Breathing Relaxation and Lavandula Angustifolia Aromatherapy for Insomnia Reduction in Elderly

Tata Mahyuvi1), Dhian Restika Perbawani2), Heru Suwardianto3)


1)Islamic Hospital A. Yani, Surabaya, Indonesia

2)ASKA House Sidoarjo, Indonesia

3)Institute of Health Science, Baptist Hospital, Kediri, Indonesia



Background: Insomnia is a common sleep disorder in the elderly, characterictized difficulties in sleep initiation, sleep maintenance or early morning awakening. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is most commonly used in aromatherapy. The fragrance from the oils of the lavender plant is believed to help promote calmness and wellnes. It is also said to help reduce stress, anxiety, and possibly even mild pain. This study aimed to determine the effect of breathing relaxation in combination with lavender aromatherapy on the reduction of insomnia in the elderly.

Subjects and Method: This was a quasi experimental study with one group pretest-posttest design. A sample of 21 elderly people who experienced insomnia were selected for this study from the Elderly Posyandu, Tambakrejo Waru Village, Sidoarjo, East Java. The independent variable was combination of breathing relaxation and lavender aromatherapy. The breathing relaxation involved  slow and deep breathing technique using the diaphragm muscle, allowing the stomach to slowly lift and the chest to expand fully and while inhaling lavender aromatherapy.  Lavender aromatherapy was administered while the elderly were in a state of relaxation to help focus on calmness and reduction of stress. This exercise was undertaken for about 20 minutes before going to bed, 6 days for a week long. The dependent variable was insomnia, which was measured by the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI). The ISI is a short subjective instrument measuring symptoms and consequences of insomnia. It is composed of seven items with perceived severity of each item was rated on a 0-4 scale. The total score ranging from 0-28 was obtained by summing the items ratings. The mean score of ISI before and after the intervention was compared with by paired t-test.

Results: The mean score of ISI after the intervention (Mean= 14.8; SD= 2.3) was lower than that before intervention (Mean= 21.7; SD= 3.5), and it was statistically significant (p = 0.027).

Conclusion: Breathing relaxation in combination with lavender aromatherapy is effective in reducing insomnia in the elderly.

Keywords: breathing relaxation, lavandula angustifolia, lavender, insomnia, elderly.

Correspondence: Heru Suwardianto. Institute of Health Science, Baptist Hospital, Kediri. East Java. Jl. Mayjend Panjaitan 3B Kediri, Indonesia. Email: Mobile: +6285645277707.



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