In a new study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers explored the impacts of inhalation aromatherapy on sleep disturbances in elderly individuals with dementia.
Normal sleep was watched for a 20-day control period in 19 subjects, then inhalation aromatherapy was applied for a 20-day intervention period. Essential oils were placed nightly on towels around the subjects’ pillows during the intervention period, and sleep latency, total sleep time, sleep efficacy, duration of the longest sustained sleep period, wake time after sleep onset, early morning awakening, total daytime sleep, and the Neuropsychiatric Inventory were measured.
Total sleep time and the duration of the longest sleep period were both significantly longer in the intervention period than in the control period. Early morning awakening in the intervention period was significantly less than in the control period.
The study authors conclude that inhalation aromatherapy demonstrates positive effects on symptoms of sleep disturbance in elderly individuals with dementia.