Insomniacs Try Lush's Sleepy Body Lotion
Can Lush's Famous Sleepy Lotion Help an Insomniac Finally Get Some Rest?
Why am I awake right now?
That's the eternal question whenever my eyes flick open at 3:13 a.m. or some other ungodly hour, which inevitably happens most nights—especially troubling because it takes me so long to fall asleep in the first place. Thanks, insomnia.
My left brain thinks nightfall is playtime to indulge all the anxious thoughts I've suppressed during the day. Stuff like an email I forgot to send, or how I'm going to find a dogsitter for Christmas break, or why my sister hasn't acknowledged the package I sent her even though the tracking number shows it was delivered 10 days ago. On the rare occasion I don't have anything pressing to dwell on, my cerebrum digs deep into its archives. Like last week when I was on vacation and, around midnight, couldn't stop thinking about how badly it's going to hurt when I get my IUD removed—two years from now.
Other than taking Benadryl or melatonin, both of which leave me in a zombie-like state come morning, watching ASMR and listening to guided meditations are about the only things that actually work these days. I've also found Wake Up on Time, a time-release vitamin supplement advertised to help users "wake up feeling great!," which is somewhat useful when I remember to take it. So when Lush offered me the chance to review Sleepy—the body lotion insomniacs everywhere apparently swear by—I wholeheartedly accepted.
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It's made with naturally occurring ingredients that were never tested on animals, and packaged in post-consumer recycled containers, so it's something I can feel good about using. Its magic infusion is lavender, which studies have shown can induce relaxation by decreasing one's heart rate and blood pressure, though, to be frank, that doesn't mean much to me. I've tried other lavender lotions and linen sprays and they do nothing other than provide a pleasant background scent for the theater of my anxiety.
The first night I tried Sleepy, I showered before slathering it on from shoulder to toe. My first impressions: It's a gorgeous pale purple shade with an almost iridescent quality and, maybe I'm used to a more synthetic, commercialized lavender scent but, it smells more like key lime pie to me. Its main ingredients are almond oil and coconut butter, so it's definitely smooth and super moisturizing, if nothing else. It pairs well with Lush's other lavender-infused products such as the Twilight shower gel and bath bomb.
When I got into bed, I thought about reading for a little while but then figured I'd better give Sleepy a chance to do its thing. I was out within 10 minutes—that's a record for me. Then I woke up shortly before 5 a.m. Since the lotion worked the first time, I figured I just needed more. I went to the bathroom for a second application. When I returned, my partner sniffed the air and asked, "Do you smell cinnamon?"
"No, I just put lotion on."
"Smells like cookies," he mumbled before rolling over and going back to sleep. (Lucky bastard.)
When my alarm went off at 7 a.m., I hit the snooze button at least three times. I felt super groggy, as if I'd taken a sleep aide the night before.
My second time using Sleepy lotion was the ultimate test: a red-eye flight from Albuquerque to New York where I had to go to work in the morning. I brought a small amount in a travel-sized container and applied it to my hands and forearms just before boarding, fully conscious that doing so might bother any fellow passengers with scent allergies. Thankfully, no one seemed to mind. I also popped a Benadryl for good measure. Alas, even that combination was no match for the screaming baby five rows ahead of me. At work, I could barely keep my eyes open. I left an hour early. (I keep a list on my phone, a running tally of 'Things I Should Never Do Again'—wear off-shoulder tops, mix liquor and red wine, get bangs—and 'going to work after an overnight flight' is now on it.)
The third trial was much like the first, a normal evening at home, with my nighttime shower followed by a moisturizing application. Again, I dozed off within 10 to 15 minutes of getting into bed and, again, woke up around 5 a.m. But this time I didn't bother getting out of bed to apply more lotion and I think I suffered for it: I dozed off an hour or so later and barely heard my alarm clock when it went off, I was in such a deep slumber.
What's my verdict? For people who just have run-of-the-mill trouble falling asleep, and not staying that way, Sleepy lotion is a good, natural remedy. For people like me who wake up sporadically throughout the night regardless of how or when they fell asleep, it's not a game changer—but at least it'll put more ZZZs behind you before that dreaded moment you wake up again. Plus, it smells divine.
Video: Lush How It's Made: Sleepy Body Lotion
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