Lavender oil improves sleep in hospitalized patients
· A randomized trial studied a total of 50 hospitalized patients – 25 in the lavender group and 25 in the control group (no lavender just monitored)
· Hospitalized patients are notorious for inadequate sleep
· One group (the lavender group) was treated with 3 mL of 100% pure lavender oil
· Lavender oil was in a glass jar in place at the bedside from 10 PM until 6 AM.
· Vital signs were recorded at intervals throughout the night.
· At 6 AM all patients completed a standard questionnaire to assess quality of sleep.
· Between midnight and 4am blood pressure was significantly lower between midnight and 4 AM in the lavender group compared to the control group (P= .03 for the scientifically minded)
· The difference between the 2 groups was not significant (P= .12) from midnight to 6am.
· Sleep was better in the lavender group compared with the control group
– Lytle et al. 2014
My Take On This
Sleep is an important aspect of quality and quantity of life. Poor sleep habits have a detrimental effect on the immune system making it difficult for the body to fight off infections and aberrant cells like cancer. Recently, we have reported the importance of melatonin, which typically is released during sleep, have a positive impact against prostate cancer.
Lavender aromatherapy can also reduce mild insomnia in patients in their home setting. (Lewith et al. 2005)
What should you do?
If you don’t typically get good sleep put this on top of your priority health list. I’m serious.
Poor sleep leads to weight gain, depressed immune system, irritability and indirectly to cancer development and progression, etc.
If you snore or just think the quality of your sleep is poor make an appointment with a sleep clinic. Your primary care doctor can refer you.
For more tips and my experience with poor sleep GO HERE.
The use of aroma therapeutic lavender oil helps calm the nervous system. Herbalist and naturopathic doctors have used lavender oil for centuries to help with sleep. Purchase 100% lavender oil from any health food store or online. The one used in the above mentioned study was Eva’s Garden essential oil.
The oil can be used in a variety of ways:
- Inhalation – 1-2 drops in boiling water
- Bath- 8-10 drops in bath water before bedtime
- Spray – add 5 drops of lavender oil to a spray bottle of water and spray in your bedroom and pillow.
- Diffusers – Here is an example of an aromatherapy diffuser from Sharper Image (no financial connection with me). This is not necessarily a recommendation but just to show you what one looks like.
I purchased mine from Whole foods. They are all good I think.
What would it take for you to follow through and figure out how to improve your sleep?
Lewith GT, Godfrey AD, Prescott P. A single-blinded, randomized pilot study evaluating the aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a treatment for mild insomnia. J Altern Complement Med. 2005;11(4):631–637.
Lytle J, Mwatha C, Davis KK. Effect of lavender aromatherapy on vital signs and perceived quality of sleep in the intermediate care unit: a pilot study. Am J Crit Care. 2014 Jan;23(1):24-9.