You only have to pick up any women’s magazine or Sunday supplement to discern that we’re suffering from an epidemic of sleep deprivation. Always swift to respond, the beauty and wellbeing industries have released many, many different sleep aids to nudge us zzzz-wards. We’re a great believer in a pre-bedtime wind-down ritual that’s powered (or perhaps powered-down) by essential oil blends – on the pillow, in the bath. So we’ve for the first time introduced a category to the Beauty Bible Awards to trial products designed to combat insomnia/enhance sleep quality. Here, pillow mists. (And here, other effective products to escort us to the Land of Nod.)
GOLD AWARD REN & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray
Top-scorer here is from REN, whose name translates as ‘clean’ (it’s Swedish), featuring oils renowned for their sleep-enhancing qualities: frankincense, hops and lavender. Ylang ylang, cedarwood and geranium also feature in this slim, tall spray, wittily adorned with a pair of sleeping eyes. It’s designed to help all sleeper’s get a better night’s kip – not just insomniacs. (And we could all use that.)
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I adore the fragrance... it's frankincense, hops and lavender and 100% natural. I feel very contented after spraying it. This helped to send me off to sleep, and I usually have trouble. This improved the quality of my sleep somewhat the first time I used it. Over a period of time, it did help me sleep better. It promises to calm and soothe you, and aid beauty sleep, which it does. I love this natural sleep spray. I look forward to using it, as it smells divine and has a feel good factor getting you ready for some sweet dreams!!’ • ‘I am very impressed with this brilliant product. The spray is well made and doesn't feel flimsy. The fragrance is wonderful, calming lavender that's very soothing – HEAVEN. I’m such a bad sleeper in general I find myself a lot of the times rolling over before I go to sleep I have tried a lot of different brands but nothing works as well as REN. I’m so pleased with results especially after having a hard day at work as mum … this is my new life saver. Really good with massive improvement in actually falling asleep. I have been able to sleep deeply more and more often. So I feel reenergised and relaxed. My mind and body feels calm and rested. I feel this reduces stress and anxiety’ • ‘I have trouble staying asleep, not falling asleep. First time I used this it felt like a miracle cure. I slept soundly through the night after I used the spray following the sleep better bath. Then it stopped being so effective – I think I got used to the scent – so I use it every so often and that helps’ • ‘I often have troubled sleeping but this did help me to feel more relaxed and fall asleep more quickly. I have bought it for my niece who is away at college. This did help me and I will keep using it. I also like that the scent is light and doesn't overpower you’ • ‘I felt relaxed after using this and it definitely helped send me off to sleep. I had been having nightmares but they stopped while I used this. It promised better sleep and definitely delivered. I liked it so much I took it on holiday.’
£18 for 75ml - click to buy
SILVER AWARD (JOINT) Bamford b silent Night-Time Pillow Mist
In a large ‘special trial’ that we carried out for Bamford across their entire sleep portfolio in 2018 (and which seriously impressed us), this scored well enough to tie with the Neal’s Yard product (below) for the Silver Award slot. These sleep sprays all feature subtly different blends with some commonalities – lavender and frankincense often feature, as they do here alongside marjoram. We encourage our testers not to be swayed by packaging (other than in terms of functionality), but no getting away from the attractiveness of the tall glass spritzer bottle.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘A couple of quick sprays of this beautiful scent either side of my pillow 15 minutes before I wanted to sleep and I felt very relaxed. I drifted off to sleep quicker and my sleep was less disturbed than usual. I slept for longer. It really did relax me and aid me to sleep better. This became a favourite. A fantastic product, so quick and easy to use but with maximum results, brilliant!’ • ‘If I were going to get into my PJs before going to bed, I would spray them and my dressing gown. The scent relaxed me and I woke up feeling refreshed. I don't feel I slept longer but I did wake up feeling brighter. I loved the scent’ • ‘I was able to get to sleep fairly quickly and only woke up when I needed the lavatory. My sleep was less disturbed than usual and I slept for longer. I woke feeling more rested. I feel that this gave me a better quality of sleep and definitely helped me’ • ‘I love the fact you can spray your pillows then take make-up off, brush teeth, climb into bed and breathe in the beautiful fragrance. It helps slow my breathing and makes me feel relaxed. My sleep is less disturbed and I wake feeling more rested and refreshed. It’s helping me get in a bedtime routine where I feel calm and ready to sleep.’
£20 for 50ml - click to buy
SILVER AWARD (JOINT) Neal's Yard Goodnight Pillow Mist
From one of the pioneers of natural and organic skincare , this blend of therapeutic oils – lavender, vetiver and mandarin – was put also through its paces by Neal’s Yard themselves on a panel of 100 testers. 81% found it helped calm and relax, 74% found that it aided a peaceful night’s sleep, and again, almost three-quarters would recommend it to someone with sleep issues. 69% observed that it helped them to fall asleep more quickly. Though we had a much smaller cohort – 10, not 100 testers – our results were pretty much in line with theirs. It comes in Neal’s Yard’s signature blue glass bottle, with a mister.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I am very reliant on good quality sleep. It affects my mood and work output the next day. This has a relaxing smell and is definitely helping me get to sleep. I was already in the habit of using a pillow spray as part of my bedtime routine; this is much more pleasant smelling than my current product. It’s allowed me to get to sleep quickly and has given a more restful night's sleep’ • ‘Lovely. I usually feel a little restless at bedtime, especially if over-tired. On nights when I used the spray I felt relaxed and fell asleep very quickly. I found I definitely fell asleep faster and didn't spend half an hour tossing and turning. I even sprayed it round my little daughter’s room and had some success in keeping her asleep’ • ‘Loved this. I felt very relaxed after using; it has now become my normal bedtime routine to use four to six sprays just before getting into bed. I’m a shift worker and sometimes have problems reverting from nights to days. According to my tracker I now fall asleep within five to 10 minutes of going to bed, which is quicker than I used to. I don't feel as tired; sometimes I even manage to go a day without coffee! I was slightly sceptical of the claims but now I would not be without this little blue bottle. There are a few products that I will be taking on holiday with me and this is definitely one of them’ • ‘The lavender scent definitely aided in bringing a calm atmosphere. I also used it during a long haul journey. I sprayed it on my seat, the air around me and even the tray tables. I wasn't offending my co passengers, as luckily they were my kids… Apart from being a sleep aid, I have heard that lavender is antiseptic and can fight germs. Planes are full of them, and this must have worked as it was the first time I came off a long- haul flight without catching a bug!’
£15 for 45ml - click to buy