Blog #2: Continuation of The Use of Lavender Aromatherapy to Reduce Test Anxiety and Improve Sleep Quality in Nursing Students

In the continuation of my undergraduate research project, The Use of Lavender Aromatherapy to Reduce Test Anxiety and Improve Sleep Quality in Nursing Students we are in the midst of recruiting individuals for our research study. Initially we were going to focus our study on the population of freshmen nursing students, however after analyzing the freshmen and sophomore nursing curriculum we have decided to also open up the study to sophomore nursing majors. Sophomore nursing majors face a lot of stress in this year of nursing. It is their first year of real nursing classes and many of the students have a hard time managing their time in order to study and get all of their projects/ papers done in time. This raises their anxiety levels and many of the students stay up all night due to this anxiety and workload. Therefore, we have officially decided to recruit sophomores in addition to freshmen nursing students for our study.

Through the course of this semester I have also learned more about the use of lavender and its effects on anxiety and sleep quality. Lavender works as an anxiolytic and as a sedative to increase relaxation and calm and help bring about sleep. It has been shown to increase time spent in deep, slow wave sleep thus improving insomnia and sleep quality. In terms of stress, lavender has been shown to reduce the physical and emotional signs of stress. This includes: lowering blood pressure and heart rate, and increasing feelings of relaxation and calmness. In addition, Lavender can also function as a pain reliever or analgesic and as an anti inflammatory agent.

The only questions in our study that we had so far was regarding our population of students that we were focusing on. However, my mentor and I discussed which population of students to focus on and decided on sophomore and freshmen nursing students.



Blog Post # 1, The Use of Lavender Aromatherapy to Reduce Test Anxiety and Improve Sleep Quality in Nursing Students

My name is Hayley Giblin and I will be working with my mentor, Dr. Martha Greenberg during the 2018-2019 session of the undergraduate research program. Throughout the course of this school year we will be doing research focused on aromatherapy, specifically lavender. The purpose of this project is to see how lavender has an effect on reducing test anxiety and improving sleep quality in nursing students. We have decided to conduct our research primarily on freshman nursing students. As a freshman nursing major you are getting a lot of tests every semester along with papers, reading assignments and homework for other classes. It is a big adjustment for these students to make and along with this comes anxiety about passing tests and staying up late at night to study and trying to finish all the other work you are assigned. The goal of this research project is to see how much of an impact lavender has on reducing test anxiety and improving sleep quality in these students.

From this project we hope to achieve an overall decrease in the amount of test anxiety seen in freshmen nursing students and see an improvement in sleep quality. The tools we will be using to test this are: the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Westside test Anxiety scale. We will be conducting this project by going to freshman nursing University 101 classes and recruiting students to participate in our research. Students who volunteer to participate in the study will fill out the above tools and be given lavender in a small container to use throughout the year. We will also be conducting our research using databases such as Pubmed and Cinahl.  Our research proposal has been submitted to the IRB and I am very excited to see how this journey plays out. Throughout this journey I hope to learn more about lavender and its many effects on the body and how it can be used to produce this calming effect to reduce anxiety and improve sleep.