Stress has always been my body’s arch nemesis.
If you live in a western culture, you know the feeling. One responsibility becomes two, then three, but there’s only one you. So all of a sudden, you’re breathing faster; the pressure sinking into your shoulders and overwhelming your brain. The fear of failure is now your subconscious’ obsession, making the actual importance of the tasks at hand much larger than they really are. Stress is no joke.
Now imagine that you’re a Hollywood star. You step out of a limo to flashing lights, screaming fans with their cameras at the ready and a world ready to judge. Now be perfect, look perfect, live up to everyone’s expectations—the pressure! If anyone can relate to this, it’s Olivia Culpo, former Miss America and a regular on the red carpet. The influencer introduced us to her remedy: Olly Goodbye Stress and Restful Sleep Vitamins.
Olivia has taken part in a wider craze for celeb-endorsed supplements that promises a natural path to a better you. Celeb hairstylist Justine Marjan and makeup artist Mary Phillips have also given a nod to Olly, while Vanessa Hudgens and Kylie Jenner have rallied behind SugarBear Hair. Jen Atkin, hairstylist to Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and Jessica Alba, recently launch her own hair supplements, leading us to ask the question: “Do these vitamins really work, or are they merely on trend?”
It’s time to find out. I opened the package to promised serenity and couldn’t help but beam in excitement. No, I’m not a red carpet usual, but I’m no stranger to adversities. I believe that life’s inevitable turmoil will always result in growth and wisdom, but like everyone else, I don’t enjoy growing pains. They keep me up at night and materialize as large lumps in my neck and shoulders.
Cue Restful Sleep vitamins. To my delight, the supplement comes in gummy form. So I popped two into my mouth (per the recommended dose). They aren’t super delicious, but they taste fine, like herbal tea-flavored candy. Thirty minutes later, my body sank deeper into my mattress and my eyelids were heavy.
The vitamins contain Melatonin, a natural occurring hormone in the body that promotes healthy sleep cycles. My co-workers are fans, and take it regularly, but I had never tried the remedy before Olly. It also contains L-Theanine, derived from tea leaves in eastern Asia. The amino acid soothes brainwaves, slowing down your thinking process. In combination with chamomile, passionflower and lemon balm, I was out for the count.
When I woke up in the morning, I was really groggy and tired. It was a rough morning. If you don’t have any experience taking the hormone, I suggest taking one, instead of two, at first. Too much melatonin can actually mess up your sleep cycle, and since I had no prior experience, the dose was too large for me.
I gave the bottle to my co-worker, who said that she felt well rested in the morning. She has taken melatonin before, so it didn’t have the same effect on her. We both agreed that we felt more of a physical response than mental. It’s possible to take the supplement, yet be unable to fall asleep because of all of the things on your mind.
Goodbye Stress, however, did soothe my mood. Picture this: I overslept, rushed out of the house, sat in brutal LA traffic, got cut off by someone giving me the middle finger, came into the office to a new assignment with a fast turnaround—ugh, give me a break! The answer: my new vitamins.
The L-Theanine and Lemon Balm in these supplements worked much better for me while I was awake. Or, maybe I’m obsessed with GABA, the main ingredient. GABA is actually a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate the nervous system by reducing neuronal activity (translation: It tells your brain to calm down)—perfect for someone whose thoughts are travelling a thousand miles per hour, inching them into a panic attack (a.k.a. me on this day).
Post-GABA, I slowed down, took some time to plan out my day. It didn’t make life easier, but it helped to gain control over my mood, which in turn made the tasks at hand seem increasingly achievable.
Despite what’s on your to-do lists, stressing doesn’t make anything easier. Take a chill pill…or a gummy vitamin.