THE BLOG

Lavender Improves Sleep Quality for College Students

My interest in sleep began with my daughter's sleep issues as a college student and has expanded as it became clear that it aligns with my interest in Public Health, as sleep is now identified as a population health issue.
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As a fellow sleep instigator, I love the fact The Huffington Post is bringing the Sleep Revolution to college campuses to start a cultural conversation around sleep. It is so needed! And bringing products on the tour to help students sleep better makes it a tour de force. I have heard and read about Arianna Huffington's "wake up call" for better sleep. My interest in sleep began with my daughter's sleep issues as a college student and has expanded as it became clear that it aligns with my interest in Public Health, as sleep is now identified as a population health issue. Addressing sleep issues with college students can help them be healthy and successful students as well as prevent life long, chronic issues with sleep. I want to join the #SLEEPREVOLUTION.

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My interest in college students with sleep issues led me to complete my PhD study with sleep deprived college students. The study was a randomized controlled trial on the effect of inhaled Lavender and good sleep practices on sleep in college students with self-reported sleep issues. One group received one drop of Lavender on an inhalation patch for five nights and the other group received a blank patch. Both groups focused on practicing better sleep habits for the 5 consecutive week day nights. The sleep practices included: not drinking anything right before bed and avoiding food, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine several hours before bed, going to sleep and waking up on a schedule, setting time during the day for planning, keeping up with school work, having a dark, quiet sleep environment, avoiding screen time, and exercising regularly. This study found inhaled Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) plus good sleep practices made a statistically significant difference for improved sleep quality and waking feeling refreshed. This effect remained at two week follow-up. Two weeks after the end of the five night intervention the Lavender group of college students still had significantly improved sleep quality compared to the blank patch group.

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These were exciting findings because inhaled Lavandula angustifolia is an easy self-care tool to keep on the nightstand and to use right before going to sleep. Just one or two drops on a pillow for five consecutive nights may help make both your sleep and wake experience better. Of course combining the use of Lavandula angustifolia with good sleep practices as noted above can be helpful. More information on this study can be found at here or visit my website.