by: Justine Picciano, DPT
Do you have trouble sleeping? Have you tried all the tricks of the trade and still find yourself tossing and turning at night? Hot off the press, a new study was recently published concerning the benefits of using lavender oil to enhance sleep in hospitalized patients. The results will make you want to rush to your nearest essential oil specialist to gain a good night sleep. The article, “Effect of lavender aromatherapy on vital signs and perceived quality of sleep in the intermediate care unit: a pilot study” (Lytle et. al. 2014) found that patients who slept with lavender oil next to their bedside actually slept better and had lower blood pressure than those who did not have the lavender oil. Read more below to find out how poor sleep can effect your health and how lavender oil can enhance your daily life and function.
Poor sleep is known to contribute to a multitude of health problems including weight gain, depressed immune system, and irritability, just to name a few. Sleep deprivation can also have serious negative effects on your ability to recover from illness, and has even been indirectly linked to cancer development and progression. It is clear that sleep is essential to allow the body to rest, heal, restore our energy and promote wellness. This study shows promise that using lavender oil may provide a simple, natural solution to sleep deprivation and ultimately lead to healthier, happier lifestyle.
Why does lavender have such powerful effects? Lavender is considered an adaptogen, and therefore can assist in helping you adapt to life stresses or imbalances. It also has anti-spasmodic properties, which makes lavender a wonderful supplement to help ease symptoms of individuals who suffer from painful bladder syndrome, urinary urgency/frequency, and interstitial cystitis. Many of our patients here at Renew PT use a combination of essential oils, including lavender, to help calm irritated muscles, decrease muscle pain and spasm, and enhance the effects of their home exercise programs. Here are a few ways you can use lavender to enhance your life, decrease pain, and improve your ability to deal with stress, imbalances, or sleep deprivation (adapted from the Young Living Essential Oils web site):
1. Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your hand and spread over your pillow to help you sleep.
2. Diffuse, inhale, or take a warm bath with 8-10 drops of lavender essential oil to calm your mind, body, and spirit after a hard day of work.
3. Rub lavender essential oil on minor burns, chapped or dry skin to moisturize the affected area.
You may be asking yourself: “Where can I get my paws on this lavender oil?” Young Living Essential Oils is an online distributor of the purest, most natural essential oils in the world. Visit their website, at Young Living Oils to see the vast variety of oils and products they have to offer your home, office, or personal sanctuary.
You can get discounts on all of their great oils when you sign up with the Renew PT vendor ID, 142249
References: For more information, here is a link to the study.
Lytle J, Mwatha C, Davis KK. Effect of lavender aromatherapy on vital signs and perceived quality of sleep in the intermediate care unit: a pilot study. Am J Crit Care. 2014 Jan;23(1):24-9.
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