Can Lavender Really Help You Sleep Better?

Found in parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, lavender is believed to be a natural relaxant. Although there was initially some doubt about its effectiveness due to there not being enough modern academic research done on the subject, researchers have now begun catching up.

The potency of this plant has made its use widespread. It can now be found in cosmetics, home fragrances, and night-time beauty products. If this is not enough, the plant’s potency in inducing relaxation reflects in the fact that it has been used for thousands of years across various cultures- Egyptian, Chinese, and Roman.


Lavender is composed of different chemicals, a major one being linalool, and linalyl acetate. Linalool is a colorless fluid with a pleasant scent and it is found in abundance in nature- lemon, tangerine, cinnamon, and rose are a few examples.

These two chemicals are known to be absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream and alter the body’s existing chemistry. When these compounds were tested on mice, it was found that they inhibit certain neurotransmitters and provide pain and stress relief.


Lavender does not directly impact the quality of sleep. Lavender aids in reducing stress levels and the by-product of that is it can help people to relax enough to slip into states of deep sleep.

A study was conducted at Wesleyan University to study the impact of lavender on people. Researchers discovered that just inhaling the plant’s scent before sleeping led to an increase in the quantity of deep sleep, or slow-wave sleep, that a person got.

Slow-wave sleep is crucial for relaxing our muscles and slowing down the heartbeat. The body’s essential healing happens during slow-wave sleep and getting an adequate amount of it ensures that the immune system stays strong.

There was another study conducted in Iran which involved 158 women who had just given birth. For a total of 2 months, they were given lavender to inhale before bed, while a control group was given some placebo. The results revealed that the women who inhaled the former had a better quality of sleep.

Although these study-samples are small, it must be kept in mind that the results across all samples have been consistent. The usage of lavender has clearly shown to create chemistry of relaxation in a human being. So it is not just because the scent reminds you of a pleasant memory that it is effective.

You can also view some of these YouTube videos to get more clarity on this subject:


There are plenty of ways in which lavender can be used. Given below are a few tips on how to make best use of it:

1. If you have the plant in your garden, then you can harvest the flower buds and place them in a bowl near your bed.

2. Sprinkle a few drops of the essential oil on your wrists and neck before sleeping. You could even sprinkle it on your pillowcase or add a few drops to a tissue and place it underneath your pillow.

3. Add a few drops of the essential oil to warm water for a bath.

4. Apply a lavender scented body-lotion before bed.

How to grow lavender in Australia

Lavenders, what is there not to love? They are beautiful, aromatic, and therapeutic. If ever there was a plant that had it all, it would be the lavender. Lavenders are not very demanding once established. The trick to growing lavenders in Australia, therefore, lies in the ability to get them established in the soil. To start you off, you need to understand some very specific lavender requirements.

We will look at these in two main sections:

(i) The Physical Requirements for Lavender Growth.
(ii) Growing the Lavenders.

****** The Physical requirements For Lavender Growth ******

Under the physical requirements, we will look at four necessary conditions for lavender growth.

(i) The Soil.
(ii) Water.
(iii) Fertilizer.
(iv) Aspect.

*** The Soil.

The soil must be fertile and well-drained. Raise the beds if the soil does not drain well. Enrich the soil with manure or compost before planting. If the soil is highly acidic, lime will be helpful.


Lavenders do not like getting their feet wet. Too much water brings with it diseases like root rot. When established, the plants are drought resistant. Only allow them an occasional soak if the Australian summer is especially hot.

*** Fertilizer.

During the flowering season, apply liquid fertilizer regularly. After the lavenders have flowered, your average slow-release solid fertilizer will do.

*** Aspect.

Once the soil is right, the lavenders will do well when exposed to the sun or under a semi-shade. They do best when exposed to the afternoon heat. Allow the heat in while mitigating strong winds.

****** Growing The Lavenders ******

To get the lavenders established in the soil, we will look at the two main aspects of the growth process.

(i) Planting.
(ii) Caring For The Lavenders.

*** Planting.

i. Plant in the spring when the soil is warming up. If you must plant in the fall, use big plants that can survive the winter.
ii. Plant the lavenders 2ft to 3ft apart.

NB: If the soil is heavy, add organic materials to improve the drainage. The last thing you want is to plant the flowers on wet or moist soils.

*** Caring For The Lavenders.
i. Add mulch to keep the weeds away. Pea gravel is especially effective. Just remember to keep the crown of the lavender above the mulch.
ii. After planting, water the lavenders once or twice every week. After the plants are established, water them every two or three weeks until they bud.
iii. If the winters are especially cold, consider using a warming mulch; like straw.
iv. Established plants should be pruned in the spring when some green leaves are seen emerging from the lavender’s base. Pruning removes, approximately, a third of the top part of the plant.
v. After budding, water the plants once every week until they are ready for harvest.

NB: You only water the lavenders when there is no rain. These plants hate wet soils.

During harvest, cut the stems long. Make sure you harvest the flowers during the morning hours because that is when the oils are most concentrated.

NB: You know the lavenders are ready for harvest when about half of the stem’s flower buds are open.