New Study Reveals Lavender Oil Improves Sleep Quality

Chronic sleeplessness is rife in today's society: 1 in 5 people living in the U.K. today suffers from sleeping difficulties, whether it be disrupted sleep, insomnia, or poor sleep quality. Usually, this is treated with sleeping pills, which can be harmful to your health, particularly if used frequently. It's no wonder, then, that a veritable torrent of research has been conduct in recent years into achieving good quality sleep through natural means, from meditation and exercise to herbal remedies and aromtherapy. Results have demonstrated that aromatherapy, in particular, can be useful in achieving restful sleep that leaves you feeling rejuvenated and alive.

One oil that researchers have been particularly interested in is Lavender. This powerful, yet soothing oil has long been known to producing calming, relaxing  affects, and has been shown in previous studies to help alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other sleep disruption. One study, completed in 2005, demonstarted the effectiveness of lavender on patients with mild insomnia, while another, published in 2006, showed the effects of lavender on stressed college students.

New research conducted by the  Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran, has revealed the effectiveness of the essential oil on patients in Coronary Care Units. As could be expected, patients in these units report poor sleep quality as a matter of course, so the oil's effectiveness was impressive indeed. The trial included 64 male and female patients suffering from unstable angina and myocardial infarction, revealing large differences in the average sleep quality scores between the group who received aromatherapy and those who opted for sleeping pills. On average, the group who received lavender oil therapy reported a postitive change in quality of sleep.

You can use lavender yourself: our resident aromatherapist, Susan Munro, recommends adding a couple of drops to a cotton ball and tucking into into your pillowcase before bed. Another option is having a lavender bath: add 5 - 10 drops of pure essential oil (diluted with 10 - 20 mL of carrier oil, such as sweet almond) to warm bath water for a wonderfully relaxing prelude to bedtime. Even a sprig of fresh or dried lavender tucked into the pillow can help you get a restful night's sleep. Susan is also able to make you up your very own sleepytime blend that can be applied to the wrists and temples before bed. Harness the power of aromatherapy for a wonderful night's sleep today.