Good quality sleep is essential for a person’s physical and mental health and well being. Yet millions of people are not getting enough quality sleep with 75% of adults reporting sleeping difficulties at least a few nights a week.
Aromatherapy has been repeatedly shown to be an effective way of improving sleep quality and even helping patients suffering from conditions causing significant sleep disturbances.
Three studies published in the last month alone have shown the positive effects of aromatherapy essential oils on a wide range of patients suffering from sleep disturbances due to fibromyalgia, being hospitalised in an intermediate care unit and undergoing haemodialysis.
A study on fibromyalgia patients looked at investigating the effects of music and aromatherapy on the impact level of fibromyalgia, fatigue and sleep quality in fibromyalgia patients. The study demonstrated that the use of music and aromatherapy were positively effective in helping many symptoms, sleep quality and fatigue in the patients (TAF Prev Med Bull. 2014; 13(1))
Sleep deprivation is common in hospitalised patients and can have significant negative effects on recovery from illness. A randomised controlled pilot study was conducted with the treatment group having 3ml of lavender essential oil placed in a glass jar at the patients’ bedside and vital signs were recorded throughout the night. The research demonstrated blood pressure was significantly lower in the treatment group compared to the control group between midnight and 4am. Furthermore the treatment group had an improvement in sleep overall and a decrease in blood pressure whilst the non treatment group had an increase.(Am J Crit Care Jan 2014 23:24-29)
More than 85% of patients undergoing haemodialysis suffer from major sleep disturbances. 2 drops of lavender essential oil were dropped on a piece of cotton and placed in a small box within 15-20 cm of the patients pillow. The research demonstrated that inhalation of lavender essential oil improves many dimensions of sleep quality. The authors concluded that lavender essential oil improves sleep latency, habitual sleep efficiency, sleep duration, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction in haemodialysis patients. (J Nursing Midwifery 2013 vol 22 79).
It maybe an idea to have some drops of lavender essential oil in the bedroom before you go to sleep.