Contributed by Dr. Damian Rodriguez, DHSc, MS
Adding to its growing list of scientific publications, the doTERRA research group recently published another study—and this one is a little unique. First, while most of the previous studies involved the biological activity of essential oils, this one investigated sleep quality and one of doTERRA’s newest and most popular dietary supplements. Second, it was a human clinical trial conducted here at the doTERRA global campus, with our own employees as the participants. doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels were released at convention 2016, as doTERRA saw a need to address one of the most undervalued aspects of lifelong health and vitality: sleep.
The Need for Sleep
Sleep quantity and quality is associated with almost every metric of health and well-being. Recent scientific research has provided an almost endless amount of data regarding the importance of sleep and health. Meeting recommended sleeping guidelines and having good sleep hygiene is associated with increased quality of life and prolonged health. It is also directly associated with decreased risk for many health problems.1 Adequate sleep has been shown to positively influence nutrition and exercise habits and have a direct impact on weight management.2 And, for the more than 25% of U.S. adults not meeting generally recommended guidelines for sleep and over 9 million regularly using products to help with sleep, improvement in this area is one thing that could make a big difference in their lives.3
Although there are many commercial options and an increasing amount of herbal and natural alternatives, little research has been done regarding their safety and efficacy. While there is clinical and experimental research to suggest that consumption of the individual components of doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels (Lavender essential oil, L-theanine, lemon balm, passion flower, and chamomile) may aid in several parameters of sleep quality, what was really needed was human clinical data on the finished product. Enter the doTERRA research group.
In the recently published study, doTERRA scientists recruited 62 healthy adults with self-reported occasional trouble sleeping to put doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels to the test.4 The participants were divided into placebo and test groups and subjected to a 6-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. The study included a 1-week washout period during which no study products or other sleep aids were used, followed by a 2-week intervention in which participants were provided either the study product or a placebo, then another 1-week washout, and concluding with another 2-week intervention that included the opposite product, sequentially.
During the intervention periods, participants were asked to swallow two softgels every night, 30 minutes before going to sleep. Participants and researchers were both blinded to which product was being used during the intervention periods. Participants also filled out a validated sleep quality assessment tool (Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire, or LSEQ) prior to the study and at the end of each week during the 6-week study period, as well as a diary that included general information about sleep time, exercise, caffeine intake and other objective metrics associated with sleep efficiency. A total of 51 participants completed the study.
The results? If you have already integrated doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels into your daily supplement regime, the results of this study shouldn’t surprise you. During the intervention periods including the study product, participants reported (on the LSEQ) statistically significant improvements in falling asleep, balance and coordination upon awakening, ease of awakening, and alertness following awakening as compared to the placebo and washout periods. Furthermore, all parameters evaluated from the sleep diaries, with the exception of waking duration, showed better scores when the participants were taking the study product than when taking the placebo, although the differences did not reach statistical significance. There were also no reported serious adverse side effects.
Although this study was small-scale and short-term, it provides further clinical evidence to support the previous research suggesting that internal consumption of Lavender essential oil, L-theanine, lemon balm, passion flower, and chamomile may improve parameters of sleep quality and that doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels may serve as an effective and more natural alternative to single component sleep products. To promote the restful sleep that you need for optimum health, try integrating doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels into your daily bedtime routine.