April 8, 2021
For our overworked nurses out there. Sleepiness is a common complaint of those required to work night shifts, including nurses. Sleepiness during a shift among nurses could lead to accidents and medical errors.
A randomized, controlled trial evaluated the effects of inhaling rosemary essential oil during a night shift. Eighty night-shift nurses in a critical care unit (CCU) were randomly assigned to two groups: 40 in the control group (distilled water) and 40 in the essential oil group. Participants completed sleep surveys at the beginning and end of the study. One drop of rosemary essential oil was added to gauze and placed inside a mask, which was used to inhale the oil for 10 to 15 minutes while working. At the end of the study, the nurses who received the essential oil reported significantly less sleepiness and improved alertness during their shifts when compared to control groups.