Gift Guide: Must-Haves for That Loved One in Your Life Who’s Always Tired
According to The National Sleep Foundation, 35% of Americans say that their quality of sleep ranges from "poor" to "fair." All in all, that’s not great. If you or someone you know is one of those millions of folks struggling with sleep, we’ve rounded up a few products that might help you relax, catch some Zzz’s and stay asleep the whole night through. It’s time to trade the sheep-counting for these must-have products to get the sleep of your dreams..
Specialized Pillows for Every Sleeper
No matter how tired you are, a pillow that’s too flat, hard or lumpy could really make or break your chance of getting a satisfying night’s sleep. Regardless of your sleeping needs and habits, we guarantee there’s a perfect pillow (or two!) out there for you.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Best Knee Pillow: In just a few days, the revelatory ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow will change your sleep habits for the better. Although this memory-foam wedge doesn’t look like much, its ergonomic design allows it to fit comfortably between your knees, allowing for more support throughout the night. Whether you have restless legs or sciatica and lower back pain and pressure in need of relief, this pillow could be your new best friend.
- Best for Hot Sleepers: Hot sleepers — you’re in luck. Look no further than the Coop Home Goods Eden Adjustable Pillow. More than your average "chillow," this product is crafted with soft, gel-infused memory foam & microfiber fill blend for a cooler sleep experience. The special memory foam actually helps transfer heat away from the body. Whether you’re dealing with summer heat, nighttime hot flashes or you’re just a hot sleeper, this is a must-have chillow.
- Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: Sure, the Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow may look a bit odd, but its design is incredibly innovative, to say the least. The high-density, slow-rebound memory foam is both soft and supportive, making its contour design perfect for aligning with your head, neck, shoulders or back. Essentially, that slope keeps your head from moving into an unstable position, allowing for less stress on your cervical vertebrae and spine. All of that translates to better sleep as well as neck and shoulder pain relief.
- Best Body Pillow for Side Sleepers: Say "goodbye" to tossing and turning. The Premium Adjustable Loft Quilted Body Pillow is a luxurious, hypoallergenic pillow that provides full-body support (and comfort!). Versatile and adjustable — while still maintaining its soft and fluffy quality — this pillow is great for side sleepers who need something to clutch as well as stomach sleepers who need a durable, supportive pillow. If you suffer from back, knee or hip pain or sciatica, then this versatile pillow is the best way to provide support while also experiencing some much-needed relief.
Sound Machines and Wake-Up Lights to Regulate Sleep
Whether you need help falling asleep or a little extra nudge when it comes to waking up in the morning, sound machines and wake-up lights can make a huge difference when it comes to creating a healthy sleep routine. First up, we have the Douni Sleep Sound Machine, a helpful gadget that features 24 soothing sounds, ranging from white noise to all those classic nature sounds (ocean waves, thunder, campfire, crickets and so on). This one is completely plug and play, making it accessible for adults and kids alike.
Of course, maybe falling asleep isn’t your primary concern. Maybe waking up on time, another key component of maintaining a healthy sleep regimen, is the issue. If that’s the case, then the Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm is a great option, especially as the winter months near. This helpful Sleep Aid digital alarm clock works by simulating a sunrise: 30 minutes before your alarm is meant to wake you up, the device gradually brightens, creating the soft, natural effect of morning sun.
Looking for an option that does it all? We can’t recommend anything more than the Hatch Restore. Controlled with ease via a smartphone app, the Hatch Restore can be programmed with personalized sleep-wake routines. From a Sunrise Alarm Clock, soft-glow reading light and a library of soothing sounds to a relaxation mode, this handy gadget helps you wind down by providing calming light levels and sounds.
Fitbit Charge 4 to Track Your Sleep Habits
One way to make sure you’re sleeping through the night and beating fatigue is to regulate your sleep schedule. Often, having a consistent routine can do wonders for your overall health, and that’s where fitness trackers come in. Dubbed Fitbit’s "most advanced" tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 is our favorite option, all things considered. While it may not have all the bells and whistles that Fitbit’s smartwatches offer, it does have a plethora of features that can help you take your health and fitness goals even further.
