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Brand New doTERRA Sleep System!

In this episode we sit down with Dr. Nicole Stevens, VP of Clinical Research at doTERRA, to talk about the creation and clinical study of the brand new doTERRA Sleep System. Then we'll talk with Elena Starkey about her experience participating in the clinical trial and changes she saw through using the doTERRA Sleep System.

This episode is sponsored by Lavender, learn more about how you can get a free, exclusive copy of the Internal Use of Essential Oils audiobook by purchasing a bottle of Lavender.

If youd like to enroll to be a doTERRA member and receive a 25% wholesale discount on all products click here.


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Sleep. It's something that all of us need, and many of us don't feel like we get enough of. Well, today we'll talk about a new option doTERRA® has for supporting your best sleep.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA: the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field.

Today's episode is brought to you by Lavender, a plant that's been treasured and revered for almost 3000 years. Wherever you're headed on adventures, make sure that Lavender is always with you so that you stay doTERRA Ready. Right now, as a podcast exclusive, if you buy a bottle of Lavender and enter the promo code: "Natural" at checkout, we'll send you an exclusive audiobook: "Internal Use of Essential Oils." This audiobook will help you learn how to safely use essential oils, as well as tips and ideas for the best ways to use essential oils internally. Check out the link in our episode description or visit to learn more. Open to US Orders only.

Today, we're excited to talk to Dr. Nicole Stevens, Vice President of Clinical Research at doTERRA, about the doTERRA Serenity® Sleep system, and the clinical trial doTERRA performed on the products.

And then we'll talk to Elena Starkey about her experience participating in the clinical trial.

doTERRA: Nicole, thank you so much for sitting down with us today.

Dr. Nicole Stevens: Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure.

doTERRA: I am so excited to dive a little bit deeper into the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System. So, to start off with, can you tell me about some of the powerful ingredients in the new doTERRA Serenity Sleep System and the research that went into them?

Dr. Stevens: Oh, definitely. And this could be an hour all by itself. But the doTERRA Serenity System, of course, is based on the amazing doTERRA Serenity oil. That's kind of the heart of the system. And this blend, I think, has some of the most calming and relaxing essential oils that we know. So, of course, Lavender is a big star of this one. And there is lots of research on Lavender for use in bedtime routines and calming routines.

But then it's joined by other really powerful essential oils like Cedarwood and Ylang Ylang. Each of these kind of has their own body of research indicating that they are very powerful to use as a way to help prepare for a really good, restful sleep. And then, you know, you've got Vetiver and Sandalwood, even some woods in there that are well known. They've got those heavier sesquiterpene molecules that are very relaxing. That, I think, is one of the real powerhouses of the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System.

And then you take each of the parts of the system, you've got the oil doTERRA Serenity blend for diffusion, you've got the doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian for topical application, and you've got the doTERA Serenity Stick + Valerian for internal. And each of them has their own amazing constellation of ingredients that really bring some power to the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System.

So, in the topical stick, you've got some additional ingredients that help really make this a beautiful experience for the skin. You know, it's very pleasant to glide on, it's got the addition of the Valerian oil that we'll talk a little bit more in depth about.

And then you go to the softgels that have some ingredients where, as they go through the digestive system, they're having these calming and relaxing benefits.

So, it really is just an amazing system to use altogether. Some people like to use the individual pieces, but really, I think the power comes when you have them all together as a system.

doTERRA Serenity Sleep System

Combine this three-step system with smart sleep hygiene habits to get the rest you deserve.

  • Inhale the sweet aromatic lullaby of doTERRA Serenity Restful Blend as you prepare for bed.
  • Take a doTERRA Serenity Softgel so L-Theanine can encourage relaxation and tart cherry can support your body’s melatonin production.
  • Rub the doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian onto your feet and pulse points and enjoy its calming aroma as you close your eyes and drift into a wonderful sleep.

doTERRA: Now, you mentioned the softgels and they aren't a product that's brand new, but I know that they were reformulated for the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System. Can you tell me why we decided to update that formula?

Dr. Stevens: Absolutely. You know, one of the many things that I love about doTERRA is they have the best products in the world, just absolutely amazing products. They don't just sit back and say, "Okay, that product is done forever." The scientists are always looking at new research and new ingredients and thinking, "Are there ways we can make this product even better?"

So, the original doTERRA Serenity, of course, goes back—back to about 2015 softgels, where we were doing a research on these. We did our first big clinical trial for doTERRA back then, and the softgels, even back then, performed very well in the study that we did; the human clinical study. And that publication has been out for many years. And so we know the product works. It's great.

