The beauty world has gone pretty New Age on us as of recent, and we’re one hundred percent here for it. Take, for example, crystals—suspended in serums, incorporated into facials, and even in Glossier’s highlighters. Combine the power of these with sleepy-time scents, and you’ve got one of 2017’s biggest beauty trends on your hands: dream sprays.
For the uninitiated, dream sprays claim to enhance your sleep quality and, in some instances, may even intensify your dreams. The typical mist usually contains some blend of waters, herbal ingredients and essential oils, such as lavender. The idea is that you spritz it all over your sheets and pillows before hitting the sack, then breathe in (slowly if possible, which helps naturally slow your heart rate) as you fall asleep. Even if you don’t immediately nark out, you will feel fancy AF.
The real MVP in dream sprays, though, are the essential oils, since they’re especially effective when it comes to promoting sleep. “Essential oils for sleep fall into three categories,” says Amy Galper, a certified aromatherapist and the executive director of New York Institute of Aromatherapy. The first, she says, is quieting the mind. Lavender is the gold standard for this; studies have shown that it’s calming for body and mind and can even ease anxiety when inhaled. Second: Relaxing the body. Herbs like clary sage and marjoram are anti-spasmodic, meaning they help suppress aches and pains as you wind down. And the third and final category is balancing hormonal changes, like those when you’re PMSing. For that, Galper recommends oils like ylang ylang and geranium. (But don’t even get us started on what happens to our skin when we have our period.)
More ways to get a better night’s sleep:
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- Spending More Than an Hour on Social Media? You’re Probably Not Sleeping Well, Study Finds
Remember how I also said these dream sprays could actually enhance your dreams, too? Turns out there’s some legitimacy to the theory, according Galper. “The olfactory nerve is one synapse from when our memories are,” she explains. Mugwort is the best-known ingredient for this. And while some fans burn mugwort before bed or brew it as a tea, you can find it in some of these dream sprays. (Shailene Woodley, for one, said in an interview that she burns it and then knocks on her wall as she’s falling asleep, which encourages lucid dreaming and likely pisses off her neighbors.) Even though there’s little research behind it, sites like Reddit have entire threads devoted to anecdotal evidence of its efficacy. “We use it for its ability to assist in lucid dreaming, aiding in dream recall, and contribute to dream creativity, vividness, and enhancement,” says Erica Bradbury, CEO and creative director at Species by the Thousand. Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon in which you’re aware that you’re dreaming during said dream. Why would anyone want this? Apparently, you can control what you do in your dreamland without suffering the IRL consequences of, say, punching someone.
While I’m really, really good at falling asleep, I’m even better at waking up for no reason in the wee hours of the night. Also, I’m curious to see if my subconscious self has anything interesting to report. So in exploring the latest dream sprays, I put a few to the test.
1. Crystal Cactus Cloud 9 Pillow Mist
A combination of crystals (amethyst, rainbow moonstone) and essential oils, you’re supposed to “mist [it] generously around your aura and sleeping chamber,” according to founder Audrey Kitching. Raise your eyebrows as high as you want, but one of our editors described this as “amazing AF,” and decorates both her office and home with the brand’s various crystal-infused offerings.
2. Rituals The Ritual of Dao Bed and Body Mist
This blend of ylang ylang and yi yi ren has a slightly floral scent—but somer serious staying power, too. Even though I still woke up around 2 a.m., I noticed that my bed still smelled really good—a nice perk.
3. Shemana Dream Mist
One word: Crystals. This mist contains the essences of jade, apophyllite, and black onyx, which purportedly help stir your memories during sleep and suppress fears. This helps you attain your deepest desires, according to the brand.
4. Species by the Thousands Psychic Dream Spray
This contains mugwort, so, naturally, I enthusiastically doused my pillows, sheets, and comforter with it. I didn’t experience lucid or trippy dreams—but I did sleep through the night without waking.
5. Earth Therapeutics Elixir of Dreams Pillow Mist
This smells like orange, which surprised me (since I always figured citrus scents belonged in the A.M.). I fell asleep feeling as though I was somewhere warm and breezy, but sadly I woke up in the middle of the night and could smell nothing besides my own bad breath.
6. ThisWorks Sleep Plus Pillow Spray
Raise your hand if you’ve ever woken up in the middle of a really good dream. The lavender blend in this formula is time-released to help you stay asleep throughout the night. And the longer you sleep, the more you dream.
Now, watch beauty treatments to try during your next nap: