How chronic stress and quality of sleep are related

News | 3 min read

Anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders can be defined as vague and unpleasant feelings of fear and apprehension, that cause tension and discomfort. This feeling usually comes from the anticipation of danger or strange and unknown incidents, even though there are no real threats. This lack of emotional comfort can interfere with sleep and quality of life, resulting in chronic stress.

Literature shows us the presence of insomnia is correlated with the severity of the underlying anxiety. The symptoms of anxiety and insomnia appear at the same time, or insomnia appears after the development of the anxiety disorder. And then it becomes a cycle.


The pharmacological treatment of chronic stress and sleep disorders includes drugs of various classes such as benzodiazepines (diazepam and lorazepam) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine and paroxetine). However, these drugs have several adverse effects, such as cognitive impairment, sexual dysfunction, and a tendency to sleep disturbances, which ultimately could make the patients give up treatment. These adverse effects have challenged researchers to develop new strategies and safer pharmacological alternatives for mental health. Within this context, aromatherapy has been gaining momentum as a new approach.

Aromatherapy is an ally

The therapeutic use of inhalations with essential oils has been popularly employed and scientifically investigated as an alternative with a low incidence of adverse effects in the treatment of various pathological conditions. The therapeutic potential of inhalation of some essential oils (e.g. lavender and fennel) has been shown to be promising in the control of the sympathetic nervous and the endocrine systems, providing potential positive effects in reducing stress, and treating sleep and mood disorders (e.g. anxiety and depression).

The nasal mucosa is a very favorable absorptive route for the administration of medicaments. Nasal administration can also be used to bypass the blood-brain barrier (nose-to-brain drug delivery) by directly transporting drug molecules to the brain from the nasal cavity along the olfactory and trigeminal nerves, making the effect faster and more efficient.

Pinetonina: a blend of essential oils to improve the quality of sleep

Pinetonina is an intranasal spray, developed by Fagron companies, composed of a blend of three essential oils: lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill), French lavender (Lavandula dentata L.) and fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.)

Studies suggest that the inhalation of lavender essential oils can reduce the perception of and the response to stress. Additionally, lavender essential oil reduces high cortisol levels and blood pressure in patients with essential or idiopathic hypertension. Moreover, lavender essential oil promotes relaxation, benefits coronary circulation, and decreases heartbeat and skin temperature.

One clinical study showed that the daily intranasal use of Pinetonina™ before sleep significantly reduced salivary cortisol levels and improved sleep quality – this was based upon the significant differences found in the study.

Pinetonina is currently available in Latin America and Europe.