But as the scientists were looking at the ingredients, they were saying, "I think we can make this even better." And so, the addition of the tart cherry extract, that is a natural source of melatonin, is really where some additional power is being brought into these supplements. And what is really cool about that is, you know, people see melatonin on the market all the time, that's not necessarily anything new and huge.

But what a lot of people may not understand is that melatonin is an important hormone in the body, but mega doses, or synthetic doses could do things to the body that we don't necessarily understand or want. So, the really cool thing about the doTERRA Serenity product, with this natural tart cherry source of melatonin, is it is something that is biologically functional, but not this mega dose that could be doing more harm in the long run than good. It's a really gentle way to help the body into this restful state.

doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels

doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels harness the power of well-researched, historically proven ingredients and the best of modern science to deliver a calming night of quality rest.


And so, with the research we've most recently done on the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System, we wanted to get clear down to the core of what was going on and look at what was happening on the cellular level, the epigenetics of the body cells and how they were responding to this natural supplement. And really, the system, in general.

And what we found was just amazing. We were seeing the right kinds of genes turned up that would support a restful sleep and the processes that were going on during sleep and the genes being turned down that would be counter to that. So, this is a big deal. This is an amazing change to an already amazing product. So, we're very excited about this new product. And from the feedback we've gotten so far, people are just loving the way that it's working for their bedtime routine, as well.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And I think that's something that I love about doTERRA, is that when a new version of a product comes out, you never have to miss the old version because you know the new version is going to be so much better, and just more powerful and even better for you and your lifestyle.

Dr. Stevens: Right? All the good of the original, plus more.

doTERRA: Right. Now, you mentioned Valerian a little bit earlier, which we added to the doTERRA Serenity Stick. What makes that doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian so unique?

Dr. Stevens: Yes. Oh, my goodness. So, this has become, you know, one of our new favorites, as well. It's been added into our sleep routine for sure. So, Valerian, as an herb, has long been known to support very, very deep relaxation. And it's used quite a bit in various herbal types of uses. But you don't often see Valerian oil. This is something that's fairly new and unique that doTERRA is offering.

And some people, you know, the aroma of Valerian oil by itself is very, very earthy, it's kind of in the same vein of Spikenard or Vetiver, which, not everyone loves that particular aroma, by itself. So, I was very curious to see, well, what's it going to smell like when we put it in with doTERRA Serenity? Are you going to be able to smell this really earthy aroma?

But when it mixes in with the doTERRA Serenity essential oil, it is an absolutely beautiful scent, which, to be honest, surprised and delighted me because we want the Valerian—those sesquiterpenes that are known to really help—but we want it to be in a delivery system that people love, that they look forward to putting on their skin. That feels good. You know, it glides on, it's very smooth, it's very wearable. And it was formulated specifically to be very gentle to many types of skin.

doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian

Preparing for bed has never been more convenient than with the quick absorption and smooth application of the doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian.


So, I love that this is a new delivery system for us, and a way that people can have something kind of to look forward to. It becomes habitual. It becomes something that's part of a routine that tells the mind it's time to calm down. It's time to go to sleep. So, it's a fantastic product, one that has become one of my personal favorites and that of my family as well. It's something that we've started using nightly and just love.

doTERRA: And I think you can't emphasize enough the convenience of having it in that stick, because you don't have to think about a big process or remember, it can sit on your bedside table. You can just glide it on right before. It makes it so easy to work it into your routine.

Dr. Stevens: Oh, absolutely, yeah. The convenience factor is super high. Great for traveling too. I know when I travel, I love stuff that I can just throw into my bag and it doesn't trip any of the airport security or anything like that. So, then definitely on traveling, it has become a fantastic companion.

doTERRA: Yes. Now we've briefly touched on the oil, the softgels and the stick. What is the significance of having these together as a three-step system, as opposed to just one singular product?

Dr. Stevens: Great question. And this is something that we talked about, we thought about, brainstormed a lot as we were thinking about how this system was going to be used together. And what we saw in the research and in the other literature that's kind of been done on each of the pieces of these, is that they are supporting different pathways in the body. It's different ways of approaching the same problem or the different ways of approaching the same thing, essentially.

So, you know, sleep and our body systems, are very complex. And these pathways that are going on in our bodies, in each of our cells--there's a lot of signals that are going back and forth every second of every day. So, each of these products approaches those signals and those pathways a little bit differently. So, it's a way to align those signals in the body. I think of it that way.