This model features 24/7 heart rate tracking, in-depth sleep tracking and a seven-day battery life — meaning you can get a week’s worth of insight out of a single charge. Get in touch with your sleep schedule by learning when you sleep your best and when you’re at your most restless — and adjust where necessary. Bonus: The Charge 4’s sleek, discreet design means it isn’t bothersome to wear while catching those Zzz’s.
Sleep Masks and Noise-Masking Sleepbuds to Block Out Environmental Disturbances
If you’re like me, you’re sensitive to both light and sound, especially when trying to fall asleep. If the room is too bright or there’s a noise to fixate on, it can lead to hours of tossing and turning. Avoid that restlessness from the onset by investing in simple ways to cut out all those environmental factors. For one, there’s the tried-and-true MZOO Sleep Eye Mask. You don’t just have to be on a plane to use (and benefit from) one of these. Made of low-rebound memory foam, this eye mask is soft and comfy — and doesn’t put any irritating pressure on your eyes.
Fine with light, but frustrated by all those little house sounds or rowdy neighbors? We recommend Bose Sleepbuds II, comfy earbuds that harness the power of noise-masking technology. And while you’re covering up all those nighttime disruptions, try tapping into Bose’s library of calming sounds — it’s like a little sleep machine for your ears. Finally, while you could combine the Sleepbuds with the eye mask, you can also opt in for a slightly more affordable product that does both. The comfy Sleep Headphones Bluetooth Eye Mask blocks light and lets you listen to music without the addition of headphones. Bonus: It’s a great travel companion.
Weighted Blanket to Reduce Pre-Sleep Anxiety
Recently, weighted blankets have become a real trend, flooding almost everyone’s targeted ads on Instagram. (Or was that just me?) While they seem to be everywhere, not many folks know that there are very real health benefits to using a weighted blanket. According to Mela, UK-based makers of the product, the pressure from a weighted blanket simulates a hug, which is known to cause the body to "release the hormone oxytocin…. so you feel at ease."
Additionally, this "deep touch pressure stimulation" prompts the body to release dopamine and serotonin, both of which combat symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Bonus: Much like compression socks, that extra weight can help with restless leg syndrome. While there are several great weighted blankets on the market, the affordable, highly-rated Waowoo Weighted Blanket and the WONAP Cooling Weighted Blanket (great for hot sleepers!) are your best bets.
Lotions, Diffusers and Other Aromatherapy to Create a Sense of Calm
An underrated but super simple way to bolster a sense of calm before sleep is to try out some basic aromatherapy. If you haven’t dabbled in the practice yet, it involves using aromatic essential oils to improve health — of both the body and mind. Most often, aromatherapy is administered through sense of smell and skin absorption. Before bed, certain smells can certainly create a sense of calm and relaxation.
One of the most common methods of administering the therapy is through an essential oil diffuser, much like the BlueHills Premium Essential Oil Diffuser. This lovely device features seven different LED light colors and multiple mist modes — and it can be paired with dreamy, natural sleeping aids, like Woolzies Sleep Collection Essential Oil Blend Set. If you want to dabble in aromatherapy on a smaller scale, a lotion like the ever-soothing Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Black Chamomile Sleep Body Lotion is also a great choice.
Products Like CBD and Melatonin as Sleep Aids
Recently, there’s been quite a bit of chatter surrounding CBD, a known natural sleep aid — and for good reason. One of our favorite products? These cbdMD CBD Gummies, which are derived from all-natural hemp grown in the U.S. and are THC-free. Taking one before bed can help your whole body relax, but if aches, pains and stiffness are keeping you up at night (and on edge during the day), cbdMD suggests getting into a routine. Because these gummies won’t make you too drowsy, they recommend chewing one in the morning and one at night for optimal, full-day relief.
If you’re new to trying out the healing benefits of CBD, you should also know that it works wonders for managing stress and enhancing exercise recovery. You should also know that it comes in different forms, like this CBD PM for Sleep by cbdMD, which is a handy, easy to apply tincture that combines both CBD and melatonin. CBD not for you? Well, there’s always Sundown Melatonin.