I’m deeply half-hearted about aromatherapy, if I’m being completely honest. Okay, not aromatherapy itself (seriously, no one knows more about the effect of smell on well-being more than a recovering parosmic, believe me) per se, but some of the practitioners of it can be a little … well, woo. I was trying to arrange a massage for the blog once, and I’d mentioned that I suffered from gallstones to the PR so it could be taken into account by the therapist, and the therapist took it upon herself to telephone me, and tell me my gallstones were actually “compressed anger” and I should relax a bit more and they’ll disappear. Well, even though I did happen to take a few chill pills after that particular phone call (and if the stones weren’t “compressed anger” beforehand, they sure as crap were after) I found only having my gall-bladder really did have any effect (and my single gallstone was actually an inch-long monster that could have caused some serious illness if left in situ), and that’s my aromatherapy story. I never did get that massage …
Anyhoo. That being said, I do love some aromatherapy products, not always because of the therapeutic claims for the oils used, but because in quite a few ranges there’s a lot of care put into the formulations, and sometimes they just work in spite of everything. I must say that some of my favourite products do have aromatherapeutic benefits, but I firmly believe that a good product is a good product whether or not you have “faith” in the ingredients. This Works Sleep Plus is one of those ranges I was sceptical about trying beforehand, then I got over myself and gave it a go regardless, and now I love it.
I started with the Pillow Spray back when it first launched – it turned up in a goody bag, I think, and liked it well enough, but then I lost my sense of smell and aromatherapy became a closed book for a few years, so I stopped using it. Despite a couple of therapists trying to convince me that aromatherapy works whether you can smell or not (I firmly, but politely, disagree. But then, I would), just the idea of any kind of scented product in my bed gave me the heebie jeebies. However, now my sense of smell is recovering, I’m slowly reintroducing (some) aromatherapy back into my life,and replaced my old bottle of Sleep plus. The Sleep Plus range is designed for people who have trouble staying asleep (Deep Sleep is the range for you if you have trouble getting to sleep in the first place) or are restless sleepers, which is usually my most regular sleep problem. Rare is the time I take more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, but early-waking is a particular problem for me.
The idea is that you mist a couple of sprays over your pillow, and the encapsulated essences of lavender, camomile and vetiver – it’s a surprisingly zingy scent, and smells slightly gingery to my nose -will refresh themselves as you change sleeping positions, thereby helping you stay asleep. I genuinely do find that I sleep better when I use a couple of sprays of this, I may not always sleep longer, but I do find that I’m more refreshed after whatever sleep I do get.
I’ve recently added the Sleep Plus Hair Elixir and Troubleshooter to my night-time routine – not every night, just those nights where I MUST sleep, or where sleep has been really bad for a couple of days beforehand – the hair elixir is essentially a spray containing the same ingredients as the pillow spray, with added emollients for the hair, and Troubleshooter is a soothing spray for dry skin patches such as elbows and knees, which will also aid sleep when you use it before bed. On the occasions where I’ve used all three products together, I’ve generally been asleep before my husband makes it out of the bathroom …
There’s also shower gel and bath salts, but I find both bathing and showering too energising at bedtime, so I’ve not yet tried them. I do think the products are on the pricey side, the original Sleep Plus spray is around £25, but it does last a good long time if you don’t use it nightly, and I have purchased it on several occasions now, and the other products are at the same price point. Use them sparingly, and you’ll sleep well for months.
The Fine Print: PR samples and purchases