When the body is hearing multiple signals from multiple places, it's like, "Oh, okay, it really is time to calm down and go to sleep." You know, it's getting the aromatic signals from the oil and it's getting the topical signals that are coming from the stick, as well as aromatic as we smell it rising off of our skin. And then it's getting signals also from the softgel in our digestive system. And all of these are really combining to help the body in multiple ways, in several different ways.

And we saw this as we looked at the clinical research. As we were going through the trial, we were testing multiple things from people too. We were asking them, "How did you feel?" And we were checking their blood, and we were looking at their epigenetics. And each of these ways were telling us that the effects we were seeing were happening on lots of different levels.

So, that's where I think the real power of the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System comes in, is we are helping and supporting multiple levels of healthy sleep and relaxation. And that makes sense coming from a lot of different places in our body, and leading, ultimately, to the same goal of having really high-quality sleep.

doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, you mentioned that clinical trial and I want to dive a little bit deeper in there. Can you explain a little bit more how we set that up and what kinds of things we're measuring and the results that we saw there?

Dr. Stevens: Yeah, I'd love to. That's really where the rubber met the road for us. We wanted to take a look at this trial a little bit different than we've done with some in the past. Because this was a system we, of course, wanted to focus on how it works together as a system. But we were also curious about how do each of the pieces work separately, if someone were to need to use it separately or want to use it separately at some point?

So we set up the trial to look at first—well, first we wanted to see what people were doing without anything at all. We wanted to check their sleep just as their sleep normally would be. We had them wear fitness tracking devices on their wrist, and we had them just go about their day. And we took a look at what their sleep looked like and what their activity levels looked like, and we had them tell us how they felt.

Then we introduced the oil and we had them diffuse just the oil for a week. And we saw, "Okay, are there any changes that happened just with the oil?" Then for another week we had them do the oil and the stick together and we said, okay, are there any changes if we just use that part of the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System?

And then finally, for a month, we had them do the whole doTERRA Serenity Sleep System. And each week we were still asking them, "How do you feel?" We were measuring their sleep and their activity with the fitness tracker, and we were doing blood tests to see what's happening inside their body. Are there positive changes? Are there things that we would maybe not want to see? We always check for safety markers when we're doing studies like this. So, what we found was very exciting to us.

We saw that, compared to before people started doing anything, you know, there's a lot of people just had sleep that was all over the map. Like ,really crazy, not high quality, not good sleep scores. And unfortunately this is fairly common. A lot of other research has shown us that, as a country and really in a lot of ways, as a global community, sleep is not good. Most of us don't get the kind of sleep that we need to really sustain a healthy life.

So, once we started introducing the doTERRA Serenity products, it was really exciting to see the changes that started happening when we were looking at the fitness tracker that was looking at sleep amount and sleep quality. We saw the amount of sleep increase a little bit, but really it was the quality of sleep that increased more. We saw changes in the amount of deep sleep and REM sleep, and the kinds of sleep that are very supportive of health, very healing to the body.

And, even more exciting to us is what we were seeing happening on the cellular level. The blood tests were showing us that health markers were increasing. And we didn't see any changes in the safety markers, which was good too. We want to make sure this is a safe system for people to use.

And I think most exciting to us was looking at epigenetics. And this is clear down at the level of DNA, right? People's DNA. It is what it is. It is what they came with, what they were born with. But then epigenetics is where we actually can alter the genes that are being expressed. We turn them up or we turn them down like a dimmer switch. And this is really what's going to affect us day to day. It's going to affect our health, our longevity.

And what we saw with people using the doTERRA Serenity Kit was that these genes that were being turned up were supportive of healthy sleep, of healthy immune system, of healthy body processes. And the genes that were being turned down were the ones that we would see if you were under high stress. So, we were seeing the body reset, and we were seeing all these wonderful positive changes from the people using the doTERRA Serenity Sleep Kit.

And honestly, it was exciting for us because we knew the product worked and we could see it. And it was exciting for us, too, as scientists because this is work that's never been done before. We were we were seeing things that was very new and exciting and novel in the scientific community. So, in a lot of ways, this is just a very groundbreaking study for doTERRA. And we're so excited to be able to share that at convention. And then some additional assets are going to be coming out, and hopefully some publication or several soon.

doTERRA: And every time I hear this research and the results, I am just blown away. And it's so incredible because like you said, this is groundbreaking. Other companies cannot say these things about their products. And we have this proven research to show what our products can do.

