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Can essential oils fix: my sleeping pattern?

aromatherapy meditation self care

It’s hard to find trustworthy information on essential oils. Articles and bloggers toot the miraculous abilities of these wonder products, often with very few links to research or solid evidence. In the following collection of blog posts, we’ll look at some of the more recent research studies, and apply our own essential oils knowledge. 

Is something keeping you up at night? Only 6% of people in the UK achieve the recommended eight hours of sleep per night. Whether it’s stress, noisy neighbours, or the four espressos you had during the day, the list of reasons for a sleepless night is endless. 

If your anxiety levels leave you clockwatching in the early hours, this piece of research suggests the scent of lavender could bring that tension down a notch. Well, if you’re a mouse, anyway. The mice were tested to see if smelling lavender oil could lower their anxiety levels. This was proven correct, however until we see a human study, this result does not necessarily apply to us. To test the method for yourself, spread a few drops of lavender oil on your pillow before going to bed. 

A cup of chamomile tea has been a bedtime ritual staple for centuries. And despite a lack of relevant studies on the effects of chamomile oil inhalation, taken orally, it has been confirmed to improve sleep quality in elderly people. The impact of diffusing chamomile oil has not been studied in detail, but we think trying it in your diffuser is definitely worth a shot. Alternately, add a few drops to a hot bath and relax in the steam before turning in for the night. 

So both studies above look promising, but we’re still limited when it comes to solid evidence. The following research appears to demonstrate specific essential oils can improve sleep quality. Bergamot, sandalwood, frankincense, mandarin, and lavender aromasticks were trialled in the bedroom. Impressively, 64% of patients showed an improvement in at least one part of their sleep. So if your quality of sleep is the problem, perhaps try diffusing a combination of these oils in your bedroom before going to bed. 

What does this tell us about essential oils and sleep? Clearly, aromatherapy has shown positive effects on sleep quality, and particular oils appear to reduce feelings of anxiety that keep us awake at night. The impact on falling asleep is still weak, but this is most likely due to a lack of recent research in this area. Until there are more human studies, why not try experimenting with some of the oil combinations mentioned above? And let us know your feedback! 

If you’re enjoying our ‘Can essential oils fix…’ series, let us know which topics you’d like to hear about next. You can find all of the oils mentioned in this piece here.

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