AROMATHERAPY FOR SLEEP
A summary of a pilot study on essential oil aroma stimulation for enhancing slow-wave EEG in sleeping brain
Essential oil has been speculated to improve sleep quality.
Previous studies suggest essential oil aroma may affect human brain activity when applied awake
However, those studies were often not blinded, which makes the effectiveness a heavily debated topic
This study explores the effect of essential oil lavender aroma on human sleep quality and sleep EEG in a single-blinded setup
The lavender aroma was released when the participants were asleep, this way there was no influence from personal preference for the aroma
When being asked, none of the participants reported noticing the scent of lavender during their sleep session in either stimulus night or control night
Participants self reported improved sleep depth and wellness with less sleep disturbances on the stimulus nights
Lavender aroma also induced EEG changes in different sleep stages especially those associated with deep sleep (N3 & REM)
Lavender aroma stimulus improves sleep quality quickly. Participants reported better sleep quality and more daytime vigour after just one night of exposure.
Overall, these results suggest that aromatherapy is useful for improving sleep quality. Specifically, lavender aroma can impact the sleeping brain when inhaled asleep, leading to deeper sleep and improved sleep quality.