Sleeping can be hella hard. How many times has your exhausted head hit the pillow only to whirr around for hours going over that time you said that thing, or the Carine Roitfeld x Uniqlo dress you forgot to buy before it sold out.
We all know the importance of sleep. Poor sleepers lose around two weeks of work a year due to ill health and almost half of British women just aren't getting enough.
Sometimes all the sleep hygeine in the world just isn't enough and relying on Big Pharma is sadly not a long-term option - but could there be a solution in the beauty industry? They say there's a pill for everything, but there's a beauty product for everything else.
In the spirit of sleeping well, we tried out some of the items claiming to help you relax, drift off, and bring a whole new meaning to the term 'beauty sleep'.
Kneipp Sweet Dream Mineral Bath Salt
If 'having a hot bath' is the Ford Fiesta of sleep, this is the Rolls-Royce.
The concept in itself works, and works well, for two reasons - firstly, the hot water relaxes muscles, reduces anxiety and lowers body tension. Then, when you slide between the sheets like James Franco into a teenager's DMs, the warmth helps to prolong your body's powering-down mode, aka helps you fall asleep easier (read all about it here).
But why the Kniepp bath salts when we're living in a bath salt saturated market? Why bath salts at all? The unique form of these salts (evaporated from the pure waters of a 250 million-year-old underground salt water sea, no less) are super soluble which helps your skin absorb the natural oils easier.
And while we're on the subject of natural oils - this product contains valerian, which has been used as a sedative herb for centuries and is vouched for by doctors.
This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray
I put off trying this for years thanks to its wild over-promotion from beauty bloggers. Beauty bloggers in white wash rooms, beauty bloggers with floral pillows and rose gold accent themes and exactly the same Muji makeup storage. You can't trust their eerie, dead eyes - gleaming with the prospect of a sponsored post - and to be honest, it seemed like a fad. But it turns out, those bloggers were right.
The main ingredient here is lavender. Straight up, proven in studies to calm, soothe and sedate like the best of 'em, lavender.
My boyfriend now flat out refuses to sleep without this. They have a 'standard' strength version too (priced at £16) that I have given to him, because obviously I'm keeping the hardcore stuff for myself.
Aromatherapy Associates Relax Eye Mask
I'm not the kind of person who usually spends £47 on eye masks, I'm not the kind of person to buy an eye mask at all. But if I did, I'd expect it to work, y'know?
Out of all the products I tried, this is the one I now can't my imagine life without. Mainly because the blinds in my room are as thin as a sheet of gelatin, but also because it's basically the queen of all eye masks.
Scratchy material? Never, this is luxe Holistic Silk. Uncomfortable elastic band? Nope, this has a soft tie. Boring old smell of NOTHING? This one's oh-so subtly scented of lavender (you'll sense a theme here).
I don't know how else to describe this, except for the fact it makes those free eye masks they give out on flights literally seem like a used sock.
Lush Dream Cream
Self care can be a big part of relaxation, and it's not just yoga - pampering yourself in the evening can make starting a bedtime routine (sleep experts swear by them) more appealing, less pre-schooler.
I like to smother myself in this buttery Lush lotion like a human pancake. It smells positively mouth-watering, but its main ingredients (oat milk, rose water and chamomile) also work to soothe irritated skin and eczema. Great if that's keeping you up.
The little black pot comes in three sizes, 100ml for £6.25 and 450ml for £19.95, and also - BOOM - contains lavender essential oils to soothe, soothe, soothe you into dream land where someone else pays all your rent.*
*Insert equivalent of whatever is keeping you awake.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil
Cult skincare brand Sunday Riley has been the subject on the beauty industry's perfectly glossed lips for a while now, and its Luna oil has been described by facialist Caroline Hirons as a great way to get into Vitamin A - aka "the best anti-ageing ingredient on the market, proven and accepted by the FDA."
Caroline Hirons is basically the messiah of skincare, but even if you worship at other alters - you can't argue with the facts.
Did it help me sleep? No. But it did stop me losing sleep, worrying about my skin. Even after a few days my face looked whole lot clearer, brighter and boasted that all-important 'glow' - the buzzword of our generation. Do we blame J. Lo or Kim Kardashian?
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