AromatherapyAutismChildrenLavenderMassageSleep (Insomnia)

Might aromatherapy massage improve sleep in children with autism?

In an earlier post it was concluded that lavender oil treatments might be helpful for treating insomnia in adults. Children with autism often have sleep difficulties. But this latest study suggests it does not appear that their sleep patterns are altered by this treatment.

Here are the details of the study. Do you agree with the conclusions?

  • 12 children with autism and learning difficulties (2 girls, 10 boys)
  • Aged 12 to 15.5 years
  • Living in a residential school
  • 3 nights of aromatherapy massage with lavender oil compared to 14 nights of no treatment
  • Children were checked every 30 minutes throughout the night

It’s a small study. There were no obvious benefits, but it would be wrong to make sweeping conclusions based on just 12 children in a residential school.


9/23/06 11:04 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.