Welcome back to the fourth installment of our supplement ingredient review series for sleep. In this post, we will be exploring the effects of lavender on sleep and why we didn't include it in our Knocked formula. Lavender is a popular ingredient in sleep supplements and is often used for its calming and relaxing properties. But does it actually work? Let's find out.
What is Lavender and What Effects Does it Have on the Brain/Body?
Lavender is a flowering plant that is commonly used in aromatherapy, skincare, and even cooking. The essential oil extracted from the plant is known for its soothing and calming properties. When inhaled, the aroma of lavender can have a sedative effect on the brain, reducing feelings of anxiety and promoting relaxation. The main active compounds in lavender are linalool and linalyl acetate, which are believed to interact with the GABA receptors in the brain, helping to reduce neuron excitability and induce sleepiness.
Benefits for Sleep:
Several studies have shown that lavender can be an effective aid for sleep. A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that lavender essential oil improved the quality of sleep in patients with insomnia. Another study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that lavender aromatherapy was effective in improving the sleep quality of postpartum women. Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry found that lavender oil capsules improved the sleep quality of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment.
Potential Side Effects:
While lavender is generally considered safe, there are some potential side effects to be aware of. Some people may experience skin irritation or an allergic reaction when using lavender oil topically. When ingested, lavender oil can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Inhaling too much lavender oil can also cause headaches, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
Why We Didn't Include Lavender in Our Knocked Formula:
While lavender is a popular ingredient in sleep supplements, we chose not to include it in our Knocked formula for a few reasons. Firstly, some people may be sensitive to the scent of lavender and find it unpleasant. Additionally, the sedative effects of lavender can vary from person to person and may not be strong enough to promote sleep in some individuals. Lastly, there are other ingredients that we believe are more effective for promoting sleep and relaxation, such as magnesium, l-theanine, and chamomile (apigenin).
Lavender is a popular ingredient in sleep supplements and has been shown to have some benefits for sleep. However, there are also potential side effects to be aware of, and the effectiveness of lavender can vary from person to person. While we did not include lavender in our Knocked formula, it may be worth trying for those who are looking for a natural sleep aid. As always, it's important to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.
Kasper, S., Gastpar, M., Müller, W. E., Volz, H. P., Möller, H. J., Dienel, A., & Schlafke, S. (2010). Silexan, an orally administered Lavandula oil preparation, is effective in the treatment of 'subsyndromal' anxiety disorder: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. International Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25(5), 277-287. [https://journals.lww.com/intclinpsychopharm/Abstract/2010/09000/Silexan,_an_orally_administered_Lavandula_oil.3.aspx]
Goel, N., Kim, H., & Lao, R. P. (2005). An olfactory stimulus modifies nighttime sleep in young men and women. Chronobiology International, 22(5), 889-904. [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07420520500263276]
Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013. [https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/681304/]
Cavanagh, H. M., & Wilkinson, J. M. (2002). Biological activities of lavender essential oil. Phytotherapy Research, 16(4), 301-308. [https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ptr.1103]
Kianpour, M., Moshirenia, F., Kheirabadi, G. R., Asghari, G., Dehghani, A., & Dehghani-tafti, A. (2021). The effects of lavender and chamomile essential oil inhalation aromatherapy on depression, anxiety, and stress in postpartum women: A randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Caring Sciences, 10(1), 21-28. [https://jcs.tbzmed.ac.ir/Article/jcs-31270]