Sleep contributes to regain strength and good health, but it also contributes to obtain a period of sleep that is adapted to one’s own chronotype.
To improve our knowledge on sleep, insomnia and sleep disorders, chronobiology and neurosciences are now associated to aromatherapy.
One of our great issues in the years to come is to understand the ties between sleep, waking up and chronobiology throughout the life of healthy individuals and also those of patients who undergo neurological disorders.
Sleep is responsible for one third of our time on an average day. A sufficient period of sleep improves health and wellbeing, while sleep deprivation leads to fatigue, drowsiness during the day, nervousness and attention deficits. While benzodiazepines and antidepressants are frequently used to relieve from sleeping disorders, lethargic side effects causing confusions are found during daytime. Drug-free treatments such as aromatherapy are thus on the rise for the bringing of a natural solution without undesirable effects.
Goals and Selection Criteria of Publications
Aromatherapy is simple and positive results can quickly be observed. Essential oils reach the limbic system via the olfactory nerves and produce sedative and relaxing effects; the blood pressure, the heart rate, the response to stress and the memory are affected.
The effects of aromatherapy have the goal to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, to improve sleep quality and to reduce the time it takes to wake up after the sleep. A group of psychological factors such as depression, anxiety and stress is measured in order to note the evolutions.
202 publications have been selected and only 12 relevant studies have been retained on the basis of scientific criteria relative to these clinical trials (Randomized Clinical Trials). The 8 quality criteria which prevail in this selection are the study design, the inclusion and the number of participants (36 to 72), the results, the intervention, the conclusions and the comprehension of the study. 23% of the participants are adults and elderly people, 54% are patients suffering from a chronic or specific disease, 23% are hospitalized patients.
Aromatherapy’s Effects on Sleep
The 8 variables being studied go through:
- The quality of sleep
- The degree of sleeping disorders
- The degree of satisfaction of one’s sleep
- The stages of sleep
From 4 studies on sleep quality, 3 studies demonstrate the aromatherapy’s effectiveness, and from 8 studies on sleeping disorders, 7 studies claim that aromatherapy is effective.
A study measures the level of satisfaction according to the sleep itself and another study reports the effectiveness of falling into sleep. The 12 studies have been performed during the 5 past years from 2010 to 2015 and the number of publications has doubled between 2005 and 2009. The number of publications on the topic has risen from 55 to 103 between 1990 and 1999, which now is around 600 publications as of the year 2015.
The analysis of the aromatherapy’s effect on sleep indicates that aromatherapy significantly improves sleep. It is also paired with a positive effect on the decrease of anxiety, depression and stress. A report indicates that the inhalation of lavender or lavender based synergies (to be found in our “Sleep” capsule) is the simplest method for the delivery of the asset through breathing. In meta-analysis, inhalation is much more effective than massages.
Sources : The Effects of Aromatherapy on Sleep Improvement, E. Hwang, The Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine, Vol.21, 2, 2015, 61-68.