A good night’s sleep seems to be hard to come by these days. More than a year into the pandemic, the anxiety, the lack of social interaction, less time spent out in the world and the absence of a regimented routine has affected many people’s sleep habits, including mine. If you haven’t been getting your eight hours, check out the best sleep aids.
I’ve tried all of the things that are supposed to help you sleep—exercise, a balanced diet, my silly little daily walks and putting screens away an hour before bed—and none of it has really made much of a difference, despite my best efforts. And I’m not alone. Experts have even come up with a name for my sleep aliment: “coronasomnia.”
It’s not my favorite word personally, but it is something affecting many people that I know. Sleep is important for staying healthy. If your usual tricks aren’t working, you should take the extra time to try to figure out where you’re going wrong. Sleep self-care and your mental health shouldn’t be short-changed right now.
I started to research some sleep aids to see if there were other things I simply wasn’t trying. The results of my experimentation are below. I’ve tried versions of all of these tools, products and methods. Some worked better than others. I am a light sleeper who can’t fall asleep if there is any sort of noise. I looked for both items that’ll help you fall asleep and items that’ll help keep you asleep.
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White Noise Machine
If you’ve got a noisy neighbor or need complete silence to sleep, you should opt for a white noise machine. This version has 14 different relaxing sounds, ranging from white noise to nature noises—and even some lullabies. It has built-in timers, so it’ll turn off after you fall asleep and a nightlight.
Bearaby Weighted Blanket
This blanket might just look like a chic throw, but it’s so much more than that. Cozy and buttery soft, this weighted blanket is 15 lbs. Some anxious people, especially those who toss and turn, fall asleep faster with some comforting weight on top of them. Think of it as a relaxing hug. Just keep in mind that weighted blankets are supposed to be no more than 10 percent of your body weight.
Beam CBD Sleep Capsules
Melatonin, which is often what troubled sleepers reach for when they can’t rest, makes me feel a little woozy and groggy in the mornings. I tried these Dream capsules and found that I drifted off to sleep quickly and without any of the hangover effects of melatonin. If you have a sensitivity to melatonin or it’s not your bag, CBD might be a great alternative.
If the sun is waking you up way too early—thanks Daylight Savings—blackout curtains will help you sleep in longer. They’ll block all of the light out of your room in the mornings. These Amazon Basics curtains come in all sorts of sizes, colors and styles, so you can find one that matches your room’s aesthetic.
SLIP Sleep Mask
Channel Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and get yourself a luxe sleep mask. This one from Slip is made out of gentle Mulberry silk, so you can keep the sunlight out and prevent skin creasing at the same time.
If you have an over-active mind and can’t calm down before bed, a melatonin tablet might help you. These fast-dissolving ones will ensure you don’t lay around staring at the ceiling for an hour after taking melatonin. There are 180 tablets in this set, so they’ll last you a while.
Sweet-Scented Pillow Spray
Spray your pillow with this soothing blend of essential oils, which includes lavender, Frankincense and hops. It’ll condition your brain to start to go into sleep mode. Plus, it supposedly helps reduce fine lines and face puffiness.
This valerian root tea is just what the doctor ordered if you’re looking for a more natural solution to sleep. It’s called “nature’s valium” and you can pour it into your favorite mug shortly before you go to bed. Even though it includes a root, it’s tasty, thanks to a blend of coconut, caramel, apple and sweet blackberry leaves.
Casper’s Wind-Down Light
I’m cursed with a fluorescent overhead light in my room, so when it’s after 8 p.m., I switch to a softer lamp to try to convince my mind and body that it’s almost bed-time. The Glow Light gradually dims at night and gradually brightens when it’s time to wake up, so you can slowly enter and then leave sleep.
Quiet your mind and slow down your breathing before trying to hit the hay. If you’ve never meditated before or want some extra guidance, Alo—who’s primarily known for cute workout sets—is here to help. Alo Moves is a subscription service that offers unlimited online yoga, mindfulness and fitness classes. They offer a free trial, if you’re curious.