“Regular good quality sleep is key to mental and physical wellbeing yet more and more of us are having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep long enough to reap its myriad health benefits,” says Dominic Hawksley, founder of Olverum. “The causes of insomnia are many and varied – from simply not allowing enough time to wind down away from digital stimulation, to everyday stresses, anxiety, depression and current or past trauma. This is where we can then find ourselves in a negative cycle where lack of sleep then causes more anxiety or stress and in turn, further loss of sleep.”
SO, CAN A PILLOW MIST HELP?
Sleep sprays or pillow mists are packed full of essential oils, which help to counteract some of the reasons we struggle to sleep. “Essential oils play a beneficial role in the management of anxiety and stress. When they are inhaled a signal is sent to the olfactory bulb within the limbic system of the brain, which is responsible for the most basic of functions including appetite, digestion, sleep, emotions and memory,” says Dominic. Each essential oil has a different impact, which is why pillow mists are expertly blended to support the sleep cycle so you can have a deep and untroubled night’s sleep.
Testimony to this, This Works put its Deep Sleep fragrance to the test. “In an independent, functional brain imaging study our fragrance was seen to activate specific brain areas related to socio-emotional processing. This suggests that it has the potential to evoke a feeling of social comfort, trust and calmness, which is conducive to relaxation and sleep,” says Dr Anna Persaud, CEO of This Works. “Over time, we may create a connection in our brains that links the fragrance to the experience of falling asleep or feeling sleepy, which again can help sustain a healthy sleep pattern,” she adds.
When it comes to actually using your spray, Dr Anna suggests spritzing liberally over your duvet, pillow and even your pyjamas. “This really helps to the encapsulation to release throughout the night,” she says.
Three Of Our Favourite Pillow Mists
The Sleep Inducer: Olverum Restful Sleep Pillow Mist, £27.50
This clever mist was made to work in synergy with your sleep cycle. It has been expertly blended with essential oils to help you relax, unwind and slowly drift off to sleep. While the bergamot oil elevates your mood initially, lavender helps to improve your sleep quality, before the geranium oil relaxes both your mind and body. The brand has gone one step further by infusing amyris and roman chamomile oil to deepen your sleep.
The Travel Essential: This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £21.00
We might not be travelling as much as we used to, but this calming blend of lavender, vetiver and chamomile gets us to sleep wherever we are with just a few spritzes. We are very excited to try the up-and-coming Love Sleep Pillow Spray with ylang ylang and patchouli.
The Multitasker: Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Sleep Mist, £32.00
From misting your pillow to creating a calming ambience for your evening meditation session, this spray is a firm favourite in the Space NK office. With a relaxing blend of vetiver, chamomile and sandalwood, it’s enough to make us sleepy just thinking about it.
OTHER THINGS TO TRY…
You’ve slotted a sleep spray into your nightly routine, but what else can help? One of the best things you can do is to restrict your technology usage. Dr Anna recommends doing this an hour before you plan to sleep. The blue light emitted by our phones really suppresses the release of melatonin (sleep hormone), which can delay sleep.
“Avoiding over simulation such as distressing or frightening media will also help. As will keeping the lighting low,” she adds. Dominic also suggests avoiding caffeine after 3pm as this can disrupt your quality and duration of sleep. He also highlights the important of self-care and choosing regular relaxing rituals, such as a warm bath before bed.