Below are some products and rituals that can be helpful in supporting a better night’s rest.
However, if you have a sleep disorder such as insomnia, narcolepsy, obstructive sleep apnea, or any other disorder that might be caused by a medical condition, the following tips aren’t for you. In that case, talk to your doctor about sleep solutions that specifically target your disorder.
1. Calming tea blends
We’ve discovered herbal tea blends to be particularly soothing — even the ritual of preparing the tea is a signal to us that it’s time to wind down. With plant-powered ingredients that are combined to encourage sleep or relaxation, blends like Snooze Brew (chamomile, oat straw, passion flower, lavender, and valerian) and Sweet Lullaby (chamomile, lavender, honey, grapefruit and rose) are some of our faves.
2. Weighted blanket
These sleep aids are an investment, but backed up by scientific evidence.
In a nutshell, weighted blankets weigh between five to 30 pounds; their extra weight is supposed to imitate deep pressure stimulation, which relaxes our nervous system, according to Healthline. This, in turn, can help relieve pain, lessen anxiety, and improve our mood.
And since one big reason why many of us can’t sleep is anxiety, a weighted blanket may be a comforting and cozy option.
We found that Hush’s distribution of weight means that the blanket is comforting without feeling restrictive, and we love that it comes with a washable, oh-so-soft cover.
3. Yoga props
Restorative yoga uses props (blankets, bolsters, and blocks) to support the body in gentle poses designed to encourage relaxation. A restorative heart opening pose, where our back body is supported to open the chest and rib cage, immediately begins to counter all of those hours spent hunching forward at our desks, preparing us for a good night’s sleep.
4. Supportive pillow and silk pillowcase
Finding the perfect pillow can be a bit of a Goldilocks situation — some are too soft, others are too hard. But then you find one that’s juuuuust right. One pillow that we love is the Foam Pillow from Casper, which has three layers of supportive foam and contours around your head.
For an unbeatable sleep-inducing duo, we swear by these gorgeous B RESTED Silk Pillowcases, which are hypoallergenic and temperature-regulating. They’re soothing to the touch, and are very comfortable to sleep on.
5. Aromatherapy spray
Aromatherapy is a soothing way to inspire relaxation and sleep. The scent of lavender in particular is known to be calming and relaxing, so we love being able to infuse the soothing scent into our sleep space with the help of a spray.
There are several simple recipes online to make your own, but if you’re short on time and prefer a professional pre-fab, we’re fans of Rest & Relax air spray from Puressentiel, which boasts a calming blend of chamomile, lavender, sweet orange, and palmarosa oils.
WATCH: Aromatherapy ideas to help you sleep. Story continues below.
6. Gratitude journal
We all have stressors in our life, whether it be at work, in our personal life, or about the state of the world in general. But we can help lessen our stress levels by focusing on the things in our lives that inspire gratitude.
We’ve found that a successful redirect like gratitude journaling (or using a gratitude jar) can help shift our focus from negativity, and place emphasis on the positive instead.
While a standard notebook will suffice, why not treat yourself to a specially designed workbook like this Shift Happens Journal from Go With Your Gut, which comes with helpful prompts and inspiration to accompany your nightly practice.
7. Calming bath salts
Soaking in these spearmint essential oil-infused salts soothes sore muscles and encourages the mind to relax.
Salt baths can help relieve muscle and joint pain, headaches, anxiety, and stress; so if you’re suffering from any of these ailments, take a half hour before you go to bed and soak in salts. When you do go to bed, you will be much more relaxed and sleepy.
8. Pressure point self-massage with essential oils
A little self-soothing before bed goes a long way. We enjoy the gentle pressure of a temple massage after rolling an essential oil (Saje’s Sleep Well Restful Sleep Remedy Roll-On is one of our faves) on our palms and taking a deep inhale, or applying it to the soles of our feet.
Find an essential oil that makes you feel relaxed and calm, (lavender is known to alleviate stress and help promote sleep), and give yourself (or even better yet, ask someone) a nice temple or wrist massage, so that when you go to bed, you can breathe in the scents and be whisked off to sleep.
9. Silk eye mask
Even in the darkest of rooms we see light, which can be distracting if we really need shut-eye. Enter: an eye mask. (Yep, they’re not just for long flights!)
A quality eye mask, like this padded Silk Sleep Mask from Halfmoon, does the trick to block out unwanted light, with the added benefit of being breathable, and soothing to the touch.
The elasticized strap provides a perfect fit and the padding ensures it’s comfortable enough to wear through the night.
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