HOW I LEARNED TO RELAX & LET GO: The Nue Co Destress 360 & Sleep Drops Review

Remember when we collectively shared the hope that 2021 would be a wind down from the absolute dumpster fire of 2020? Well, it feels a little bit one step forward, two steps back. Lately, between getting our new place renovated, and everything else going on, it feels like every day has been handling Murphy’s Law which posits that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

The Nue Co. Destress 360

So when I found out a month ago that The Nue Co. was releasing a supplement that dealt directly with stress, I was dialed in. Enter The Nue Co.’s latest release, Destress 360, an ingestible in capsule form that helps to deal with stress, and anxiety with a slew of adaptogens, nootropics, and cortisol balancing extracts. What makes the formula impactful is that it uses ingredients clinically proven to reduce everyday stress and anxiety, supporting the functions depleted by continual high stress: immunity, muscle pain, libido, sleep and focus.

From the outset I didn’t really doubt if Destress 360 would be effective, because the other releases from The Nue Co had worked so well for me. But, I didn’t know HOW it would work, or if I would even notice. I suppose I was already in my head about how to even share experiences when talking about something as intangible as stress.

Let’s just start with the basics of my experience. Destress 360 comes in a jar of 60 capsules, and you’re instructed to take 2 a day in the morning. As I’m on the conservative side with ingestible supplements, I actually started with just 1 capsule for the first three days to get a feel for it.

The capsule was easy to swallow, with no after-taste. Nor did it cause any digestive upset which some pills can cause. I didn’t feel any immediate reaction, which is good. You won’t and shouldn’t expect to feel buzzed or numbed out, as this is all about functionally dealing with stress. With that said, I did wonder how I would be able to tell if it’s working.

Then my day happened. It just so happened that through the day, Murphy’s Law took place with our home renovation, my bank alerting me that my credit card information was stolen, and freelance writing jobs that fell through. And as these things happened I didn’t feel like “oh I took a pill, and can totally handle things!” Shitty situations still feel shitty, no pill can fix that, nor should they. But what I overwhelmingly noticed was an urge to take a nap. I can’t fully explain it. I didn’t feel drowsy, but I just felt that instead of an adrenal/Fight or Flight response, I was more… “let’s step out for a minute.” Which I ended up doing. I took a nice 30 minute nap, which is a rare occurrence, and it was so restful and restorative. I woke up feeling like “okay time to sort everything out!”

By day 2-3, I noticed that the anxiety pains that I sometimes feel in the pit of my stomach subsided entirely. I’m going to be honest and maybe over share a little about why this is important to me. I know in this day and age, we all talk about being over stressed. In fact The Nue Co’s research indicates that stress is the key issue facing most people today. But for me, it’s an issue I’ve actually sought help for, starting in college when I saw a therapist for weekly visits to deal with my anxiety attacks. These attacks would get really bad when I’d have multiple coinciding deadlines for papers, midterms, interviews, that I’d feel short of breath, break into a cold sweat, and have an elevated heart beat. And they always started with that feeling at the pit of my stomach.

I have never taken anything to help handle this, and while there have been supplements meant to handle stress, I really wanted to be responsible with how I was handling my stress. Did I feel Destress 360 helped me with stress? Absolutely. I just know that in my case, it made me feel more in control of my stress, to not let it consume me. And I know… what if it’s placebo? Well, the formula does check out. Here’s what is in it:

Vitamin C & Zinc – works together to stop stress, and build the immune system while supporting the adrenal glands
Magnesium – Promotes relaxation and ease
Ashwagandha – adaptogen to help the body adjust to stress and anxiety, clinically shown to decrease cortisol, and inflammatory serum CRP
L-Theanine – a calming active derived from green tea that helps mental function, in particular creating beneficial alpha brain waves that help creativity, relaxation, and decreased anxiety
Licorice Root – levels abnormal increases in cortisol (a stress hormone), and assists with adrenal fatigue
Passionflower Extract – used for anxiety, and widely used as a calming agent prior to surgery. Used as treatment for insomnia, and stress.
Pine Bark Extract – a known anxiety and stress relief supplement particularly because it’s rich in beneficial minerals like magnesium and iron that can counter fatigue.

I really wanted to write down these ingredients individually because I feel they’re so well put together. Every ingredient is meaningful, and contributes in different yet cohesive ways to support the body through stress, hence why the supplement is called a ‘Total Body Stress Support.’ Not only is the formula impactful, but just as important, The Nue Co uses a safe approach, primarily through plant-based yet scientifically-backed ingredients that won’t create side effects, or dependency. I currently take Destress 360 on days where I feel that the extra support would be nice (hello, Mondays! And mid-week slumps), and it has been a welcomed addition.

The Nue Co. Sleep Drops

Now a major part of stress is how it can affect rest and sleep, creating a vicious cycle that is hard to overcome. This is something I’m super aware of because my parents both have difficulty with sleep, and as I get older, I have noticed my quality of sleep has gone down. As you might know from when I shared in previous posts, I have been taking The Nue Co’s Sleep Drops. And I wanted to include my thoughts in this review because I think the pairing of Destress 360 in the morning, and Sleep Drops in the evening are perfect for gentle starts to the day that stay with you throughout, and a peaceful evening.

With Sleep Drops, I noticed immediate improvement to my sleep quality from first use. Sleep Drops are dispensed via a dropper, and I take about 3/4 of the dispenser under my tongue then swallow. It is a brown liquid that tastes herbal (from the tinctures) and sweet (not from sugar, but from the vegetable glycerin). It’s not like a drowsiness inducing sleep aid, instead it is non-habit forming and simply helps to prepare the system for sleep.

I usually feel that peaceful readiness for sleep within 15 minutes of taking Sleep Drops. The first time I took it, I slept a full 8 hours without any interruption through the night. And every time I’ve taken it since, it’s been better sleep than nights that I don’t take it. Every. Single. Time. I KNOW this stuff works. And I had been using a CBD sleep drop prior that I thought was good, but comparably it is twice the price, and does not come close to achieving the results that this does.

The formula for Sleep Drops is primarily plant-based, and include:

Valerian Root Tincture: has proven sedative effects, studies show it reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves the duration of deep, restful sleep
Catnip Tincture: a mild sedative that is used in medical practices for insomnia and nervous exhaustion, works together with valerian root for best results
German Chamomile Flower Tincture: reduces insomnia, eases anxiety, promotes more restful sleep
Passionflower Tincture: improves sleep quality, unwinds anxiety, ideal for rest and tranquility

Final Thoughts

It’s clear why I pair Sleep Drops with Destress 360. The formulas are very complimentary to each other, and overall provide better comprehensive management of stress, reduced anxiety, better rest, and improved sleep quality using safe, yet effective plant-based actives. And the ingredients are kept concise so as to remain easily manageable for the body. Destress 360 manages all the things that happen during the day, making sure that stress does not disrupt the body, while Sleep Drops helps to just set the body for a peaceful, unwinded evening so it gets better beauty sleep. If I had to choose one, I think Destress 360 is perhaps more comprehensive, and impactful as it will no doubt help with better sleep as well in the evening. Plus, it’s an easy to swallow capsule, as opposed to an herbal tincture, which I know might not be to everyone’s taste. However, Sleep Drops retail for just $30, and will last me a long time so it’s a good value for what it can add to de-stress and resting that it’s sort of a no-brainer for me to have both in my routine.

Overall, each product has individually been very impactful to me. Together, Destress 360 during the day and Sleep Drops at night form my favorite system for day and night to target stress and anxiety. I think the formulas are well-done, and the results are gentle yet effective, and noticeable from the start. I know that in these times, stress and sleep are intertwined, and it’s no surprise that they’re both major issues right now for so many. You all know that I work with Garçon’s World, who have a terrific relationship with The Nue Co, so I an happy to share an exclusive offer for 30% off Destress 360 (normally retails for $55) when you use the code GWDS30. It will end on July 31st, so do be prompt if you want to get this for 30% off.

My Bedside Edit: Skincare and Wellness

Lately I’ve been centering my routine around restfulness and peacefulness. It feels like a lot of the uneasy energy from 2020 hasn’t quite dissipated, so I’m being more mindful in my routines to look at how I can promote a more conducive environment to unwind. My bedside is a place I spent some time editing. I first removed any gadgets that might blink their lights in the middle of the night. Then I reduced clutter until I just had a purposeful yet thoughtful selection of bedside essentials.

Skincare: Retinol, PM Serum, and Eye Mask

Let’s start with skincare! My PM routine is where I like to apply powerful products that can work on my skin overnight. Apparently night time is the best time for skin healing and repair, so reserved for this time is my current retinol of choice, the reintroduction of a holy grail PM serum, and gel eye patches which have become my new nighttime addiction.

