Hi Rachael. Great questions! Those high dilution rates (20% and 10%) are just so you can smell your EO blend mixed with a carrier oil to see if you like it or not. All carrier oils smell different, and they can effect how your blend smells in the end. That’s why I recommend testing your EO blends in different carrier oils at different dilutions to see what you like best. And, because the smells of EO blends change depending on what they’re mixed with, it’s always a good idea to test them in small batches before making bigger batches (hence using drops and not teaspoons or ounces!). Once you know what you like, you can then move on to making larger amounts of preblended oils (EO blend + carrier oil) for skin application using a lower dilution rate (3-5% for adults and anywhere from .25-1% for children depending on their age). This is my article on using EOs for children safely. There is a lot of different opinions on using EOs for kids. Since I’m not a trained aromatherapist, I tend to take the safe route with it comes to EOs. Hope this helps answer your questions a bit!! PS. Just for the record, higher dilution rates are often used in bath products (body wash, shampoo, shave creams, etc.) as they don’t sit on the skin, but are washed off fairly quickly. This decreases the amount of EO absorption you would have, therefore, higher percentages of EOs can go in those products so they smell stronger.
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Investing in an essential oil diffuser is a great first step to filling your room with sleeping-inducing aromas, and there are so many affordable options that will be the perfect vessel for all of your sleepy-time blends. Once you have your diffuser all set up alongside your bed, you'll want to figure out which essential oils combine well to relax your body and calm your mind, so that you'll be able to enjoy a peaceful slumber every single night.

I also really enjoyed your information on blending. When I first started blending oils I didn’t know much so I would muscle test which ones I needed to use and in what quantity. It’s interesting as I am learning more of the “science” behind it, and I go back to my blend recipes and see how it all played out with the top, middle, and base notes, all in the correct quantities. It’s actually really fun to see. I am enjoying learning more, which makes me realize how much I don’t know!! 🙂
add water to your diffuser (tip:  be sure to stop filling below the little line inside your diffuser.  Ultrasonic diffusers need to have space at the top so that the water can move back and forth rapidly enough to turn into the cold mist that comes out of the top of the diffuser.  If you fill the water level too high, then you won’t get as much mist out of the diffuser.  Less water (more space at the top) equals more mist.  Too much water (little to no space at the top) equals little to no mist.)
As you’re using essential oils, pay attention to how you feel. Scent is a highly individual experience. Each of us react to smells differently. The right scents for your relaxation and sleep are the ones that make you feel relaxed and sleepy! You may need to experiment with different oils before you find the right one for your nightly routine. If a scent makes you feel alert and awake, it is NOT the right one for sleep. But you can use it in the morning to help get you rolling into your day.
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