Dr. Stevens: Exactly. And it comes back to this idea that because doTERRA has done so much background work and legwork in making sure they have a quality product to start with, that's how we can do the kind of research that we do. That's how we can do research that we have confidence in, because it's a product that has such high quality and consistency and purity that no one else can deliver. So, that's why it's just amazing to be doing this kind of research on a product that we trust, because doTERRA has done so much work in that way.

doTERRA: Nicole, I think something that comes up every time we talk about clinical trials is people asking how they can get involved. So, what can people do to be involved in any future clinical trials that doTERRA is running?

Dr. Stevens: Oh my goodness, we love that question. Because honestly, what we do can't happen without our amazing clinical trial participants. So, it's interesting because each trial has a little bit different requirements in terms of who can participate and who it may not be safe to have them participate.

Always, always at the you know, the highest priority for us is making sure that the participants who join us in our trials are safe to do so, and that they understand what the trial is about and what will be expected of them. So, we typically are looking for people who are generally healthy because we're a supplement company and not a drug company. We do our research with people who are healthy and want to join us in understanding what these supplements and essential oils can do.

So, the way we typically recruit is by sending out Facebook posts. So, keep an eye on, you know, doTERRA Facebook and doTERRA science and not just Facebook, Instagram, too and the other social media outlets. We do have a newsletter that we send out quarterly that gives people updates on the various trials that are open and available. This is something that people can join.

There's not, right now, a good central place to do that, but we are working on a website that is part of the Prime Meridian Health website. If you ever go to, I think is the main site, we have a page on that site where we are and we're in process of revamping it. So, we're excited about some changes that are coming.

But there is a place there to join our mailing list, and this is probably one of the best ways to be informed about the trials that we're doing, because we send out information about that in our newsletters, as well as sometimes we'll just send out a push to anyone who is part of that newsletter. And we do try to make it fun. We have giveaways and we have articles about clinical research. And we like people to be involved. And we know that people are excited to be involved and we're really grateful for that.

So, I would say, yeah, keep an eye on your social media outlets and come join the newsletter if you'd like to. Check out the Prime Meridian website and the clinical trials subsite of that site. And if you ever have questions, or just wanted to get in touch with us as a clinical research team, our email address, as well, is a great way to contact us, and that's just And we are always happy to answer questions and let people know about upcoming trials if they want to give us a little shout.

doTERRA: Nicole, thank you so much for talking with us today, for sharing information not only on how people can be involved in future clinical trials, but really teaching us about this new doTERRA Serenity Sleep System and the amazing benefits it can have in our lives.

Dr. Stevens: Oh, thank you for the opportunity. We are always excited to talk about this. It's truly a pleasure.

doTERRA: Elena, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Elena Starkey: I'm happy to be here.

doTERRA: Now, my first question for you, because you were part of the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System clinical trial: how did you use the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System during the trial? What was your daily routine with these products?

Elena: Okay, the daily routine was a little bit odd because it was summer holiday and my routines were depending on my daughter's schedule. So, I was trying to start to use it in the evening like an hour before I thought we would go to sleep. And I was using it not just for myself, but also for my seven-year-old daughter.

I would start to diffuse, doTERRA Serenity blend, and we would just play with the doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian. And I would put the stick on my feet and wrists and my neck, and I would just play with my daughter, like drawing some flowers on her back with that stick to try to calm her down. And right before going to bed, I would take two capsules of doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex Softgels, and then I would just use my mask and go to bed.

doTERRA Serenity® Oil

doTERRA Serenity Oil

The soothing, grounding aroma of doTERRA Serenity Restful Blend is a magical mix of Lavender, Cedarwood, Coriander, Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, and Sandalwood essential oils, with hints of Tonka Bean and Vanilla Absolute.


doTERRA: And how did you notice that your sleep or your daughter's sleep changed after you started using the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System?

Elena: I have noticed that I started to sleep much deeper than I usually did. And my concern about my sleep routine was that I didn't have problems with falling asleep fast, but I was really struggling during the night. Like, I would wake up around 3:30 or 4:30 at night and I would start to develop some thoughts, which would be hard to stop, and they would keep me from falling back to sleep. And we also have a dog which is barking sometimes at night, and it wakes me up. And sometimes I would wake up and go to adjust the air conditioner in our house, and then I would find out that I had trouble falling back asleep.

So, with the capsules: first of all, I noticed that I'm not waking up so often. Plus, dog barks don't bother me so much. Like if the dog barks, I'm like, "Okay, I'll just fall asleep again." Or sometimes I would just sleep through the night without even waking up. And then waking up after eight hours' uninterrupted sleep, I would wake up thinking like, "Who am I?" "Where am I?" Like, "How long did I sleep?"

