If you have trouble sleeping, you probably feel like your whole life has been an ongoing science experiment to figure out how to get to sleep faster. You've tried counting sheep and meditating, you've tried lullabies and silk pillowcases, you've tried lavender oil and red wine — and yet nothing seems to work. Nothing does what it says it does, and night after night, you're tossing and turning only to fall asleep for a few hours and wake up feeling completely unrested. I know that struggle because I've dealt with it for most of my adult life. Sleep has always been a battle for me, until recently.
I talked to my doctor a lot about my sleep issues, and she suggested different medications, both prescription and over the counter — but I was worried about becoming reliant on a pill. Instead, I started asking around. Surely some people are sleeping! I talked to my friends about their sleep routines and compiled a list of promising suggestions to try on my own.
As it turns out, there are tons of products on the market that not only claim to aid sleep, but actually follow through. To pay it forward and turn the favor around, I'm happy to share my tried and trusted sleep-inducing favorites. In no particular order, here are a few things worth investing in for a good night sleep:
A good sleepy tea, will actually help you fall asleep. And it's much better for you than a glass of wine, as it's not going to mess with your blood sugar. This tea infused with Valerian will make you very groggy and calm. Have a cup before bed and melt into a restful sleep.
Traditional Medicinals Organic Nighty Night Valerian Tea, $4, Amazon
You don't have to spend thousands of dollars on silk spun sheets, but investing in a quality set of sturdy, high thread-count sheets will help you reduce the chance waking up at night. I always used to get tangled in hot, sweaty sheets that didn't stick on the bed properly. Once I switched over to Brooklinen's bed clothes, I stopped waking up in the middle of the night like a fish caught in a trap.
A Basic Fan
Any basic table top fan that will fit on your bedside table will do. It with both act as a noise maker, and a temperature cooler. I turn my fan on high and direct it towards my feet and the sound drowns out the noise outside of my apartment and keeps the air moving in the room. I can't sleep without it.
A Plush Pillow
I always slept on flat, cheap down pillows, but would often wake up sweaty, and with a sore neck. I never realized how much a quality down could change the feel of the pillow. I recently got an Allied Home down pillow, and I will never use anything else again. It's so plush and airy that when you put your head on it, it cradles it. All night long you feel like a cloud is holding your head. It sounds ridiculous, but it's true.
A Sleep App
I know, I know, you've tried them all and they don't help. Well guess what? This basic, free app, called Relax Melodies is all you need. Choose from an assortment of tunes and you'll completely zone out.
I used to sleep with an eye mask, but I'd always wake up with it on the other side of the bed. Blackout curtains are a game change. But you have to be careful about which one you choose. Plenty of curtains on the market claim to be blackout, but aren't at all. If they're proper blackout curtains, your room will look like a lightless cave. It should be pitch black! These roller shades will do the trick.
A Firmer Mattress
When I first moved into my apartment, I spent a lot of money on a soft mattress with a feather pillow top because I was looking for the ultimate cozy nest. But the problem with the expensive, squishy, cozy mattresses, are that they might be nice to lay in or even nap in, but they're not totally conducive to a full night's sleep. It was hard to get rid of my expensive mattress but after years, I just couldn't get a good night's sleep. I switched over to Casper and it's made a huge difference. The mattress is high quality, but no frills. It's dense, it's soft, but it's really supportive and I barely move once I fall asleep. Plus, its incredibly easy to order: it just shows up in a box.