Thursday, 6 March 2014

REVIEW - This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray & Sleep Balm

Recently my fiance Andrew has been having some MAJOR problems in the sleep department. It's taking him ages (read: at least three episodes of Modern Family) to fall asleep and when he eventually does it's really not good sleep, I've lost count of the amount of times I've woken up at 2 or 3am to find him on Facebook or Instagram because he's wide awake.

Obviously, it's really not good for you to not get a proper eight hours of sleep (I can't function on less than ten most days) and Andrew has a really active job where he's on his feet for most of the day so I knew I had to do something to try and help with his dreamy dilemma ASAP.

I'd been eyeing up this Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works, but, at £16, thought it was a bit pricey for something which (if I'm totally honest) I didn't think would work. When looking up cheaper alternatives I stumbled across this Deep Sleep Dreamy Pillow & Body Mist from the Body Shop and made a mental note to give it a sniff at the earliest opportunity. At £10 it still wasn't cheap, but cheaper than This Works and there's always a discount code or two floating around for the Body Shop so I sensed a potential bargain.

Last week when I ventured into Space NK to buy the Nuxe Rêve de Miel lip balm (AKA my new favourite thing), I had a spritz of the This Works Pillow Spray to see what it smelled like (it was by the counter, fate.) I'm not overly fussy about lavender scents, it would be the last thing I'd pick up when buying a new candle or scent for the home, so I really didn't think I'd like this, but it was love at first sniff.

In the interests of frugality, we headed for the Body Shop to smell their offering, and, I have to say, we were less than impressed (sorry, Body Shop, I usually love you so). We actually made a pit stop for cannolis at Di Marco Caffe on Grey Street (HIGHLY recommended - the cannolis are delicious, huge and just over £2 which is a bargain) so it was about half an hour later by the time we made it to the Body Shop. On spraying their pillow mist it was clear there was no contest. The Body Shop spray contains something called Jujube date extract which has an almost chocolatey scent - not conducive to sleep. It just made me want a Dairy Milk. 

Another half hour later (and some tea from my favourite place ever - apart from Space NK - Tea Sutra World Teahouse just off Percy Street) and the This Works I'd spritzed on my hand was still going strong, wafting around whenever I lifted that cup of Kyoto Cherry Rose to my lips. The Body Shop one had totally disappeared which just sealed the deal, and we hot footed it back to Space NK to rack up yet more N-Dulge points.

Since my Space NK didn't have the pillow spray by itself, I ended up going for the 'Deep Sleep Night Time' set, which contains a full size (75ml) pillow spray and a little pot of sleep balm (10g) for an extra £6.

I'm not crazy about the balm, it's got a nice consistency, it's waxy and melts into an oil when you warm it with your finger. It's quite therapeutic as you rub it on the pulse points like your wrists and temples, but I'm not sure it actually does much to help me fall asleep. It smells nice, though.

The spray, on the other hand, is fantastic. The scent - a wonderful mix of essential oils of Lavender, Vetivert and Wild Camomile - has an instantaneous trance-like effect on me, and I'm out like a light. Andrew's also very impressed and has slept a full night ever since we got the spray last Friday. That's impressive stuff.

The lovely lady in Space NK also gave us some general tips on sleeping, which have also helped so I'll share them with you in case you're in a similar predicament:

  • Try not to eat too late - if your body is trying to digest your food whilst you're sleeping, it can wake you up. Your body functions more efficiently if you're awake, so that's the optimal state for digestion. "WAKE UP I NEED TO DIGEST NOW." No thanks, body.
  • If you work shifts - like Andrew does - and are basically forced to eat late because of them, try keeping a sugary snack next to your bed, a banana is ideal. If your body wakes you up to digest your meal, have a nibble of banana. The sugar will aid digestion so you can focus on getting back to sleep.
  • Try a herbal remedy like Bach Rescue Sleep - Andrew has been taking the liquid melts for nights when he's really wide awake and they have helped. The melts release four drops of Rescue Night onto the tongue. It's similar to the Bach Rescue Remedy which some of you may have tried for things such as flying or taking exams, it's an all-natural way to calm the senses. Rescue Night contains White Chestnut, Star of Bethlehem, Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens and Rock Rose. Andrew says it tastes like oranges.
  • Try to shut off electronic devices and read a book for half an hour before bed as the electronics can stimulate the brain. I do not follow this advice as I am surgically attached to my iPad. It's a problem really.

I really hope this post helps you if you're in a similar position and are desperate for a bit of shut eye! A good mixture of Deep Sleep Pillow Spray should sort you right out, or failing that, a couple of episodes of Time Team might just do the trick.



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