I Tried To Cure My Insomnia With Body Lotion. This Is What Happened.
Thank god I like the smell of lavender…
I have really bad insomnia.
Each night goes essentially the same way; an appropriate bedtime comes and goes, with no sign of sleepiness in sight. As the clock ticks into two, three, four in the morning, I’m still lying wide awake, staring at the ceiling. Considering I often have to wake up at the crack of dawn to commute to work, still being awake when my alarm will be blaring in two hours is problematic, frustrating and definitely not good for my health.
I have depression and anxiety, which are the likely culprits of my inability to get any shut-eye at night. Compounding the issue, with each minute that passes I can’t manage to fall asleep, I become increasingly anxious, stressing about how tired I’m going to be the next day for work. Needless to say, I’m honestly lucky if I manage to get four hours of sleep a night.
I’ve tried everything to beat my insomnia, and the only thing which has ever worked, are heavy-duty sleeping pills, which can only be prescribed for short-term use. So when I heard Lush had released a body lotion that claims to make you sleepy, much like its name, I was intrigued. The viral online reviews were promising, too…
And because I like to give things a good ol’ college try and would do just about anything for a full night’s sleep, I decided to go all out and add in another Lush product claiming to aid sleepiness; Twilight body spray.
The spray has many of the same ingredients as the body lotion, like calming lavender flower and sweet tonka bean, with some slightly different floral undertones, and can be spritzed on pillows, blankets, pajamas, the body, around the room – basically, anywhere and everywhere to encourage sweet dreams, and, according to the label, to feel “tension melt away”. As someone who is constantly a ball of anxiety and stress, I did briefly consider just directly soaking in it.
Armed with the body lotion and spray, as bedtime approached, I marched into my bedroom with one mission in mind; get a good nights sleep. Here’s how I fared…
The first night
As with most Lush products, the packaging has cute, playful instructions. My tub of Sleepy lotion told me to “Blanket your body in this lovely lotion before stepping into soft pajamas for snuggly nights,” and I was more than happy to oblige. After a long, steamy shower, I slipped into my comfiest cat pajamas (self-confessed crazy cat lady, here), turned on my salt lamp, which fills my room with a warm, pink glow – perfect for encouraging sleep – and opened the Lush pot of lavender and cocoa-butter goodness.
I’m not gonna lie. The smell of the cream is absolutely heavenly. It’s just strong enough to be able to leave a faint scent behind after application, and subtle enough to not be overwhelming while you’re trying to sleep. The lavender odor was incredibly calming, and the cream felt really nourishing on my skin as it melted in.
Combined with the enchanting smell of the Twilight body spray, which I spritzed on my pillows and blankets before getting between the sheets, I was actually a little bit hopeful that the combination of dreamy scents and feeling of super soft skin would make a positive impact on my ability to fall (and stay) asleep.
My head hit the pillow feeling weirdly heavier than usual, and then, suddenly I woke up, and it was…the morning? Somehow I’d managed to sleep the entire night through; a previously unconquered feat, unless prescription drugs were involved. My skin felt amazing, my pillows still had hints of the ylang-ylang, tonka and lavender scent of the spray drifting off of them, and I was, honestly, shocked.
I called my boyfriend and proclaimed I’d found the magical cure to my sleep woes, which was promptly met with scoffs of skepticism, although, in any case, he was glad I’d had a good night’s sleep.
A nightly ritual
The body lotion is quite thick and so does require some ‘soak in’ time after application, which meant I needed to devote an additional 10 minutes to my bedtime ritual. The smell also transferred onto my pajamas after applying the cream to my chest, décolletage and neck, however, it wasn’t in a gross, uncomfortable, ‘wet’ way; more of a comforting way.
The act of rubbing the lotion into my skin was soothing and relaxing in itself. Each night, I gave myself a mini massage as I worked it into my limbs, and made sure to slow down my breathing while I did so, inhaling deeply so I could really smell the product and enjoy the ‘me-time’. The fact the lotion doesn’t immediately soak into the skin means you can’t really handle too much after rubbing it in with your hands without leaving greasy marks on everything, so this, in a way, forces you to just take it easy when applying it.
During the time the lotion was soaking into my skin, I did other little rituals I thought would help with my sleep. I turned off my devices, read a book, and lit some scented candles, all in an attempt to convince my body and brain that it was approaching ‘sleep time’. By the time I slipped under the sheets, I was extremely relaxed, making it easier to fall asleep.
The spray is amazing. Ah-may-zing. Mind-blowing. I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s actually my favorite product I’ve come across all year, by far. (And we get sent lots of cool products.)
I started by just spraying it on my pillows, but over time, found myself turning into an addict, getting trigger-happy with it, covering every kind of fabric in my bedroom, and every inch of my body, in it every night. I’ve conditioned myself to feel tired every time I catch a whiff of the smell, and so if I’m having a rough time falling asleep, I just spritz it around and it’s usually enough to nudge me into dreamland.
Despite his initial standoffishness, my boyfriend has also become obsessed with it. The second night I used it, he stayed over. Now whenever I’m heading to his house for the night, he makes sure to insist I please bring the “sleepy spray” with me.
Because it’s so long-lasting, my room smells slightly like the Twilight spray at all times now, so walking into my bedroom is like a delightful, gentle scent-punch to the face. I can pretty much get drowsy just by falling into my bed, something Past Me would have never believed possible.
No more insomnia?
Now for the catch. Honestly, for as many good nights of sleep I had using the lotion and the spray, I also had terrible nights. While sometimes, lulling myself into relaxation with the body lotion was enough to make my eyelids so heavy I couldn’t keep them open, at other times, I just ended up smelling like lavender as I stared at my ceiling in frustration for hours.
Unfortunately, as relaxing as they may be, the body lotion and spray don’t have the ability to turn my brain off, so if I’m having a crappy mental health day, no amount of sweet scents will stop my overthinking.
However, the act of rubbing in the body lotion has become a critical part of my nighttime ritual and self-care routine, which can help create circumstances more likely to give me a good night’s rest. Like most rituals, the mental aspect of using the cream is probably more responsible for tricking my brain into tired-mode than the actual lotion itself. Knowing that when the lotion goes on, it’s time for bed has been helpful, in the same way, the smell of the spray is now associated with sleep in my brain.
I’d definitely recommend everyone buy and try these two products, unless you have some kind of lavender-aversion. In the best-case scenario, they will help you relax and have a good night’s sleep. And if that doesn’t work, at least you and everything you own will smell amazing, which is never a bad thing.
Comment: Do you have insomnia? What are some things you’ve tried to get to sleep?