I tried the Body Shop's new Sleep range for a week - here's what happened
The new Body Shop Sleep range landed in stores this month - and it's got lavender for days.
A few years on from the furore that was the Lush Sleepy Cream phase, and the Body Shop has dropped a load of their own sleep products as part of their new wellness range - complete with a body and hair wash, body scrub, pillow mist, and more.
And yes, they all smell deliciously like lavender.
How does the Body Shop sleep range work?
According to the Body Shop, their new wellness range is infused with powerful essential oils, crafted into three unique blends. All of the products are infused with lavender from the plateaux of Haute-Provence and vetiver from Madagascar, without fertilisers or irrigation.
They also all come in sustainable packaging, using predominantly natural ingredients and are entirely vegan - so a solid shout all round if you're in the market for some new sleep products.
What's the story with sleep aid products in general?
People have been using sleep products for decades. Whether it's an essential oil to fill a room or a nose strip to stop snoring, we've always been interested in our sleeping habits and how to make them better.
Where some enjoy lengthy, un-interrupted sleeps every night, others struggle to get a solid number of hours. Couple this with the Covid pandemic and you've got whole new reams of people who're experiencing sleep related issues over new stresses and anxieties that may not have existed prior to March 2020.
According to Maxime Elbaz, Doctor of Neuroscience and Specialist of Sleep & e-Health at the European Sleep Centre, having a bedtime ritual is a surefire way to encourage a better and deeper night's sleep.
“Forming new habits and bedtime rituals is the only way to reset our sleep cycles," she says. "If ‘sleep re-education’ measures are not put in place, we will see in the future the emergence of more sleep problems such as insomnia leading to psychological fragility such as anxiety and depression.”
Elsewhere, some studies have shown that herb products like lavender can allow the body to relax, thus allowing for a deeper and more relaxed sleep. Research conducted in 2005 found that the use of lavender oils led to an increase in deep sleep and reduced awakenings in both men and women who used them, though it's worth nothing that no definite conclusions can be made about the long term use and results of the aroma.
How did the range work for me?
The products I tried from the new range included the Sleep Relaxing Hair & Body Wash (€18.50), the Sleep Essential Oil Blend (€27.50), the Sleep Balmy Body Cream (€39), and the Sleep Calming Pillow Mist (€27.50).
The Body Shop has their own ideas as to how the range should be used, but here's how I attempted to drift into a deep, relaxing haze on a recent Sunday night.
Drawing a bath, I soaked myself in there for a solid 45 minutes with a book in hand and the Sleep body wash all over my body. Emerging I slathered myself in the Sleep body cream, popped the Sleep essential oil in my diffuser to fill the room with a lavender scent, before spraying a nice amount of pillow mist all over my sheets.
Hands-down, my favourite of the range was the pillow spray. A few spritzes of that on my pillows (and let's be honest, all over my sheets, I'm greedy), and I was sure to be settling down for a delightful snooze. It was also the one of the four products that I found myself using consistently throughout the week, on days where I didn't have a bath, or was too tired to do a full body moisturise.
Over the course of the week, I noticed that my sleeps were considerably deeper and that I was having less dreams, or at least, less dreams that I can remember. I wasn't waking up in the night half as much as I generally do, but whether that was due to the Sleep range or my own general winter-time exhaustion, who can say for sure?
The products are a little pricey, so chances are you're not going to pick up the entire range on a whim - but if you do fancy trying out just one to see what difference it makes, let me recommend the pillow mist or the essential oil. You'll get considerable amount of product in both, and they're an easy addition to any sleep ritual you've got going.
The Sleep range didn't entirely change my sleep experience, but the ritual of settling down to use some gorgeously scented, clean products after a long, busy day may have just been enough to make my nights that bit more relaxing.
The Body Shop's new Sleep range is available to buy in stores now.
*The writer was gifted this product in exchange for a fair and honest review.