This Sleep-Inducing Pillow Spray Is Modern Day Fairy Dust

Despite its detrimental toll on my work week, staying up into the wee hours of the night and swimming in a sea of blue light is one of my favourite activities. The side effects? Puffy eye bags, foggy brain cells, a fear of the generic iPhone alarm, an overarching distaste for being awake — the list goes on. And I'm not alone. A quick poll around the R29 office shook up several self-confessed night owls. Bleary eyed and clutching coffee cups, we often spend our mornings having the same conversation; that we no longer want to be complacent in our bad habits. Especially as we head into winter, the the darkest, sleepiest season of all.
Enter, stage left: This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, a £21 lavender, chamomile and vetivert elixir created for nights of solid slumber (its also cruelty-free, vegan, and 99% natural). According to thousands of gushing reviews from well-rested customers, this stuff is the real deal. But seeing is believing in this house. Read on for the honest thoughts of R29's resident insomniacs, plus everything you need to know about This Works before buying yourself.
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What is This Works and how do their products, um... work?

If you're not familiar, This Works (and its penchant for skincare, wellness, and lowercase letters) started back in 2004. For almost 20 years now, the brand has focused on "resetting bedtime habits and encouraging restful nights with science-based, proven-to-work products” — hence its functional namesake. Long gone are the days of "studies show" comments and ambiguous evidence behind wellness products — This Works proudly acknowledges the years of user trials and independent functional MRI scans led by neuroscientist Professor Gaby Brader that helped perfect the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray's effective medley of natural ingredients.

What does the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray do?

This Works' pillow spray is not knockout gas, but it is knockout-gas-adjacent. Point blank, its purpose is to help you fall asleep faster. When combined, the spray's three highlighted ingredients (lavender oil, camomile oil, and vetivert oil) are proven to "[activate] specific areas of the brain associated with pleasure and calmness." Therefore, giving your pillow (and your pyjamas, if you want that extra sleepy feel) a nice spritz before bed is a one way ticket to sweet dreams.

What do This Works customers say?

Before receiving our samples, we took to the customer testimonials — and I mean all the testimonials. On This Works' site, the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray features a 4.4 out of 5 star rating and 3839 reviews; on Dermstore it's wrangled 4.48 out of 5 stars and 123 reviews; and on Google it boats 4.3 out 5 stars and a whopping 6179 reviews. This Works verified buyer, Ronni M., concurs that the spray is "relaxing" and claims it helped them "sleep more soundly." One Google reviewer is not a fan of lavender nor the smell of the spray, but still admits that "it does kinda work," and is "not like some gimmicky product." Meanwhile, an anonymous Dermstore customer describes their bottle as "pure luxury" and is so enamoured by the fragrance, they "spray [their] entire bed" before tucking in for the night. Needless to say, reading these got us even more excited for our packages to arrive.

Did the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray work its magic?

Alexandra Polk, Affiliate Lifestyle Writer

"Yes, this stuff really did work! Blame it on placebo effect or my unstoppable imagination, but the gentle floral mist made my satin pillowcases feel like silk and whispered sweet nothings to my eyelids until I fell into a deep slumber. However, this was not the most controlled experiment nor was it a worthy reflection of the scientific method. I opened the package, held the cute rectangular bottle in my hand, gave my pillows a nice mist, and settled down for bed. An enticing lavender-heavy aroma floated around my face once my head hit the sheets — let's just say that if the whimsical fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream had a signature fragrance, it would be This Works' Deep Sleep Pillow Spray.

"Let's just say that if the whimsical fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Nights Dream had a signature fragrance, it would be [this pillow spray]."

Alexandra Polk
Poetics aside, I think the spray, just like all somewhat superfluous beauty products, are what you make of them. I got into that bed excited to fall asleep and eager to smell some lavender on my sheets — so I did just that. However, what shocked me was the fact I looked forward to spritzing my pillows again for night two. Perhaps the true magic of this spray is its ability to keep you regimented. It's been about a week, and I don't use it every night, but dipping my bedding in some soothing lavender elixirs makes bedtime feel special, as opposed to a chore I must do to survive, you know?
Bonus: when I misted the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray in front of my fancy-shmancy Dyson air purifier (Princess Dy, to her inner circle) her fan did not waver nor did the air quality meter bat an eyelash — so in This Works' natural ingredients no-BS, science-based wellness products, I trust."

Kelly Washington, UK Social Editor

"This is the first sleep spray I ever tried. Years ago at university I was having a particularly bad night, unable to sleep, and a friend of mine offered some of her This Works. My first thought was “yeah, ok, like a sleep spray is going to fix my anxiety”, but I was quite distressed, to the point where I’d try anything.
I’m not sure if it was psychological, but the soothing scent of lavender distracted me, allowing me to take a moment, relax, calm down and ease my mind. To this day I’m a huge fan of sleep spray and I use it religiously every night. Having a bedroom routine really helps me to trick my mind into thinking, “it’s bedtime, time to switch off”. I’ve recently been using one from the Body Shop, so I was keen to try the old faithful once more to compare.

"I’m not sure if it was psychological, but the soothing scent of lavender distracted me, allowing me to take a moment, relax, calm down and ease my mind."

Kelly Washington
It’s wild how scents can transport you! Immediately, I remembered the sense of calm and tranquility from that first spritz. The This Works spray has stronger notes of lavender than the Body Shop one, which some might find overpowering, but I love it. Whatever brand of sleep spray you use though, I reckon it's just the act of taking more time for yourself that's most important; it helps your wind down from the chaos of the day, and can really help you to fall asleep faster naturally and wake up feeling more rested."

Esther Newman, Affiliate Writer & Content Producer

"After hearing great things from friends who are already fans, I've been so excited about testing this. I'm currently going through a sudden and very stressful house move (shout out to toxic mould and terrible London landlords!), plus struggling with SAD, so desperately need something soothing in my life. If only to help stop my anxiety-driven doom scrolling and over thinking.

"I was asleep in just minutes rather than the usual hours, and the same thing kept happening night after night — to a point that made me think this isn't just placebo."

Esther Newman
The first night my bottle of This Works arrived I immediately got to spritzin'. Soothing floral aromas wafted over my pillows and gently caressed my duvet cover, but did I fall asleep? You bet I did! I was asleep in just minutes rather than the usual hours, and the same thing kept happening night after night — to a point that made me think this isn't just placebo. Saying this though, I have definitely taken more care over my nighttime routine over these past few weeks because I knew I was writing this review. I've really tried hard to put my phone away a few hours before bed and read instead, and have introduced a long, soothing self-care shower routine. So I do wonder whether it's a combination of all these things that did the trick? Whether actually prioritising myself and my sleep is the true secret, as opposed to exhausting myself every night endlessly trawling through TikTok. Either way, I reckon This Works Sleep Spray is not really a necessity for good sleep, but it is an effective and luxurious enhancement to a good, everyday evening self care routine. For £21, it's been well worth the money in my books."

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