity and restlessness allowing you to get a good night’s sleep. Now, who wouldn’t want a terrific smelling oil and a fabulous night’s sleep?!

13. Ylang Ylang Oil

Ylang Ylang oil is born a star when it comes to pairing it with sleep. It helps soothe headaches, nausea, PMS, and heart palpitations.

You may or may not know this, but Ylang Ylang is also an aphrodisiac. So, pay attention to your body to see if Ylang Ylang is helping you sleep or if it’s doing the opposite.

Best Diffusers For Nighttime

Although the general answer to can a diffuser be left on all night is no, there are a couple of diffuser options that make an exception to this answer. If you plan on running a diffuser just before bed, the best diffuser for nighttime would be a diffuser that has an auto shut-off function or a Smart Diffuser.

If you accidentally fall asleep while you are running your diffuser just before bed, the auto shut-off will automatically turn your diffuser off. With the Smart diffuser, it has specific times it will turn on and off during the night, so it doesn’t expose you to diffuser oils all night long.

Let’s dig up more details on the 2 types of nighttime diffusers you can buy. Here we go!

1. Diffuser With An Automatic Shut-Off Function

It’s extremely easy to find a diffuser with an automatic shut-off function. BBSKIN has a great auto shut-off function on its 300ml Ultrasonic cool mist humidifying diffuser.

Diffuser With An Automatic Shut-Off Function

For the BBSKIN diffuser, you set the timer and the diffuser will turn off when the timer runs out. As an added safety feature, the diffuser will automatically turn off when it runs out of water.

Another fantastic diffuser to use at night is the Innogear Cool Mist Humidifying Diffuser. This diffuser has a waterless auto shut-off function that puts your mind at ease.

You can also go with Innogear’s 150ml Portable Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser. This is a great option if you aren’t looking for humidifying properties in your diffuser.

2. The Smart Diffuser

Technology is improving every single day. If you haven’t heard about this yet, we are excited to inform you that there is such a thing as smart diffusers.

Smart diffusers are easy to operate. You can simply connect your diffuser to your phone through a Wifi connection.

The Wifi connection to your diffuser can be set up to start diffusing at a certain time and for the length you want it to run. Pretty neat right?!

Check out this YouTube video that shows off the Maxcio 400ml Smart Home Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser. The gentleman goes into great detail about how to work this diffuser.

Maxcio 400ml Smart Home Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

Can A Diffuser Catch On Fire?

A diffuser can catch on fire. The possibility of it actually happening is quite small, but it could happen if you use a heat-powered electric diffuser.

One way to help avoid the possibility of a charcoaled and melted diffuser would be to buy a cold-air nebulizing diffuser. This option would bypass the safety problems that come with owning a heat-powered and/or water diffuser, as the nebulizing diffuser uses air instead of water.

The Diffuser Alternative – Use A Non-Heated Humidifier

The main problem we come into contact with when leaving an essential oil diffuser on all night isn’t the water in the diffuser, it’s the essential oil sitting inside of the water. The difference between a diffuser and a humidifier is, the humidifier doesn’t use essential oils.

If you want to run something throughout the night to help you sleep, use a humidifier. Humidifiers are safe to use throughout the night, as long as you aren’t adding diffuser oils into them.

You’ll want to avoid using humidifiers that use a heating element to operate them. A great humidifier you can use is the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.

Using a humidifier all night comes with many health benefits. Here are the main benefits that you can get from a humidifier:

  • Soothes dry skin
  • Moisten dry Sinuses
  • Alleviates asthma, colds, and allergies
  • Breathe easier and snore less

Final Thoughts…

The biggest question was answered, can a diffuser be left on all night? The answer, sadly no, but there are ways around this.

Smart diffusers, automatic shut-off functioning diffusers, and humidifiers are all great options. The option you choose will depend on what your night routine looks like and what exactly you need it for.

You learned about the best diffuser practice and some fantastic essential oils that will help you sleep at night. Also, you found out the potential side effects of leaving a diffuser on overnight and the possibility of it catching fire.

We hope you learned what you sought when it comes to diffusers being left on all night. Now, try out some of the sleeping-assisting essential oils recommended and stay safe!


Leave a Comment