Known for its alluring colour and compelling scent, lavender has inspired artists with its beauty. It has refreshed cosmetology with its aroma and has been used for thousands of years to help relaxation and sleep. Even though it has a wide variety of uses, Lavender is most commonly known for its soothing nature.
Lavender is one of the most studied natural sleep aids. Its unique effect on the human body intrigues numerous researchers, thus creating a significant amount of supporting analysis. Lavender is made up of over 45 compounds, including its main component linalool. Linalool is found in over 60% of cosmetics and is one of the most common scents found in nature. One third of lavender’s chemical makeup is linalool, a compound that is known for its cleansing properties and its support to several body systems. Linalool affects nerve cells in the brain, as well as decreasing blood pressure and respiratory rate, which are aspects that are responsible for putting you in a relaxed state. Therefore, through the increase of brain wave activities, inhaling lavender can help you feel calm, relaxed and less anxious. A variety of studies support this. Multiple investigations revealed that the participants who inhale lavender essential oil have higher quality of sleep, greater feeling of refreshment, better energy and more relaxed.
With the increased epidemic of insomnia in our current society, it's important that we find the safest and healthiest aids for sleep and relaxation. Many pharmaceutical sleep aids can have negative side effects and can possibly be addictive. In fact, a study published in Phytomedicine journal revealed that lavender oil can be just as effective as pharmaceutical drugs, such as lorazepam. However, unlike over the counter sleep aids, lavender has no addictive qualities and has no sedative effects. Therefore, lavender can help sleep without the negative side effects of over the counter sleep aids.
Lavender can be the natural remedy that your body needs. Sleep specialist, Richard Jolie states that "rather than directly affecting the quality of sleep itself, research has shown the key effects of herbal fragrances like lavender to help reduce stress levels thereby relaxing people enough for them to sleep much better." In other words, lavender can enhance your body’s ability to relax and enter a dream state without causing grogginess or changing your body’s function. Contrasting lavender with over the counter sleeping aides reveals that it can naturally support your body without negative side effects.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jocelyn's passion to help others drives her work here at FUM. Jocelyn uses her research knowledge to bring information to the FUM Family on how to improve health. She graduated with a degree in Business Management and Organizational Communication from University of Ottawa and currently lives in Calgary, Canada.