Can Lavender Essential Oil Help You Sleep?

by Jodi Cohen

Lavender essential oil can help you sleep, but its sleep enhancing effects are significantly enhanced when combined with other essential oils part of a blend.

Lavender is known for its sedative, anxiety relieving and calming properties that help your body relax into restful sleep.  Similarly, it’s key constituent Linalool, helps activate your calming neurotransmitter GABA, which helps calm your mind and body.

While calming to smell, Lavender as an individual essential oil is not a reliable recipe for sleep.  It can help the body and the mind relax which can help support restful sleep.  But often that is not enough as a single oil, especially if other health factors are compromising your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.  Discover the 4 root causes of sleep challenges here.

Research and clinical experience consistently demonstrate that blends that include Lavender essential oil in combination with other essential oils like chamomile consistently improve mood and sleep quality.

Similarly, a study compared the sleep promoting benefits of inhaling pure lavender compared to lavender blended with other oils.  Drawing on earlier research that found essential oils like lavender and cedarwood and oils high in the constituent piperonal, which is extracted from plants of the laurel family like bay laurel, improves and promotes sleep.

The research found that a blend of essential oils including components of linalool (found in lavender), santalol (found in Sandalwood), cedrol (found in cedarwood, cypress and juniper) promote sleep by heightening parasympathetic activity.  Linalool, a key component of lavender, shows sedative actions and “inhibit sympathetic nervous system activity and heighten parasympathetic nervous system activity.”

These blends that included lavender helped improve total sleep time, duration of sustained sleep periods.  They also significantly reduced early morning awakening.

 

Why Does Lavender Essential Oil Helps You Sleep?

Research has shown that lavender may actually be able to alter brain waves and reduce stress.  For example, research has found that essential oils, like Lavender™, can bind to the receptors on your cells that receive your body’s calming neurotransmitter, Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), and help balance your brain’s level of excitation and inhibition which is vital for normal brain function and a healthy nervous system. Read More about Essential Oils for Neurotransmitters here.

Lavender has also been found to relieve anxiety and calm your nerves. One study even suggested that lavender works as well as the anti-anxiety medication Lorazepam for calming anxiety. When your mind and body relax, it allows your pineal gland to release melatonin so you can easily drift off the sleep. Read more about Melatonin here.

Scientists also concluded that inhaling Lavender essential oil can calm the nervous system and improve brain waves appropriate to a sleep state. “Lavender oil caused significant decreases of blood pressure, heart rate, and skin temperature, which indicated a decrease of autonomic arousal. In terms of mood responses.”

The study also found that lavender oil increased the power of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) brain activities that help promote sleep – improving sleep quality, and increase time spent in deep, slow-wave sleep.

Researchers monitoring sleep cycles with brain scans found that lavender increased slow-wave sleep, which helps slow your heartbeat and relax your muscles, which allows you to sleep more soundly.

 

Which blends with Lavender essential oil can help you sleep?

 

Circadian Rhythm™ Helps You Fall Asleep

Lavender – in combination with a proprietary blend of Rose Geranium, Grapefruit, Melaleuca, Myrtle, Balsam of Peru, and Myrrh – helps trigger the natural release of Melatonin from the Pineal Gland to help you fall asleep naturally.

If you struggle to fall asleep or experience racing thoughts or worries while lying in bed, you might benefit from supporting your sleep hormone melatonin, which has an antagonistic relationship with the stress hormone cortisol.  When cortisol levels are elevated (like when you are worrying about something), then melatonin is depressed.  Essential oil blends with Lavender can help the pineal gland return to its innate intelligence and release more melatonin naturally. Read More about supporting the root cause of sleep challenges here.

Apply Circadian Rhythm™ blend to specific locations on the head (top of the skull, back of the skull and on the skull right above the ears).  This method emulates the innate intelligence of the body and has been extremely effective for those suffering from sleep issues and anxiety.

 

Sleep™ Helps Relax Your Body to Fall Asleep and Stay Asleep

This highly relaxing blend combines Lavender with a proprietary blend of essential oils including Orange, Tangerine, Patchouli, Blue Tansy, Spikenard, Ylang Ylang, Lime Chamomile, and Citronella.  Spikenard is a root herb that helps you feel centered, calm and relaxed.  It combines nicely with Lavender to help you drift naturally to sleep.  Blue Tansy is also highly calming, helping to soothe the mind and body to support restful sleep.

Apply Sleep™ on the back of the or on the bottoms of your feet to help wind down before going to sleep and to promote relaxation.   You can also apply a drop to a cotton ball and place it inside of a pillow case.

Liver™ Helps You Sleep through the Night

If you wake up in the middle of the night, it could be related to your liver being overburdened.  According to Chinese Medicine, each organ has a time of the day/night where it is most active.  The liver springs into action between 1 a.m. to 3 a. m. If you wake up at this time, it could be the liver is overloaded and toxins act as an irritant to your body, waking you up and fraying your nerves. Read More about night waking here.

Lavender in combination with a proprietary blend of Peppermint, German Chamomile, Balsam of Peru, Ylang Ylang, and Caraway helps support your ability to sleep through the night.

Apply 2- 3 drops of Liver™ over the liver (right side of the body under the breast) can help support your liver so it does not experience overwhelm that wakes you up during the night.

 

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Resources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31859096
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5376423/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6099651/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20512042?dopt=Abstract
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19962288?dopt=Abstract
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22612017

 

About The Author

Jodi Sternoff Cohen is the founder of Vibrant Blue Oils. An author, speaker, nutritional therapist, and a leading international authority on essential oils, Jodi has helped over 50,000 individuals support their health with essential oils.

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