News & Media

Farmery Estate Brewery collaborates with sleep-analysis company Cerebra in study of new hop-oil infused product for sleep

Winnipeg, Canada - November 19th, 2019 

Throughout history, hops have become an essential ingredient in making beer. A lesser known use for hops is its herbal qualities, and its use throughout the centuries to help with restlessness and sleep. 
Hops have a long history of use in herbal medicine and have traditionally been used to treat a variety of ailments. In Europe, people began noticing that field workers who cultivated hop plants tended to fall asleep on the job more than usual. Their work was no more physically demanding than any other fieldwork, so people began to wonder if hops had sedative properties.

Hops is closely related to the cannabis plant, which is being studied more intensely in recent years for its health benefits and even prescribed medically. More recently researchers have refined their studies to take a closer look at the health benefits of hops, including their effect on anxiety and sleep disorders. Several scientific studies suggest that hops have sedative effects.*

These scientific studies have been enlightening for Farmery Estate Brewery, a local brewery that grows its own barley and hops as well as brews beer in Neepawa, Manitoba. Few people know that in addition to growing barley and hops and brewing beer, Farmery has also been experimenting with extracting the hop oil from hops using a steam-extraction process for years, and researching other uses and applications for hops and potential hop-oil infused products.

Says Chris Warwaruk, co-owner of Farmery, “We’ve always had surplus hops from our harvest than what we needed for our beer. We’ve been extracting hop oil almost from the beginning of when we started growing hops, with some assistance from the Food Development Centre in Portage La Prairie. We were looking for something else we could make from our hops, and knew there was probably some health benefits to hops. FDC put together a summary paper of the research done into the possible health benefits of hops for us as a basis for possibly producing a line of health and wellness products. And sleep and relaxation was one of those potential health benefits.”
Farmery started testing and prototyping a line of hop-oil infused health and wellness products, such as shampoo, lotions, lip balms and skin salves—and a sleep product that would become the DreaMist Pillow Spray.
“The DreaMist Pillow Spray is a blend of our hop-oil on its own or with other aromas such as sage, frankincense, and lavender, that you spray on your pillow at night, to aid with sleep issues,” Chris Warwaruk explains. “We’re already different from most other similar products on the market in that we grow and extract our own premium hops and hop oil. And we wanted to go the extra step in conducting an exploratory study using scientific equipment to assess its effect on sleep, a first step to test if there was a real effect behind people’s use of it over the centuries.”
With that goal in mind, Farmery approached Cerebra in Winnipeg, a cutting-edge sleep-focused digital health company, to help evaluate their locally grown, hops-based pillow spray product. Cerebra helps people who suffer poor sleep by being the first to bring lab quality sleep analysis into people’s homes and using this information to then recommend corrections to help improve their sleep. Thus, a collaboration with Cerebra would be the perfect fit to test Farmery’s DreaMist Pillow Spray.
The CEO of Cerebra, Dawson Reimer, says he was excited to work with Farmery to begin to explore the potential for a hops product to be useful for sleep. “By measuring sleep where it happens, in the brain and in your home, Cerebra is uniquely able to bring objective, lab-quality sleep measurement to help individuals understand how sleep products impact their sleep,” comments Cerebra CEO Dawson Reimer. “We are excited to see companies like Farmery explore the impact of their product on sleep.”
The Farmery-Cerebra collaboration study itself started with ten individuals who had been identified as having issues falling asleep, also known as sleep onset, through Cerebra’s in-home sleep study. The individuals used the Famery Original Hops pillow spray for a period of one week or more, and then conducted a second follow-up study to measure changes in their sleep. Results showed the hops pillow spray reduced the time to fall asleep for each participant in the study.
Says one participant, "I frequently have problems falling asleep at night. I consistently fall asleep faster while using DreaMist and I feel more rested in the morning. The smell is pleasant but not overpowering.”
Another participant in the study was similarly enthused about the results, saying "I just wanted to share my experience with the DreaMist pillow spray that I tried out over the last couple months. It was very simple to use, just spray a couple mists on your pillow at bed time...The aroma is very calming, it seemed to make me breathe deeper and relaxed my entire body. I have been using the product nightly for a better sleep and would highly recommend you give it a try." 
Says Chris Warwaruk, “We were all pleasantly surprised by the results. There seemed to be the first positive indication of real sleep measurement validating why people were using hops over the centuries to help with a restful sleep.”
Says Reimer, “We look forward to expanding this work with Farmery State Brewery and other companies offering sleep aid products in the future.”
Concludes Chris Warwaruk, “The initial results from this exploratory study were very promising, and we’re excited and motivated to continue working with Cerebra to study how our hop-oil infused products can help benefit a productive and restful sleep.”
Farmery Hop-Oil Infused Pillow Spray is currently available for sale on the Farmery Estate Brewery website, Etsy, and Amazon, in four aromas: Hops Original, Hops & Sage, Hops & Frankincense, and Hops & Lavender. Farmery’s other hop-oil infused products will also be available for sale on their website soon.
Cerebra’s in-home study is available for purchase in western Canada at and through the company’s clinical and retail partners.
Disclaimer:  Trial results are suggestive of effect on sleep onset.  Further trials needed to confirm safety and efficacy.  These statements and products have not been evaluated by Health Canada.
For more information or to schedule an interview contact:
Farmery Estate Brewery:
Chris Warwaruk, Co-Owner
Mary Fearon or Lindsay Glasspoole /