Does Lavender Tea Improve Sleep? (Summary of Research)
There’s evidence that tea can improve sleep, but lavender tea isn’t a “real” tea (i.e. like green or black tea).
Instead, lavender tea is a herbal tea, and evidence about the effectiveness of herbal teas at improving sleep varies based on the type.
Let’s take a quick look at research on lavender and sleep to see if it’s reasonable to expect that drinking lavender tea would improve sleep or not.
Research on Lavender Tea and Sleep
Unfortunately, there hasn’t been that much research on lavender tea, so it’s going to be hard to draw any strong conclusions.
One study examined the effects of lavender tea on fatigue and depression in women who had just given birth and were having sleep problems (1).
Subjects drank one cup of lavender tea per day for 2 weeks, with specific instructions to smell it and appreciate the aroma.
They found mixed results:
Experimental group participants (the tea group) perceived less fatigue and depression and showed greater bonding with their infant compared with the control group
Which sounds great, but there was no statistically significant difference at the 4 week follow-up, so any benefits may be short term.
So lavender tea might be a good tool for relief of fatigue and depression in short-term situations that are stressful, which can improve sleep.
In one other study on lavender herbal tea, elderly subjects had a cup of lavender tea once in the morning and once at night for 2 weeks (2).
They found that depression scores in subjects who drank the tea improved significantly. Depression is highly linked to sleep problems, so it’s not a stretch to think that this would improve sleep quality as well.
SummaryThere’s limited research on the effects of lavender tea on sleep. However, there does seem to be some evidence suggesting that lavender tea can improve sleep when anxiety or depression is a cause. More research is needed.
Does Lavender Oil Aromatherapy Improve Sleep?
Since there’s not too much research on lavender tea specifically, we can also look at a few other studies that looked at the effects of lavender aromatherapy. While they might not have the exact same effect, it’s reasonable to assume that they should have similar effects.
A study of Chinese women with insomnia had subjects undergo 12 weeks of lavender aromatherapy (3). Each session was 20 minutes long, and done twice per week.
They measured sleep quality with the CPSQI, which is a variant of the PSQI. Any score above 5 indicates significant sleep problems (and a high risk of insomnia).
There was a large improvement in sleep quality scores:
The experimental group improved by a mean of 4.90 points on the CPSQI, which is no small feat.
Another study split 70 subjects into 3 groups: lavender aromatherapy, tea tree oil aromatherapy, control group with no oil (4).
Again, they found a large improvement in both the lavender and tea tree oil group.
The average score in the lavender group went from 7.63 to 3.86. In practical terms they went from at risk of insomnia to “good” sleepers.
One other small study found an improvement of 2.5 points on the PSQI scale after 4 weeks of aromatherapy (5).
SummaryWhile still a limited amount, there’s a decent amount of evidence showing that lavender aromatherapy can improve sleep quality.
Summary: Will Lavender Tea Help Fix Sleep Problems?
Tea is rarely going to be a fix by itself for severe sleep problems like insomnia. However, it can be part of a solution.
We’ve seen some evidence that suggests that lavender tea may have a positive effect on sleep quality. More research will be needed to identify the best situations to use it for, and to determine the effect size.
The fact that there’s also evidence showing that lavender oil aromatherapy can improve sleep quality significantly also gives a bit more support to the idea that lavender tea can help.
- Effects of Lavender Tea on Fatigue, Depression, and Maternal-Infant Attachment in Sleep-Disturbed Postnatal Women
- The effect of lavender herbal tea on the anxiety and depression of the elderly: A randomized clinical trial
- The Effect of Lavender Aromatherapy on Autonomic Nervous System in Midlife Women with Insomnia
- Aromatherapy: The Effect of Lavender on Anxiety and Sleep Quality in Patients Treated With Chemotherapy
- A Single-Blinded, Randomized Pilot Study Evaluating the Aroma of Lavandula augustifolia as a Treatment for Mild Insomnia
Medical Disclaimer: The information on SnoozeUniversity.com is not intended to be a substitute for physician or other qualified care. We simply aim to inform people struggling with sleep issues about the nature of their condition and/or prescribed treatment.