Michelle Pfeiffer's secret to a good night's sleep is found in the age-old practice of spritzing scents

Michelle Pfeiffer sprays calming fragrance around her bed and pillows, which experts say can be highly beneficial for our sleep hygiene

(Image credit: Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Michelle Pfeiffer, though most well-known for her work as an actor in films such as Scarface and Batman Returns, has recently ventured into the world of fragrances. The star's perfume line, Henry Rose, specializes in scents for the body; however, a recent Instagram post proves that usage of the sprays is at the bottle owner's discretion.

Pfeiffer shared a clip of herself spraying one of her scents over her bed and pillows, and it got us thinking about how you can make a bedroom smell good for sleep.

While the actor has opted to spritz her linens with her Blonde Barry Body Mist (a fruity-floral fragrance), we spoke to an expert to find out which scents work best for optimal sleep.

But first: why and how do specific scents benefit our sleep hygiene?

'Pillow sprays are typically a mix of essential oils and a base like water or alcohol that you mist onto your pillow,' explains Julia Forbes, a certified sleep science coach at Sleep Advisor. 'The idea is to create a calm, soothing environment that helps you fall asleep faster. The scents from the spray target our sense of smell, which relaxes the mind by associating these scents with relaxation.'

Forbes tells us that there is scientific research to back the psychological impact that scents have on our sleep.

'Scent impacts how we sleep because it directly interacts with the part of our brain responsible for processing emotions,' she explains. 'A nice smell can reduce stress, calm the nerves, and even lower our heart rate and blood pressure.'

Similar to sniffing a favorite perfume (just like Michelle uses in her sleep space) smelling a relaxing scent can help ease tension in the body, which is a plus when winding down.

As far as scents go, Forbes says it's ultimately up to personal preference, but she generally suggests lighter fragrances rather than anything heavy.

'It's important to choose a scent that you enjoy so it is not distracting,' Forbes says. 'Lavender is known for its sleep-promoting properties, chamomile can be as soothing as it can calm you down, and sandalwood offers a deep, woodsy aroma that is great for calming you down and easing stress before sleep. Scent preferences are personal but I recommend avoiding scents that keep you more alert like peppermint and citrus because they may energize you instead of relaxing you.'

Below, find a selection of pillow mists that are aids in a good night's sleep.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.