African Botanics Retinal Night Cream: I love African Botanics, and tend to have at least 2-3 products from them in my skincare rotation at any time. Many of you know I’ve been on a kick for high-performance retinols, and I knew that African Botanics Retinal Night Cream would not disappoint. Although called a ‘night cream,’ it really works as a retinol serum rather than as a moisturizer. It is described as an “ultra-strength Vitamin A,” and contains actual retinol in the form of 0.1% encapsulated retinaldehyde. Retinaldehyde only needs one conversion in the skin to retinoic acid, the active retinol, whereas traditional retinol needs two. This means faster and more effective results with less chance of redness and irritation. Further, because African Botanics is known to provide a buffet of beautiful actives, the Retinal Night Cream also contains Vitamin C, Peptides, Niacinimide, CoQ10 — all superstars in the skincare world in their own right, along with signature African Botanics oils like Marula, and Kalahari Melon oil that help to keep skin moisturized and soothed, especially from the effects of retinol.

I initially wondered if the powerful combination of actives might be too much for my skin, as Retinol, Vitamin C, Niacinimide are each active in their own right, though they’re also known to work well together. I was pleased to find that the formula, while impactful, did not cause irritation; it is totally a case of high performance with little to no down time (no redness, nor stinging). The light yellowish cream absorbs quickly and because it is feeding my skin so many great ingredients, I don’t really feel the need for face oils or other serums. I also like to have the retinol serums work more on their own any way for full impact. Unlike other African Botanics products that have the luxurious fragrance, this is fragrance-free because it is obvious that they just wanted to focus on the performance. It is still a luxurious feeling cream with amazing ingredients and results, but it’s clear that everything in this formula is made to make it a full-on performance beast. I currently use it every other night in my routine, not because it is sensitizing, but because I like to rotate my retinol for best results and give my skin an overall offering of diversified actives. On the other nights, I use…

YULI Cell Perfecto PM: My initial post about this product still remains my most read blog post (remember when I started back in the days on Tumblr?). Cell Perfecto PM will always reserve an indelible place in my skincare holy grail tier of products because it made such a significant impact on my skin, there is a line in my skincare history defined as pre-Cell Perfecto PM and post-Cell Perfecto PM. I had tried every product for acne scars but none come close to this in delivering such meaningful improvement, to a degree that I did not expect from a skincare product. I no longer need this as much because my skin has improved, which is really the best testament — but I still like the benefits that I get from this corrective serum. Even without apparent acne scars, I find that Cell Perfecto PM helps with areas of my skin that appear a blotchy or uneven, like a real life Photoshop airbrush tool.

If you’re familiar with the YULI approach, you’ll know they make the most advanced custom formulas with tailor-made, cutting-edge actives. I think what makes them standout next to super high performance lines is their approach which goes beyond putting in the standard actives. There is a whole lot of thought behind how the actives should be working, so you’ll see really interesting use of ingredients and unique formulas meant to almost reinvent the approach. The ingredients in Cell Perfecto PM for instance contains complexion actives like Vitamin C (in the potent THC form), Bearberry, and Liquorice, which brighten skin and repel accumulation of melanin; then there are unexpected highlights like Reishi, Pine Lignin, and Gotu Kola, which help with skin repair and healing from damage; where your head might start to spin is upon seeing their exclusives that go beyond anything in the market like their Sea Minerals and Renew Minerals Complex (a lot of science here but what you need to know is they have a mineral technology using actives like zinc that lock onto damaged tissues, primary scar tissue, to correct and rehabilitate them), along with L-Arginine, an amino acid that shortens healing time and repairs damaged collagen structures (scar tissue), and L-gluconic Acid which controls keratinization processes (most acne scars have improper keratinization) and restores damaged skin. This formula is super power-packed, and my skin often looks brighter and more even by the next morning. Also, speaking of nighttime, the formula is not photo-sensitizing, but is a PM serum because the formula works in synergy with the skin’s rejuvenation system that works mostly as we sleep helping to overturn skin damage and deliver those transformative results. Hands down, game-changing night worker.

Patchology Flashpatch Restoring Night Eye Gels: I’m at the age where an eye cream is a non-negotiable, and I’ve come to accept that. However, what I’m noticing is that there are times when I just feel like something more is necessary. And that is when I reach for these convenient eye gels from Patchology that seem to be made for exactly this situation. The eye gels are naturally very occlusive and provide a natural boost to the thin, delicate skin around the eyes. Besides a direct infusion of needed moisture to the tired and more frail under-eye area (one of the only places on the face that doesn’t produce its own sebum), these eye gels also contain power actives like Retinol and Peptides to help with cell turnover, fine lines, wrinkles at night; and Pine Leaf Extract and Purslane which are powerful antioxidants and can help reduce dark circles. You might also recognize Purslane as the signature ingredient in all of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s astronomically priced skincare formulas, so you know this Patchology formula is legit. These gels come with a scooper for hygiene and are inside two caps to help retain their moisture. Once I put them on, they have a nice immediate cooling and moisturizing feel on the skin, and the gel starts to feel like second skin as it dries. Based on the fact that the eye gels actually thin out, I think the eyes actually absorb a lot of the gel and serum, which means its working.

