Background: Essential oils are among the preferred alternative remedies for treating sleep
disturbance, but empirical evidence for their effectiveness is varied. According to a new line of research,
an inhaler designed to deliver high concentrations of essential oil molecules directly into the
nose effectively influences the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the autonomous nervous system.
Objective: This study was run to investigate whether insomnia complaints were reduced upon the use
of the inhaler AromaStick® ‘Relax’.
Methods: A documentation field study involving thirty individuals with a recorded history of nonspecific
insomnia complaints was conducted to determine the inhaler’s specific effects.
Results: Upon nightly use for one week, the odor inhaler strongly improved sleep quality and reduced
symptoms associated with poor sleep. Depending on the dimensions tested, effect sizes ranged between
0.8 < d < 2.6. The strongest effects were found for ‘difficulty maintaining sleep’, ‘difficulty initiating
sleep’ and ‘feeling recovered after sleeping’.
Conclusion: The inhaler proved to be useful in mitigating sleep impairment. The effects were strongest
in individuals reporting low sleep quality.