Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Not Sleeping? These Aromatherapy Products Might Help

I mentioned in my September Goal's that I'm really not sleeping well at the moment. I'm struggling to drift off, I'm struggling to stay asleep, I'm struggling to wake up. It's becoming a real thing. 

I've always been a problem sleeper. When I was eight I became so scared of the dark that I'd force myself to stay awake by reading all night. I was trying to distract myself from the monster in the hallway that was definitely coming to get me. I didn't get a good night's sleep for more than two years. True story. 

In my first year of uni I got so stressed that I basically stopped sleeping. I was getting only one or two hours of unbroken sleep a night. I could fall asleep but I couldn't stay asleep, so I'd find myself wild eyed and wide awake at four in the morning. Same thing happened during both my finals weeks - WORST timing ever. When I'm stressed, worried, anxious or basically any time something is slightly off I immediately stop sleeping. And I hate it. Because while I might not be good at sleep I am a big fan of it. 

Now I'm no sleep expert, although I do know one, but I do know you can't force it. The minute you tell yourself you're never going to sleep it is GAME OVER my friends. You might as well put Netflix back on because you ain't getting any sleep tonight. In my experience the best thing to do when you're not sleeping is to create a relaxing environment for yourself that will help you drift off. I'm talking lovely warm showers, steaming mugs of herbal tea, a good but not too interesting book and absolutely NO SCREENS. 

Here's some of the aromatherapy products I reach for when I can't sleep.  

Elemis Life Elixirs Sleep Bath & Shower Elixir* - I'm not a bath person, at all, but there's nothing I love more than a hot shower at the end of a long day to help me decompress. And shower oils just heighten the experience. This offering from Elemis is my favourite. Designed to aid relaxation and nourish the skin, the Sleep Elixir contains 13 essential oils, including patchouli and palamarosa to aid relaxation, while amaranth and bacuri oil condition the skin. It promises a restored body and mind, which is a bold claim let's be honest, but it has a nice texture - light and non-greasy - and it smells lovely. 

I tend to apply a capful to my chest and shoulders before I shower and it makes me feel so relaxed. Annoyingly, Elemis seem to have discontinued it - it's available here - as a shower oil, the roller ball is still available here, but any shower oil, preferably one with lavender in, will do. 

I'm also a HUGE fan of the Aromatherapy Associates shower oils, particularly Support Breathe, which has notes of eucalyptus, pine and tea tree to soothe and support. It smells incredible and is excellent if you have a cold. While Deep Relax, another favourite, is formulated with camomile, sandalwood and vetivert to promote deeper and more restful sleep. They are pretty expensive but I definitely think they're worth it. 

Lush Sleepy Body Lotion - When it first launched in 2018, the Lush Sleepy Body Lotion was an immediate hit. Promising a good night's sleep, thanks to a high-concentration of lavender, Sleepy just seemed to work. Formulated with lavender water, lavender flower infusion, lavender oil, oat milk, almond oil and tonca absolute to name but a few, Sleepy is designed to 'soothe, comfort and relax' to encourage sleep. 

According to sleep expert Richard Jolie, lavender's calming scent  helps reduce stress levels, which helps people to relax enough to get more and better quality sleep. And in my experience that's exactly what it does. It also smells incredible, like lavender sugar cookies... are those a thing? And has a thick, yogurt-like texture that feels really luxurious when rubbed into the skin. It's really lovely. 

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray - Now I don't know if I buy into pillow sprays, I think there's definitely a placebo affect in place. However, there is something very lovely about the ritual of a pillow spray. For me, it sends a signal that I'm taking care of myself and I deserve a good night's sleep.

Deep Sleep has long been a firm favourite in the beauty community, it's even available as a handy dandy roller ball.  Claiming to help you fall asleep faster, it contains lavender, camomile and vetivert and is designed to have a calming effect on both the body and mind. It's also made from 99 per cent naturally derived ingredients and is vegan and cruelty-free, which is a big plus for me. The only downside is that it's fairly spenny for what it is, I've found that Avon's Planet Spa Aromatherapy Beauty Sleep Pillow Mist is a nice, cheap alternative. 

Elemis Quiet Mind Temple Balm* - is another one of my go to's when I can't get my mind to settle. I just apply it to my pulse points, temples and just above my top lip and let the blend of eucalyptus and patchouli soothe my frazzled brain. Annoyingly, it also seems to be discontinued! (Dude, why?!)  But Champneys offers a similar and cheaper alternative here, which is formulated with lavender, geranium and chamomile extract to promote calm and aid relaxation. 

What do you do when you can't sleep? 



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