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If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we could all use a little more sleep sometimes. But that’s easier said than done. Whether it’s a busy schedule, annoying neighbors or anxious thoughts that keep you up at night, finding time to really sink into our beds for undisturbed slumber is harder and harder to come by.
But there’s hope.
From apps that help you fall asleep to melatonin to CBD concoctions, a number of companies are launching new ways to tackle insomnia. But if you’re not a fan of taking pills and unsure about CBD, we’ve rounded up some reliable products that can help you fall asleep faster — and stay asleep for longer too.
As someone who used to lie in bed for hours before falling asleep — only to toss and turn all night — I can confidently say that I sleep a lot better these days, and these ten items all have something to do with that. I settle into my bed faster, I feel less anxious when I sleep, and I wake up refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to face the day.
1. A Weighted Blanket
You’re either a “too cold” or “too hot” type of person in bed, and I’ve always run on the cooler side of the spectrum. That’s why you’ll always find me curled up in a good, all-season down comforter or cozy blanket. Last year though, I still found myself tossing and turning at night — that’s when I decided to give a weighted blanket a try.
As the name suggests, these blankets are weighed down with thousands of tiny, non-toxic beads, that are evenly distributed and woven under a soft, hypoallergenic fabric. The idea is for you to feel “hugged” and “held” while you’re laying in bed, with the weighted blanket also keeping you in one position to prevent you from shifting in your sleep. If you’re prone to stress or anxiety, a weighted blanket could also help keep your nerves at bay.
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These blankets range in weight from five pounds to thirty pounds. I’ve found my most comfortable sleep somewhere in the middle, with a 15-pound blanket (brands recommend finding a blanket that’s around 10% of your body weight). It’s just heavy enough that I can’t get it loose in the middle of the night, but not so heavy that I feel suffocated. And that’s the other misconception about weighted blankets: they’re heavier than a normal comforter, but contrary to what you may think, they’re not stuffy or sweaty at all. In fact, the one we’ve chosen from Luna uses a natural cotton material that’s super breathable.
Another reason we like Luna: the company donates a percentage of all sales to mental health organizations across the country, to help those suffering from severe emotional and mental well-being, and anxiety.
2. MZOO Memory Foam Eye Mask
Not all eye masks are created equal. The cheap, thin ones they hand out at hotels and airplanes barely stay on through the night – how can they help you fall asleep?
To really get some R&R, we like this contoured eye mask, which sits gently against your face without pressing directly into your eyelids.
Made from lightweight memory foam with a super soft and gentle material, the eye mask slides easily over your head, thanks to an adjustable strap. The contoured design seals out light, while letting your eyes blink… until they stop blinking and you drift off into a peaceful slumber.
This set comes with a travel pouch, the sleep mask and two earplugs.
3. LectroFan White Noise Sound Machine
White noise machines are a funny thing. The words “noise” and “machine” make this seem like a device that would keep you up, when in fact, this LectroFan Sound Machine does the exact opposite. By churning out different levels of white noise — essentially indistinguishable sounds that operate at different frequencies — you’re able to mask any everyday noise that’s around you. So if the birds or sirens are keeping you up at night, you can “block out” their sounds by sleeping next to a white noise machine.
The quiet humming of white noise also lulls you to sleep, keeping your mind from wandering and encouraging a gentle slumber.
I’ve kept a LectroFan device by my bed for years, and I’ve even picked up the palm-sized LectroFan Micro 2, to take with me on my trips. Now that I’m working from home, these white noise machines are also great to keep on in the background to help me focus, whether I’m reading, responding to emails or writing a new article.
4. Moodo Smart Aroma Diffuser
Let’s face it: those reed and oil diffuser sets you found online look great, but they serve more as decor than actual scent diffusers. To really get the most from your essential oils, you’ll want to upgrade to something like this Moodo Smart Aroma Diffuser.
Scent is one of our strongest senses, and many sleep experts recommend setting a calming scent to help you fall asleep. This diffuser works a little like those counter-top coffee machines, with individual scent capsules that you pop into the device. Each capsule contains 60 hours of fragrance.
Pair the machine with your phone and use the Moodo app to control when you want the scents released, the fragrance intensity level, etc. You can also pair the Moodo with your smart home assistant (I.e. Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant) to set the same settings using just your voice.
The Moodo diffuser comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that can operate for up to seven hours without being plugged-in to a power source. The diffuser can cover a room up to 600 square-feet.
Moodo Smart Aroma Diffuser, $99, available at Moodo (BONUS: get a free four-pack of scent capsules with purchase)
5. TOPOINT Bluetooth Headphones for Sleep
Headphones aren’t just for listening to music or taking conference calls anymore — these days, a number of manufacturers are making headphones to help you sleep.
We like this pair from TOPOINT, which wraps gently around your head without messing up your hair or making you sweat. The concealed, built-in speakers are thin and flat, so they won’t disrupt your sleep, even if you like to sleep on your side. The moisture-wicking fabric won’t cling or stick to your skin (you can remove the fabric liner to wash too).
Pair the headphones with your phone to set your favorite nighttime playlist, or use it to run white noise through the speakers. In addition to playing audio, the wrap-around design of these headphones helps to block out ambient noise without the need for earplugs.
A bonus: these headphones could come in handy if you’re sleeping next to a snorer.
6. Ear Buddy Earplugs For Sleep
Earplugs are always a good option when you want to drown out the noise (and we’ve rounded up some our favorites here), but you’ll need a specific set for sleeping. These ones are made from a soft, flexible foam that expands and forms to your ear canal better, to seal out more noise. They’re slightly smaller than earplugs you would wear to concerts, for example, to ensure a better fit. The durable earplugs hold up to all-night wear (and can be re-used if necessary) and the material won’t irritate your skin.
Keep in mind, earplugs work to muzzle rather than completely cut out noise. You’ll also want to make sure the earplugs are firmly inserted all the way into your ear canal for them to properly work. Dangling them too loose from your ears will cause them to fall out in the middle of the night.
7. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Confession: I stole a bottle of this sleep spray once from a bougie hotel I was staying at. The blend of botanicals and essential oils (think: lavender, vetiver and camomile) did wonders for my nightly routine, helping me relax and calm down before bed.
Just a few spritzes on your pillow will help deliver a more soothing, rejuvenating experience, with the natural, aromatherapeutic blend and a subtle scent helping to lull you to sleep.
The good news: you don’t have to check into a pricey hotel — or risk arrest — to score a bottle of this stuff now. It’s available for purchase online.
8. CBD Pillow
You’re going to need a pillow to use your pillow spray on, and for the past few weeks or so, I’ve been using the CBD Pillow.
The product just launched in early February and it’s a memory foam pillow that’s infused with CBD. The patented process allows the manufacturer to bond millions of micro-capsules of CBD into the pillow. Friction over the night causes the capsules to “burst,” releasing micro doses of CBD that can be absorbed through your hair and skin to help regulate sleep.
Unlike topicals or edibles, the CBD Pillow releases tiny doses of CBD while you sleep, so you don’t get that jolt of feeling high — only to be met with a sudden come down.
The pillow itself is made in the U.S.A., hypoallergenic, and comes with a 10-year guarantee.
9. Music to Promote Sleep
Most streaming services will have decent sleep playlists, but this album was specially developed by Dr. Lee Bartel, a former Associate Dean of Research at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music, and the Founding Director of the Music and Health Research Collaboratory. His thesis: that music can affect your health in positive ways, including helping you to fall asleep faster without any tension or stress.
This album runs just over an hour long, though most people say they’ve fallen asleep way before the halfway mark. Sound-wise, think meditative chimes, light strings and nature sounds that are relaxing enough to listen to but not so catchy that they’ll keep you up at night.
Music to Promote Sleep, $8.99, available at Amazon (or stream for free with a 30-day free trial to Amazon Music Unlimited)
10. Samsali Foot Pads
Hundreds of people swear by these flexible foot pads to help them sleep. Inspired by Asian practices of reflexology and naturopathy, these pads contains natural ingredients like ginger, green tea and lavender to help soothe aching feet and muscle tension that could keep you up at night.
To use: wipe your feel clean and pat dry. Unwrap the individually-wrapped pads and place them over each foot one hour prior to sleep. Leave on overnight.
In addition to easing foot fatigue, users say these pads help to release impurities and odor, while aiding in healthy metabolism, circulation and stress relief.