In the garden, lavender stands out for its blue flowers and its silver leaves. When you feel down, anxious and thoughts continue to crowd your mind, try to rub this plant between your fingertips and smell the aroma, you will immediately feel more refreshed. Lavender is a plant known and appreciated for centuries, with antiseptic, healing and anti-inflammatory properties. But that's not all, from lavender, in fact, one of the best essential oils against insomnia is obtained, to keep near the bed thanks to its relaxing, calming and soothing action, proven by several scientific studies. Today we are talking about this, how lavender can help us improve our sleep and also the quality of our life.
Lavender essential oil and its calming action
Lavender calms and relaxes and this action is due to the effect of the lavender scent on the brain. Thanks to neurimaging techniques, such as electroencephalograms, it is possible to study the variation of the brain waves. In fact, it is possible to notice that different brain waves predominate at different times of the day. For example, alpha waves are typical of waking states and if they were to be more present during sleep they would indicate a non-continuous and often interrupted rest, even without the person being aware of it. The dominant delta waves during the sleep phase indicate a good quality of rest. Well, it has been observed (Ko et al, Sci Rep, 2021 - Chien et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med, 2012) that inhaling the lavender essential oil diffused in the bedroom has been able, through the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system, the part of the nervous system that promotes stillness and relaxation, to increase brain delta waves by improving sleep quality. This relaxing action of lavender also has another important characteristic, namely that the lavender aroma acts quickly!
Expert blends against insomnia
A particular blend of essential oils, including lavender, was recently tested in the treatment of insomnia. This blend was obtained on the basis of an ancient herbalist recipe and involves the use of six essential oils, sandalwood oil, rose oil, neroli oil, frankincense oil, sweet orange oil and lavender oil. The active ingredients of the essential oils used, such as linalool, limonene, alpha pinene and alpha santalol, act with different mechanisms and give life to a synergy that, as proven by scientific studies, helps to counteract insomnia with a comparable action, but without side effects, of drugs in use for this disorder, such as diazepam (Ren et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2019 - Zhong et al, BMC Complement Altern Med, 2019). In fact, inhaling the blend of these essential oils helps reduce the time required to fall asleep and extend the duration of sleep, also thanks to an increase in GABA in the brain. GABA are neurotransmitters connected to a reduction of stress and anxiety.
Lavender essential oil against insomnia, how to use it
Pour 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil into a handkerchief. To enhance its action, and if you have other essences available at home, you can add a drop of sweet orange essential oil, a drop of neroli and a drop of incense oils, which are easier to find. Breathe this aroma before going to bed and keep the handkerchief near the pillow. Also spraying lavender water on the face helps, for a calming and soothing action.
Lavender essential oil, also for children and after pregnancy
Lavender essential oil improves the quality of sleep even in women in the period following childbirth and in small children. In fact, it was observed that preparing a baby bath with the addition of lavender oil is able to relax both the mother and the baby, who cries less and, after the bath, sleeps for a longer period and deeper (Afshar et al, Iran Red Crescent Med J., 2015 - Field et al, Early Hum Dev, 2008).