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Lavender Oil and Sleep: Why it helps and how to use it

Lavender essential oil has been used to aid sleep for centuries. There have been many studies done which have proven its effectiveness. Read on to find out why lavender helps you to sleep and how you can use it.

 Lavender growing in a field

Does lavender really help you sleep?

There have been many studies that have proven the effectiveness of lavender on the quality of sleep. Some examples show that lavender improved sleep quality in fifteen healthy students 1, in sixty-four heart disease patients 2, and in thirty-four midlife women with insomnia 3. Therefore, it has been clinically proven across a wide range of people that lavender does really help you sleep.

 

Why does lavender help you sleep?

Lavender essential oil contains potent chemical components such as linalool, linalyl acetate and camphor4 that act as anxiety relievers and sedatives. These components interact with the brain and nervous system to reduce agitation, restlessness, and aggression. This is why lavender helps you relax and makes drifting off to sleep easier.

 

How do you use lavender oil for sleep?

Directly on your skin

Lavender is rapidly absorbed through the skin, so this is the quickest and most effective way to use lavender to help you sleep5. Place 2-3 drops on your temples or on the soles of your feet. Generally speaking, lavender is safe to use directly on your skin, however, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding consult with your doctor. Never ingest lavender oil, put it in your eyes or on broken skin.

Pillow mist

Our Pillow mist contains steam-distilled Lavandula Angustifolia essential oil. Spray it directly on your pillow or use it as a room mist. With lavender essential oil, a little goes a long way. If you make your own, include no more than 1ml of lavender essential oil per 120ml of pillow mist. Using too much oil can stain your pillowcases. 

On a tissue

If you prefer not to spray anything directly onto your pillowcase, you can place a few drops of essential oil onto a tissue or handkerchief. Place the tissue inside your pillowcase.

In a diffuser

Diffuse lavender essential oil in the room before going to bed. We recommend an electric mist diffuser that automatically turns off. Mist diffusers don’t use heat and so, don’t destroy any part of the oil. A timer will give you peace of mind that the diffuser will not be running all night.

 Orange admiral butterfly on lavender

Advantages of using lavender

  • There are no side effects which strong sleep medication can produce e.g. daytime drowsiness and an upset stomach. 
  • 100% naturally grown lavender oil doesn’t contain any pesticides or herbicides.
  • It has a host of other benefits including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

 

Which type of lavender oil is best for sleep?

Lavandula angustifolia has had the most research done on it and has consistently been proven to aid sleep. Other types of lavender, such as lavandin, contain the same constituents, however, the relative levels vary with each species. Therefore, although lavandin will help with sleep, Lavandula Angustifolia has been proven more effective. Discover more benefits and uses of lavender and lavandin here.

 

Is it safe to apply lavender oil to the skin?

Most essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin because they are so potent and no essential oil should be applied directly to an open wound. However, there is a growing body of evidence that lavender essential oil is safe to use directly on the skin. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their doctor before use.

 Basket of lavender sachets

Other ways to use lavender to help sleep

Essential oil is the most potent form of lavender, however, lavender in other forms can help sleep too.

Dried Lavender Sachets

Consider keeping some dried lavender sachets with your bedsheets. They impart a subtle lavender scent to your linens and can also help repel moths. Another way to use lavender sachets is to put them in the tumble dryer with your sheets. Just make sure they are securely tied closed!

Bath Salts

A hot bath 90 minutes before bed has been proven to help people get the best quality sleep6. Combine your bath with lavender bath salts for even better results. Our bath salts contain relaxing Epsom salt, as well as lavender essential oil and lavender buds. 

Lavender Eye Masks

Use a lavender eye mask to completely block out light and help you drift off to sleep. Our eye masks are filled with flaxseed and Lavandula Angustifolia buds. The masks can be chilled in the freezer and the flaxseed retains the cold. The cool eye mask helps to relieve tension in the face and makes falling asleep easier.

 

Summary 

Lavender essential oil is a proven, gentle way to fall into a relaxing sleep. It can be used in a variety of different ways, including putting a few drops on your temples or spraying it on your pillow as pillow mist. Lavandula Angustifolia is the best type of lavender oil to use to help you fall asleep.

 

Sweet dreams!

 

Have you tried any of these ways to use lavender oil? Did it work? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

 

 

Works Cited

 

  1. Hirokawa K, Nishimoto T, Taniguchi T. Effects of lavender aroma on sleep quality in healthy Japanese students. Perceptual & Motor Skills. 2012;114(1):111–122. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  2. Moeini M, Khadibi M, Bekhradi R, et al. Effect of aromatherapy on the quality of sleep in ischemic heart disease patients hospitalized in intensive care units of heart hospitals of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research. 2010;15(4):234–239. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  3. Chien LW, Cheng SL, Liu CF. The effect of lavender aromatherapy on autonomic nervous system in midlife women with insomnia. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2012;2012:8 pages.740813 [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  4. Peir Hossein Koulivand, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri, Ali Gorji, "Lavender and the Nervous System", Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 681304, 10 pages, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/681304
  5. Jager W, Buchbauer G, Jirovetz L, Fritzer M. Percutaneous absorption of lavender oil from a massage oil. Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists. 1992;43:49–54. [Google Scholar]
  6. Shahab Haghayegh, Sepideh Khoshnevis, Michael H. Smolensky, Kenneth R. Diller, Richard J. Castriotta, Before-bedtime passive body heating by warm shower or bath to improve sleep: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 46, 2019, Pages 124-135,  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2019.04.008. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1087079218301552)

 

 


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