We all need it. We all crave it, but for so many of us, for one reason or another, it eludes us nightly.
Often our own worst enemy, very few of us get what we need and while there are many things in my industry that are misleading or misrepresented, beauty sleep is not one of them.
Sleep gives our body time to repair, to regenerate – restore what the day takes out. Our skin cells are on a biological rhythm, a body clock of cellular regeneration, growth and ageing. Skin hydration too has a rhythm, with water loss peaking at night. This is a reason for applying active products in the evening so that a more penetrable barrier can optimise absorption and potency of ingredients.
So, if we know all this and we’re ultimately always saying how tired we are, why don’t we sleep?
Don’t get me wrong, I can sleep. I could sleep anywhere, standing up, sat at my desk, in cars (I love sleeping in cars), the floor of my children’s room, the sofa…but I am useless at committing to going to bed each night at a reasonable hour to get some straight sleep.
Perhaps it’s the curse of us working parents who need to catch up on chores and deadlines when everyone else rests. There’s always that extra washing load, that email, who knows, but I know I’m not doing myself any favours. And then, when I do finally give in and slide exhausted between the covers, I find my brain flicks a switch and says “Ahhhh right, while I have you here…”
UGH. Hello 3am again.
More than ever, sleep or lack of it, has become a global issue. This year, sleep aids and tech is expected to rise at around 5.1% year on year.
How can you improve your sleep cycle?
Enter This Works – they know about sleep. I put some key questions to Dr Anna Persaud, CEO and Biochemist of This Works to get her perspective on the new Sleep Plus+™ collection.
Long associated with sleep support products, This Works were one of the first, 10 years ago, to offer naturally effective products with their iconic Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. The sleep ranges have gone from strength to strength which the success of which has, according to Dr Persaud, is down to products being tried and tested beyond any industry standard, there is a trust and confidence among consumers. For example, Pillow Sprays have gone through 6 independent user trials with over 900 participants as well as clinical and fMRI brain imaging studies.
The impact of a Global Health Crisis
It is without doubt that the pandemic has had a significant impact on sleep and stress. Dr Persaud references a study by Kings College London that found 63% of the UK population say their sleep has worsened since the pandemic. But, as Dr Persaud points out, we were not unstressed prior to lockdown citing our ‘always on’ lifestyle so dominated by invasive tech that demands our attention and gives us a fear of missing out.
But, compounding an already stressed existence; anxiety about the state of the world does nothing for our cortisol levels. Typically, this hormone release peaks as we wake between 6-8am and declines thereafter, but if we live in a heightened state of anxiety and stress, our cortisol levels can remain high with the potential to act like a melatonin block meaning sleep becomes more evasive.
This Works has been working with Self Space, an organisation that offers psychotherapy services. Dr Persaud cites their founder Jodie Cariss in observing that when we are stressed and sleeping poorly, we find the overwhelm in the most everyday things - pressure that manifests in many ways and in which all of us can relate to some degree, particularly over the past 18 months.
Lockdown has taught us many things, one of which was to slow down. With time for reflection foisted upon us, we embraced self-care at a rate unseen before. But the other side of the lockdown, is the associated worries over health, security, family: the future. So, we had time, but our stress levels peaked and got in the way of truly maximising this time to create healthy sleep connections.
Sleep Plus+™ Next Generation Sleep Support
One thing we know, is that things don’t stand still in product development.
This Works prides itself on innovation and consumer connection. The just launched Sleep Plus+™ collection comprises of 4 core products, in varying sizes, that provide a complete sleep preparation experience: Massage Relief, Dream Body, Pillow Spray and Bath Oil.
The range is now entirely vegan, a move made possible due to increasing innovation around methods for creating performance products without animal derived ingredients, this was especially critical in the core fragrance encapsulation – key to the performance of the range and up until recently, not vegan compliant.
The range also features CBD Isolate.
CBD beauty is the fastest growing ingredient search online and is increasingly integrating into mainstream skin and beauty. Shown to have positive effects in relation to the balance of the release of stress hormone cortisol, the CBD used in beauty products is typically extracted from the stems and leaves of the Hemp plant, and helps soothe anxiety, inflammation and support a sense of clam and wellbeing.
CBD has become a new ingredient of interest over the past eighteen months for This Works as they launched their CBD Boosters and Stress Check ranges, unsurprisingly therefore, they are leading the way in education around this ingredient and have committed a sister CBD site to boost understanding and banish misinformation around the use of CBD. Dr. Persaud also draws attention to their transparency on the CBD testing and harvest protocol, where independently accredited labs test each batch for undetectable THC, the compound responsible for the ‘high’ that is associated with cannabis. The outer pack of the products features a QR code taking the consumer to the official safety certificates.
The range also features a higher percentage of the award-winning functional fragrance of Lavender, Vetivert and Chamomile. This fragrance complex has been clinically proven in fMRI brain scans to help promote a more sustained sleep and reduce bedtime anxiety.
These upgrades are a direct response to market dynamics and elevate the range further as an authority on support for restless sleepers.
Beauty Insider Verdict
I love the new range. A fragrance that immediately soothes the senses and formulations for bath, body and bed. The ritualistic layering of the scent and the continuation of the notes as you move through the steps of getting ready for bed is both calming in scent but also in the process of use of each product.
The standout for me was the Massage Relief with 5% CBD. I didn’t expect it to be, but it seemed to really make the difference in the ritual of sleep prep. It was a step I don’t usually do, so it felt special, leaving my mind concentrated on releasing tension.
I know I won’t be alone here in tight shoulders and jumpy legs from hours at a desk and being able to apply this to my shoulders, neck and legs with definite pressure, while the fragrance released across my skin, was deliciously relaxing.
Simplicity and usability is a winning combination here with each of the products in the collection available in various sizes to aid portability for travel and gifting.
Beauty Insider Tip
When you have the experts behind the range contributing so freely with insight and support, I wanted to leave my sign-off insider tip, with an answer from Dr. Persaud.
I asked what products would support Sleep Plus+™ in the daytime because as Dr. Persaud says;
“a good night’s sleep is a day in the making” not just the hour before we go to bed.
Her recommendation is to get your brain in gear with Morning Expert Wakeup Drops and feature a fragrance complex that has been studied through brain imaging to help sharpen focus and boost motivation.
Then to help manage your mood throughout the day, keep new Stress Check Mood Manager close at hand. This motion-activated fragrance is again developed through brain imaging technology to help reduce feelings of anxiety, restore a sense of calm and balance cortisol levels.
Shop This Works online at Elys and start improving your sleep.