"It has honestly been life-changing."
Woman with ME who was signed off work with chronic fatigue and spent £500 a year on sleep remedies reveals she's FINALLY getting more shut eye thanks to a £21.95 pillow spray and silk eye mask
- Charlotte Duggan, 26, of Surrey, went on sick leave due to chronic fatigue
- So desperate for a good night's sleep, she became reliant on sleeping pills
- Claims spray and silk eye mask helped increase deep sleep by 3 hours a night
A woman with chronic fatigue who was surviving on 10 minutes of deep sleep a night and spent £500 a year on aids has hailed a natural pillow spray and eye mask 'life-changing'.
Charlotte Duggan, 26, from Surrey, was forced to go on sick leave from her job as an advertising account manager after being diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) 18 months ago.
The long-term condition often causes insomnia, brain fog, short term memory loss and debilitating fatigue.
Charlotte became so desperate for a good night's sleep that she became reliant on sleeping pills - but claims the effects of certain types started to wear off, driving her to find an alternative solution.
Keen to find a more natural remedy, she eventually came across Drowsy, a sleep spray founded by two brothers who suffered from chronic insomnia.
he sleep spray contains a combination of natural essential oils with known sleep benefits, including bergamot, lavender, geranium, ylang ylang, vetiver, cedarwood and patchouli.
Charlotte combines the spray with the sleep mask; made from silk and lightly padded, it wraps completely around the head, cushioning it and blocking out all light for an uninterrupted sleep.
After spraying her pillow with the S.O.S Pillow Spray (£21.95, pictured) and wearing the Drowsy Silk Eye Mask (£49.50) in bed, Charlotte claims she's noticed a drastic improvement
Charlotte said: 'Since using these products, I've noticed my deep sleep has increased from its usual 0-10 minutes a night to now over three hours. It has honestly been life-changing.'
Before being signed off on sick-leave, Charlotte had been working long hours in a high-stress environment, and running on very little sleep was starting to take its toll.
'Most days I found I would rely on adrenaline to carry me through to the end of the day, which meant I spent 95 per cent of my weekends either in bed or stuck inside hibernating,' she recalled.
'Stress has a huge impact on my nervous system. Due to my increased vulnerability to stress, my body constantly feels under attack and my fight-or-flight reaction stays switched on.
'My body doesn't naturally go back to a relaxed state like it should do, so I'm left endlessly wired and tired.'
As well as making it difficult for her to switch off, Charlotte's illness was preventing her from experiencing any significant form of deep sleep.
'My sleep is so light and disruptive, I never ever wake up feeling refreshed,' she said.
Admitting she'd spend around £500 on sleep aids over the course of the year, she added: 'The amount of money I used to spend on Night Nurse is not even worth thinking about!'
She claims her reliance on sleeping pills meant their effects eventually wore off, driving her to even more extreme measures.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
Also known as ME - or myalgic encephalomyelitis - CFS can affect anyone, but is most common in women in their mid 20s to mid 40s.
The most noticeable symptom is extreme tiredness, but others include problems sleeping, joint or muscle pain, headaches, flu-like symptoms, and a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Treatments include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), specific exercises, or medication to target nausea, pain or issues with sleeping.
'Over time, my body became so used to them that they stopped working for me. I then moved to antihistamine tablets and I was embarrassingly taking a far higher dose than recommended,' Charlotte added.
'Yes, I was finally staying asleep at night, but I was waking up feeling even more groggy than usual.'
After 'endless' searching for a more sustainable solution, Charlotte discovered Drowsy, a natural and non-addictive sleep aid for troubled sleepers.
Charlotte said she found the relaxing scent of the spray's aroma-therapeutic oils helped to calm down disruptive thoughts and make her feel 'sleep ready' before bed.
The brand's silk eye mask also helped manage her disruptive sleep patterns by blocking out natural light, resulting in her sleeping deeper and for longer.
'Thanks to Drowsy, I've managed to switch my body before bed from the sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system (a relaxed state) and I'm now finally getting the sleep my body needs,' she said.
Drowsy was founded by Rich and Thom Hemelryk, who both developed chronic insomnia after five years of running hospitality businesses together.
'A combination of business stress, busy lifestyles and bad habits fed into a negative loop that meant we were tired all the time,' they explain on Drowsy's website.
'Drowsy is the result of our own personal journey with sleep. Working closely alongside our professional sleep coach Michael Hildebrandt, we created the philosophy that lies at the heart of the brand. Our products are designed to complement this philosophy and enhance the sleep of anyone looking to upgrade their bedtime experience.'
The brothers spent 11 months developing their Sleep S.O.S pillow spray, with the aim of creating a fragrance that is an effective tool in a bedtime sleep ritual.
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