I use these about 2-3 times a week as a power up for my eyes. I’ll admit to leaving them on for longer than the recommended 15 minutes. I make sure the fluid is all absorbed, pat, then wait about 2 more minutes. I notice that my eyes feel better, and creeping fine lines fade substantially and remain gone for days after. This has become a go to when I just need that extra kick in my eye routine.

Wellness: Room Spray, Pillow Spray, and Throat Spray

Besides skincare, I also like to make sure my bedroom is conducive to rest, and recovery. Lately, I’ve found that fragrance has a deep connection to wellness.

The Nue Co Functional Fragrance – Home Room Spray: I’ve been raving about The Nue Co’s Functional Fragrance, and their room spray is just as good as the personal fragrance, if not better, because it works on such a larger area as a background character, which is how I prefer fragrances to work. I think if you’re the type that doesn’t love wearing fragrance, but can appreciate their therapeutic effects, The Nue Co’s Functional Fragrance room spray will be just the thing for you. The scent is similar to the personal fragrance: warm, calming, and cozy, and the big bottle feels grand to have around. The Functional Fragrance is an “anti-stress” supplement because the scent notes are scientifically associated with lowering stress and anxiety based on studies with the Brain and Behavioral Health team from the University of Geneva.

Unlike traditional room fragrances, the Functional Fragrance leans toward more of natural fragrance formula that uses genuine plant notes to deliver the connected anti-stress results, and the formula is designed by the same perfumer behind Le Labo’s Santal 33 and Glossier’s You, so trust me, it’s exquisite. I particularly love the notes of Green Cardamom, and Cedarwood which make the room and overall atmosphere feel relaxed and “lived in.” I like to spray the Functional Fragrance throughout the day especially if I end up writing or binging a show in bed, and I always do a few sprays 3 hours before bedtime so it leaves just the right crisp dry down as we prepare for bed as a subtle atmospheric scent to promote relaxation and lift away stress.

REN Skincare & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray: While The Nue Co’s Functional Fragrance is an anti-stress fragrance that relaxes and unwinds, this spray is an actual sleep aid that does the trick in delivering beauty sleep. When it comes time to drift off and catch my zzzzz’s, I spray my pillows with REN’s & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray, which is the perfect addition to any night routine. As a fragrance with an entirely natural essential oil composition, it won’t overwhelm. The spray is not designed like a fragrance, it won’t last and is more something that will gradually subside as it lulls you into deeper sleep. That is why it’s a pillow spray, meant for closer contact for aromatherapy benefits. Although I love fragrance, I am very much sensitive to smells, so I was conservative at first, but now spray about 5 times per pillow. It smells so relaxing, with a pleasing blend of hops, lavender, and frankincense, which combine to provide a sedative quality. This helps me drift off to sleep much quicker, and with better, deeper sleep quality. Also, bottle of this will last AGES.

Biocol Something for a Cactus Throat Spray: In college I took a class on evolutionary anthropology and learned that all species have a “weak point,” and for humans, it is the neck/throat. This might explain why if I’ve been more extroverted than usual (hello Zoom gatherings!), my throat easily feels a little raw, and also why sometimes I get that dreaded “morning cold” where it feels weird or even uncomfortable to swallow. I never really thought there was anything that could be done about it, but on a whim I decided to try Biocol’s Something for a Cactus Throat Spray, a plant-based fix made to address these exact issues. The formula contains propolis, lemon, Icelandic moss, and copper. It tastes exactly how the ingredients make it sound, sort of like a liquid Ricola. Unlike a lozenge, I can immediately feel the spray take effect. Biocol’s Something for a Cactus Throat Spray is anti-inflammatory and soothes my throat, I really feel it work right away. My partner even takes a few sprays if he’s on back to back work calls and it helps his vocal stamina so he doesn’t sound hoarse. Most importantly, I use it in the mornings if I’m feeling the ‘morning cold,’ and I find that it takes care of the ‘cactus throat’ feeling each time. Biocol is a pretty quirky line that is both fun and yet highly scientific. I recommend anyone looking for functional, well made, and amusing products to check this one out, Something for a Cactus Throat Spray might also be one of my favorite product names.


Drop me a comment if you’ve used any of these products, and let me know what your bedside essentials are!