And I also noticed lots and lots of dreams. Like very long, interesting, adventurous dreams. And that's how I noticed that it really works for me, because a couple of days when I would forget to take my capsules, there would be a different experience. Because sometimes you think like, "Okay, it works." Or maybe it's just a coincidence. And that's how I found out that, no, it's not a coincidence. Because every time when I don't do that routine, my sleep is different.

doTERRA: That is amazing. And were there other parts of your life where you noticed improvement after using the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System?

Elena: I actually noticed that. First of all, my other part of life is my motherhood. So, I've noticed that my daughter goes to bed faster and she's not like, you know, she's not trying to keep herself up like it usually is. Like, okay, tell me the story, ask me a question. I need to drink. I need to go. And I found out that she calms down much faster. She started to bond to me much more because this process of using the doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian with her, it seems like it's like it gives us this bonding time with some extra touches and attention, which I give her. Plus, the smell is so pleasant.

So, this one was a very significant change, which I've noticed. Plus, I've noticed that after having a good sleep I can make more steps a day. Like if before I would struggle to make even 5,000 steps. I would have to force myself to go out to make these steps. But when I sleep enough, I'm so much more active that 10,000 steps doesn't sound, for me, like too much. I can go out, I can make my 10,000 steps and I wouldn't feel like I overdid it. Like, "Oh my goodness, I did too much." So, it was like a very significant change in my level of energy.

Plus my cravings too. Because I had this problem with sugar cravings. And I've noticed that if I have enough sleep the next day, I'm not so dependent on sugar treats. And if I didn't have enough sleep, then I start to catch up my energy with some chocolate and cakes or like cupcakes, cookies, something like this. I even call it like stress level two cookies, stress level four cookies. And when I take doTERRA Serenity, my stress level goes down in cookies.

doTERRA: That is so incredible. And I think those are all benefits that everyone would like to have. More energy and just feeling better with your whole outlook on the day.

Elena: Yeah. I think that people who take this doTERRA Serenity Sleep System, like not just the blend, not just the stick, not just the capsules, but all together—plus, I would recommend to use the mask like which you put on your eyes and maybe even earplugs, which would help you to go so much deeper into your sleep—that you will start to experience that you live like two different lives. One life is your usual life, the real life, and another one is adventurous. I call it "night adventures" because when I have a deep sleep, the quality of dreams is also changing. It's like longer, more eventful.

If we go deeper, you can see how it gives you the perspective of your subconscious. Because out of these dreams, you can analyze them or you can see what you were dreaming about. And it gives you a lot of insights in your real life. That's what I noticed too. And I'm also go in through a very hard time right now because I'm going through the divorce process and I'm working with a counselor. And she was also amazed how much do I remember from my dreams and how much I bring to discuss during our sessions.

And I think that the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System really helped in this area also. And it helps me to stay stable, emotionally stable, and to sleep through the night, which is very important when you go through some stressful process.

doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, Elena, you mentioned the eye mask and maybe the earplugs. Were there any other healthy bedtime habits that you paired with using the doTERRA Serenity Sleep System?

Elena: I've noticed that if I have several thousand steps before I go to bed, like if I just bring myself outside and make about two or 3000 steps around our neighborhood, I feel different. I feel complete, I feel like I'm doing it right and it gives me--it gives me more awareness, and the quality of my life and my sleep gets better. So, I would say that capsules work for me, anyway. Like even if I didn't go out and made those steps, it still would work. But, I see how different it is when you prepare yourself to go to bed.

Plus a reduce in coffee in the second part of the day also helps a lot. Like if I don't drink black tea or green tea, but I just focus on taking peppermint tea or chamomile tea, then it also helps to calm down. And what I like about it is that you don't make yourself go to sleep. You don't force yourself to fall asleep. It just goes so naturally that you enjoy the process.

I remember actually the feeling when I lay down in my bed, and Igot my blanket and it covered me like a cloud and, and I felt like on the cloud. I'm like, "Okay, it's so good. I'm so happy to be in my bed and I'm ready to fall asleep." And I noticed that moment, and I thought that I'm so happy that I'm using natural supplements to do that.

So, it's not like any kind of synthetic pill makes me to feel that way. But like natural and plants that's what made me so happy that I can care for myself, and I can care for my child without using any type of synthetic pills to help us to fall asleep.

doTERRA: Absolutely. That is so incredible.

Elena, thank you so much for talking with us today, for sharing your experiences with the doTERRA Sleep System and some of your advice on how to incorporate these products into our lives.

Elena: Thank you so much. Thank you.

doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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