August 13, 2017
If you've been tossing and turning at night until you resign to reading articles like this one on your phone, there may be a non-pharmaceutical remedy to your sleeplessness.
Late last year, cosmetics company Lush released a limited-edition holiday lotion it claimed will help soothe customers to sleep. Dubbed Sleepy, the purple-tinted lotion sold out in a flash as buyers came to swear by its powers of somnolence.
When Lush didn't immediately restock its supply of Sleepy, one devoted Redditor launched a campaign for the company to make the product a year-round offering.
Here's how Lush describes the product at its website:
Slather on this gorgeous pale purple lotion, breathe in its sweet, comforting lavender and tonka perfume and you'll instantly feel at ease. Glycerin, cocoa butter and almond oil work together to moisturize skin and lock in hydration to keep skin soft, supple and comfortable all day or all night long. Say hello to your new nightly ritual! Zzz...
What's the secret? It turns out the key word there may be lavender, according to Women's Health.
“There is research that has found that lavender can help promote sleep,” sleep medicine doctor and neurologist W. Christopher Winter told the online magazine.
Winter cited a 2005 study in the journal Chronobiology International that found lavender seemed to work wonders for both men and women. Thirty-one people were told to sniff lavender essential oil water one night and distilled water the next night just before bedtime.
Researchers monitored the study participants' brain activity on both nights, finding that they all slept better and felt more energized the following day.
A second study published this year in Nursing Critical Care filtered lavender essential oil into the rooms of ICU patients, who reported improved sleep and reduced anxiety the following day.
Winter couldn't definitively say that lavender directly causes better sleep, but if it's working and promoting a more restful state in those who use it? Go for it, even it's a placebo.
The product page for Sleepy still says it's out of stock — the price has jumped from $4.95 to $19.95, in the meantime — but if its most effective ingredient is lavender essential oil, that shouldn't prove too difficult to find.
If nothing else, it'll smell nice.