Understanding Lavender As An Effective Natural Remedy For Sleep Disorders

Understanding Lavender As An Effective Natural Remedy For Sleep Disorders

It is a well-established fact that having a good night’s sleep is essential for remaining fit and healthy. However, not everyone is lucky enough to get a good night’s sleep every night. In fact countless people spend a major part of the night lying awake due to various reasons. Whether it is the stress of work or family issues or a medical condition, regular sleeplessness can lead to severe health complications and even depression. In most people, lack of sleep can lead to behavior changes and might even enhance their anger and irritation.

Over the past several years there has been a growing awareness among the masses about the importance of getting proper sleep. However, despite that the number of people who suffer from different types of sleep disorders is increasing every year. Consequently, several researches have been carried out and numerous are still in progress to not only understand the reasons for sleeplessness among individuals, but also to find the most effective remedies for the same. In one such research, it has been observed that Lavender can prove extremely effective in inducing sleep. The study showed that critical-care patients, who generally cannot sleep well, slept better after they were subjected to lavender aromatherapy treatments for a fortnight.

Lavender – The Medicinal Plant

Lavender is a beautiful flowering plant belonging to the mint family and emits a pleasant and refreshing smell. Its slim, sage green leaves perfectly balance the spiky purple flowers and make one of the most favored garden plants. The health benefits offered by these plants were recognized by the early humans and it was extensively used in ancient Egypt during the mummification process. Later, it began to be used as a bath additive as it was believed to be capable of purifying the body and the mind.

Lavender was also used in many ancient civilizations for curing various ailments such as anxiety, depression, headaches, hair loss, skin irritation, nausea and acne etc. In most cases, the essential oils extracted from lavender were use for treatment, besides which the use of fresh lavender for medical purposes was also quite common. It is the medicinal properties of the ornamental pant that led researches to study its benefits in curing sleep disorders.

How The Plant Proves Beneficial For Sleeplessness

During the researchers conducted to analyze the affects of lavender on sleeping patterns, it was observed that the aroma emitted by the plant helped in reducing stress and anxiety.  Researchers found that people who slept in a room where the air was diffused with lavender essential oils experienced 20% better sleep. In another experiment people were made to sniff lavender essential oil followed by distilled water, every two minutes just before bedtime. Their sleep cycles were then monitored with the help of brain scans, which showed that they not only enjoyed a sound sleep but also woke up better energized the next morning.

These tests enabled the researchers to understand that lavender enhanced what is known as slow-wave sleep. It is a form of deep sleep during which the heart beat slows down and the muscles relax. It is also believed to be the condition when the brain organizes the memory. Slow-wave sleep is extremely nourishing as it is during this time that the body releases proteins and hormones that are help in repairing the tissues and strengthening the immune system.

The Right Way To Use Lavender

When it comes to sleep disorders, using the lavender essential oils provides the best results. Individuals can choose to spray a small quantity of the oil in their bedroom or directly sniff the oil just before going to bed. Alternately they can also sprinkle a few drops of the oil on a tissue paper and place it below their pillow. Taking lavender tea before going to bed can also help people suffering from sleeplessness to get a good night’s rest.

Essential Oils Vs Fragrance Oils

However, it is important not to confuse lavender essential oils with lavender fragrance oil. The two are significantly different as the essential oils are the formed from the natural substances extracted from the lavender plant itself. On the other hand fragrance oils are artificially manufactured scents that produce a smell similar to that of natural lavender or even lavender essential oils. In fact, lavender fragrance oils might actually aggravate the condition of sleeplessness even further as they contain toxic substances like formaldehyde, ethanol, benzene which can prove quite harmful health wise.

Lavender essential oil aromatherapy is being increasingly considered as a possible solution for sleep disorders. With the initial research and test results having shown positive outcomes, scientists are conducting further analysis to understand the benefits that this beautiful plant has in terms of inducing sleep. Meanwhile, people who suffer from lack of sleep are free to test the natural and highly remedy of aromatherapy to get proper rest and sleep which might have eluded them for countless nights and adversely affected their well being.   

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