The editors at Sleepopolis tried and tested several new products and strategies rising in popularity on social media during Mental Health Awareness Month (MHAM), in an effort to find solutions for the many people whose sleep struggles have a clear connection to mental health. Note that these methods should not be interpreted as endorsements or referrals; our goal is to report honestly on our own experiences.
You may have noticed a trend popping up on TikTok over the winter, somewhere among the rising #UtahMoms content and everyone’s collective appreciation for matching neutral sweatsuits. A few of the platform’s top sleep influencers (sleepfluencers, for the newcomers) started posting sponsored content for “sleep sprays,” or prettily packaged spray bottles from trusted brands designed to be released into our mouths at bedtime for a peaceful, sleepy experience.
Well… who doesn’t want a magic potion that solves all their problems? Have we not seen Death Becomes Her, or noticed that the mythical Holy Grail is still popping up in pop culture (Peacock’s Mrs. Davis), more relevant than ever? And there’s no more universal problem in need of solving right now than the need for a better night’s sleep. Combine that demand with one sprayable Fountain of Youth-esque supply in particular, the Arbonne SleepWell Melatonin Sleep Spray ($45, Arbonne.com) , and we might just have a popular product in the making.
What Is the Arbonne SleepWell Melatonin Sleep Spray?
The new launch from Arbonne, a wellness brand known for female-focused dietary supplements and anti-aging skincare collections, marks one of the first products in the melatonin-enhanced bedtime sprays from a well-known and trusted company (if not a household name, Arbonne is a high-end, beauty internet-literate name for Gen Z and millennial consumers).
At $45, the price tag might intimidate the average shopper who isn’t completely convinced that melatonin in spray form will work miracles. That said, we doubt the spray is meant to be used seven nights a week, and would suggest incorporating other Sleepopolis expert-recommended strategies to address any long-term sleep issues.
Who Is the Melatonin Sleep Spray For?
It should be noted that Sleepopolis has previously cited varying data from trusted sources in both academia and medicine when it comes to articles about the effectiveness of melatonin in inducing sleep. Some studies say increasing our brains’ organic production of the hormone at optimal times of the day or night can put the power of “sleepiness” under our control. In other words, melatonin is the natural hormone we all have that makes us feel tired. Melatonin pills and manufactured delivery systems (like mouth sprays and topical creams) claim to boost that tired feeling when we want to feel tired.
Who Should Try This:
- Anyone melatonin-curious, who’s interested in the supplement’s potential but isn’t quite ready to take pills
- Experienced melatonin users, who’ve enjoyed the effects of a previous melatonin product
- Anyone with occasional trouble falling asleep who’s more into perfecting their bedtime routine as a solution to those troubles, and likes the appeal of a breath freshener-like delivery
Who Should Not Try This:
- Anyone with established or diagnosed sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, insomnia, or night terrors. Please read more about these conditions on Sleepopolis.
- Skeptics, or rather, firm Man of Science team members as opposed to Man of Faith fans (yes, this is a Lost reference)
- If you’ve already done a ton of experimenting on your own with various melatonin products, you might want to save the $45 for something new
How to Use the Sleep Spray
The instructions are fairly simple to follow, but there’s always the risk of overdoing it. Stick to the recommended 7 sprays directly into your mouth. Hold it in — meaning, try not to swallow, eat or drink anything, or lick your lips — for 20 seconds, and then go ahead and swallow.
Experts agree that most sleep aids like Arbonne’s are meant to be used on a short-term basis (a few weeks or so). Just like parents are advised not to give melatonin gummies to their children on a regular basis, and treat them instead like an in-case-of-emergency option, sleep doctors and the experts at Arbonne suggest approaching this spray with a similar spirit.
My Experience Using the Sleep Spray
I have a confession to make. When I first heard about sleep sprays, I imagined a kind of air-freshener device: a nicely-scented little touch of perfumed air on my pillow. But to be clear, Arbonne’s melatonin spray is meant for the mouth. There are other products on the market that qualify more as pillow sprays or bed scents, but that’s not how melatonin works — at least not yet.
So a note on the taste: Made with chamomile and lavender, my sample was lemon-flavored, and if that sounds like a pretty decent tea flavor to you, then you’ll have no problem with the teabag-esque flavor of the spray. Plus, it doesn’t linger around, so a few sips of water will easily wash it all away.
As far as drifting off to sleep, I tried using the spray every other night for 10 days, and can’t say I noticed a huge difference in shortening my N1 sleep phase (the time between putting your head down on the pillow and actually falling into light sleep). But there’s something to be said for the appeal of adding steps to a bedtime routine in an effort to improve it, whether the effects mimic that of a placebo or not.
Mental Health Benefits
We all know that building a healthy sleep routine is one of the basic foundational blocks needed to build a strong mental — and physical — health practice. And the benefits of occasionally trying melatonin on particularly stressful or tense nights have been touted by medical experts as potentially effective and safe (always check with your doctor first, though).
With that important caveat out of the way, I can see the potential for the Arbonne spray to complement an already strong, tried-and-tested sleep practice that works for you. If anything, it’s a little self-care boost, similar to using a creamy face mask in the bath, or trying brand new sheets. However slim the scientific benefits may be, any boost is a bonus.