Lavender, Can It Help Us Sleep
On Sunday we drove out of London for the day and headed to Aylesford in Kent for a pub lunch and a paddle in the stream next to the pub. On the way we were delighted by the sight of a sea of purple and a smell so distinctive that it had to be lavender; we could’ve been in Provence, especially as it was the most glorious day.
What took me aback most of all was the amazing scent - and how far the fragrance travelled through the air. After lunch we headed back to the Lavender farm - called Castle Farm - in Shoreham to purchase cut lavender flowers and oils and to have a tour. Not only can you purchase massage oils, but you can book a massage in a tent nestled in the field. Fully booked this time I’m afraid but my husband is booking it for a birthday treat!
Loving my sleep, I get a full 8-9 hours a night, a little more broken as I get older, though I still mange to fall asleep again pretty quickly. I do credit this to my good night-time routine, going to bed at pretty much the same time each night, NO electronic equipment in my bedroom, and always my lavender pillow spray!
If you want a good night’s sleep, research has confirmed that we need to be mindful of the presence of gadgets and electronics. The back-lit ‘blue light’ displays suppress melatonin production – the hormone that helps you sleep - and the suppression of melatonin causes sleep disruption.
What We Know about Lavender
Research also shows that the scent of lavender eases anxiety and insomnia. In one study at the UK’s University of Southampton, researchers tracked the sleep patterns of 10 adults. For a week, half of the participants slept in a room where lavender essential oil was diffused in the air throughout the night; the rest snoozed in a similar room where a placebo -sweet almond oil -was released. After a week, the groups switched rooms. At the end of the study, the volunteers ranked the quality of their sleep, 20% better on average when in the lavender-scented room.
Lavender doesn’t actually send us to sleep it helps relax us and it may also slow down the activity of the nervous system thus calming us down.
What I like to do in the summer is use pillow spray with lavender oil (sometimes if I run out I make my own with water and Lavender oil) or sprinkle Lavender oil on my pillow-case and in the winter I put a few drop of pure Lavender essential oil on the radiator and the scent permeates the room.