A critical review on clinical evidence of the efficacy of lavender in sleep disorders

Phytother Res. 2022 Jun;36(6):2342-2351. doi: 10.1002/ptr.7448. Epub 2022 Apr 12.


Sleep disorders are one of the most prevalent psychiatric diseases. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder amongst the general population. It is also one of the most frequent complaints in primary healthcare centers. Lavender is called "the broom of the brain" in different oriental traditional medicines. It is one of the most used plants for patients with sleep disorders. This study reviews what is currently known about the use of lavender for sleep disorders in patients with different diseases, from cancers and end-stage renal disease to neurological-psychiatric diseases (e.g., depression, dementia, and autism), respiratory, cardiac, and metabolic diseases. Additionally, its most used administration route is the inhalation of its essential oil (i.e., aromatherapy) alone or in combination by massage. Some limitations of the reviewed literature were discussed briefly. Overall, this critical review provides promising evidence of the lavender efficacy for sleep disorders in a wide variety of populations and diseases. However, further clinical studies with robust design and longer durations of intervention are necessary for more evidence-based judgment on its effect on sleep problems and to investigate its mechanism of action.

Keywords: Lavandula angustifolia; insomnia; lavender sleep disorders; phytotherapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aromatherapy*
  • Humans
  • Lavandula*
  • Oils, Volatile* / therapeutic use
  • Plant Oils / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use
  • Sleep Wake Disorders* / drug therapy


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils