Like countless other sleepless folks, I wish that I was one of those people who just instantly passes out the second that their head hits the pillow. But every night, I just find myself asking, "How can I fall asleep faster?" I guess you could say I'll try anything to get a better night's sleep, and that means turning to some unexpected (yet effective!) products that actually help people get better sleep. Unfortunately, I spend most of my night squirming around with an attempt to get comfortable, tossing and turning, and willing my mind to stop racing. I've tried everything — or so I thought — and still nothing helps. The solution? Finding out what my fellow sleep-deprived zombies are using to solve this same issue.
In pursuit of rest, I scoured the Internet for some products that will help me avoid hitting the snooze button in the morning, and instead allow me to wake up looking and feeling refreshed. I found some resolutions with surprisingly high ratings, including a ventilated eye mask, a natural sleep aid, "bed phones" to block out that noisy neighbor who likes to stand outside his house to chat on the phone all night, and more. I spent some time reading the reviews to see how other people felt about 'em, and let me tell you, I now want to try each and every product. Who knows, maybe they'll help us all actually end up sleeping for the entire night!
1. Use A Special Lightbulb To Boost Melatonin Production
Good Night LED Light Bulb (Set of 2), $48, Amazon
It may sound ridiculous, but this little light bulb could improve your sleep patterns forever. They come from a high tech background, having been first designed for use on the International Space Station so that astronauts could get some shuteye. Basically, the light bulb doesn't have the blue light inside of it that regular bulbs do. It's like turning on night shift on your iPhone (more info on that here), but for your whole room. Blue light causes you to stay wired, whereas the reddish light featured in these bulbs actually helps produce melatonin so you get sleepier more quickly. Technology is beautiful, isn't it?
2. Reduce Noise With A Pair Of Earplugs That Are Actually Comfortable
Quiet Sound Earplugs, $10, Amazon
I always wear earplugs when I'm traveling, whether I'm popping them in on the plane or wearing them when I'm staying in a hostel. The only problem: I always wake up with my ears hurting because most don't actually fit me properly. Enter the Quiet Sound Earplugs: they fit perfectly into the ear canal, which means no noise and optimal comfort. Plus, they're made with soft silicone, so they can be cleaned after prolonged use. And don't just take it from me: one reviewer said that these earplugs literally saved her marriage!
3. A Bamboo Micro-Vented Pillow To Keep You Cool At Night
Snuggle-Pedic Bamboo Shredded Memory Foam with Micro-Venter Covering (King, Queen, or Standard), $50 - $70, Amazon
When you lay down, do you get really hot and spend most of the night adjusting your pillow and throwing the covers on and off? If your body doesn't regulate your temperature correctly when you go to bed, you may want to reexamine your pillow choices. This pillow is made out of shredded memory foam and the cover is vented, so hot air can't stay trapped inside, while bamboo naturally cools you down, allowing you to sleep more comfortably. Finally, a nonstop cool side of the pillow.
4. Headphones That You Can Actually Sleep In
Bedphones Gen. 3, $60, Amazon
These super thin headphones will help you fall asleep faster if you're the type of person who needs to listen to something before bed. The biggest benefit: because Bedphones lay flat between your ears and your pillow, you can actually sleep comfortably in them and won't have to worry about them falling off. So if you want to listen to music while you sleep, possibly even one of these scientifically proven anxiety-reducing songs, but can't because you wake up with ear pain, get these headphones and experience a more relaxing bedtime.
5. A Ventilated Sleep Mask So You Stay Cool While You Sleep
Sleep Mask For Summer by IB-Sound, $12, Amazon
If you suffer from migraines or have trouble sleeping if there's any amount of light in the room, a great solution is an eye mask. And this one features ventilated sides to keep you from feeling too hot while you sleep. It's made with high quality materials and people love it. One user said, "Until this mask, I could not get used to any sleep mask. This mask is shaped like a pair of ski goggles which is a little odd looking, but it works great." Plus, at just 12 bucks, the price can't be beat.
6. Sleep Anywhere You Can Lean On Something
Ostrich Pillow Light Pillow, $47, Amazon
Whether you're traveling somewhere and you've scored the window seat, or you're just hanging out in a place by a wall, you can now nap easier. Wear this pillow over your head and eyes to block out the light as you lean against the wall or window, totally cocooned by the soft fabric cushion. Or, if you don't feel like falling fully asleep, you can simply put it around your neck to prop up your head. No matter how you wear it, you'll wake up much more rested than with other types of travel pillows.
7. Track Your Sleep To Wake Up More Naturally In The Morning
Withings Aura Smart Sleep System, $300, Amazon
The Aura Smart Sleep System tracks your sleep cycle to determine the best time for you to wake up. Simply slip the corresponding mat under you mattress for it to begin tracking your sleep patterns. When you decide that it's time to sleep, the Aura, placed next to your bed, uses red light to help the production of melatonin in your body. When it's time to get up, it will light up with blue lights to stop the production. You can set your alarm for when you need to be awake by and the sleep system will wake you up when you're in your lightest sleep. When you're woken up during deep sleep, you often feel groggy all day, but when you wake up in a natural light sleep, you'll feel energized and refreshed. Genius, right?
8. Moisture-Wicking Sheets So You're Not Laying In Sweat
LINENSPA Ultra Soft Sheets, $40 - $60, Amazon
If you're someone who can't seem to regulate their body temperature when their sleeping, there is nothing worse than laying in wet, sweaty sheets. These amazing sheets are made from temperature-regulating fabric and are moisture-wicking, so you stay cool and dry all night long — even in the summer. Buyers agree that they are the most comfortable sheets they have ever slept on, with one reviewer even saying that these ruined all other sheets for him.
9. For The Person Who Doesn't Like The Feel Of Eye Masks
HoodiePillow, $25, Amazon
Sometimes eye masks really bother me. If they're too tight they give me a headache, but if they are too loose then they fall off. The perfect solution to this dilemma: the hooded pillowcase. Plus, it keeps you warm when it's cold outside or if you live with someone who blasts the AC. All you have to do is lay down, pull the hoodie over your eyes, and sleep 'til noon.
10. A 3-In-1 Air Purifier, Night Light And White Noise Machine
GermGuardian Kids Night Air Purifier, $80, Amazon
Technically this air purifier was made for children's rooms, but who says you can't use it, too? It captures 99% of dust and allergens, leaving you with a better sleep environment, particularly during those transitional times between seasons when allergies are at an all time high. Plus, it has a white noise sound machine to help you drown out the world and get a deeper sleep. On top of its more practical benefits, it also projects stars onto your ceiling, creating just the right amount of ambient light.
11. A Natural Sleep Aid That Isn't Addictive
Moon Juice Organic + Wildcrafted Sleep Aid, $55, Amazon
This all-natural night cap is made with Chinese herbs like Schizandra, and Zizyphus spinosa that help the nervous system adapt to different stressors as well as improve your mental state. It also features chamomile to promote relaxation, and Polygala, which is a natural calmative to help relax the mind. It allows you have a peaceful night of sleep without being addictive or leaving you with that hungover feeling that some sleep aids can cause.
12. For The Person Who Just Wants To Cuddle
Boyfriend Pillow, $30, Amazon
This makes for a great gag gift, but it's also a solid half-body pillow if you're a side sleeper who likes to cuddle. It's super cozy and allows you to wedge yourself between the body and the arm for a comfortable sleep. One user said, "I don't need a boyfriend anymore! This fabulous pillow is amazing and it's so comfortable to sleep on. It's the best purchase I've ever made in my life."
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