Reading time: 6 mins
We all know how important it is to get a good night's sleep, for both our physical and mental wellbeing. There's nothing worse than starting the day sleep-deprived, and yet a whopping 1 in 3 adults don't get enough sleep!
I've certainly had my fair share of restless nights, and am on a never-ending quest for anything that can help me fall asleep (and stay asleep!). Here I've put together a list of my 12 favourite sleep aid products to help you get some much needed shut-eye…goodbye tossing and turning, and hello dreamland!
Swaddling has long been used as a technique to calm and soothe babies, but now Hug Sleep has developed Sleep Pod, which is basically a giant swaddle for us adults! I had considered buying a weighted blanket when they were all the rage, however was put off by the heat. Sleep Pod utilises the same deep touch pressure therapy of weighted blankets but without the excess heat. Its buttery soft, ultra-breathable, stretchy fabric cocoons you in a gentle, calming hug and applies its soothing pressure around your entire body, helping you to relax and fall asleep. For those who like to kick out their leg from under the covers, Sleep Pod even has a built-in slit at the bottom, allowing you to easily stick your leg out if so desired.
Sleep on Silk
Your bedding is just as important as your bed when it comes to quality of sleep, and even something as small as swapping out your pillowcase can make a big difference. The Sleepy Silk Pillowcase is made from 25 momme Mulberry silk for ultimate indulgence, and laying on this luxurious and liquid smooth fabric is sure to make you feel like royalty! It features an invisible zip closure to stop your pillow from sliding out, and comes in a range of gorgeous shades to match your mood and interiors. By now you’re probably familiar with all the amazing benefits of sleeping on silk, and how it does wonders for your skin and hair, but did you know that sleeping on a silk pillowcase can also help you get a better night’s sleep? Firstly, silk is naturally hypoallergenic and dust mite resistant, so silk bedding is ideal for soothing sensitive skin and preventing irritations and inflammations overnight. Sleeping on silk is also particularly helpful for those to tend to get hot and sweaty during the night (and not in a sexy way). Everyone knows that ideal temperatures make for a good night’s rest, and the thermal regulating and natural moisture wicking properties of silk ensures a comfortable night’s sleep no matter the season. My Sleepy Silk Pillowcase is my nightly companion and even travels with me to hotels – once you sleep on silk, you’ll never go back to cotton!
Silk Pillowcase in Dove Grey by Sleepy Silk (also available in other colours)
Play it Cool
Speaking of sleeping hot, there are now products that can actually bring down your body temperature without you having to blast the AC and dry out the air. Chilisleep’s chiliPAD Sleep System comprises of a mattress pad which hooks up to a water reservoir tank. Their patented cooling and warming water technology uses hydropower to adjust your bed’s temperature throughout the night, ensuring your body stays at the optimal temperature for a longer, deeper sleep. Of course every individual has a different ideal sleep temperature, so they’ve also developed a system for couples, which features 2 control units, allowing both people to tailor the temperature of their side of the bed accordingly. Ok, just a disclaimer here, I haven’t actually used the chiliPAD before, but it sounds amazing right? The testimonials I’ve read have been astounding, and this truly sounds like a game changer – it’s been on my wish list for a while now, I’m just trying to working out how to get it shipped it to us in Australia without having to sell an organ…
Nighty Night Cream
Even your nightly skincare routine can aid you in your quest for better sleep. Dermalogica’s Sound Sleep Cocoon Transformative Night Gel-Cream is a night cream that combines aromatherapy with skin care, soothing the senses as well as revitalising and transforming your skin overnight. The motion-activated French lavender essential oil, calming sandalwood and patchouli help to promote deep, restful sleep while the Persian Silk Tree and Wu-Zhu-Yu extracts reduce the signs of skin fatigue and restore radiance and vitality. I love the light, smooth texture of this unique gel-cream, which melts into my skin effortlessly and feels so nourishing and comfortable to wear. It’s always the last step in my night-time routine, and lets my skin know that it’s time for bed!
Me Time Tea Time
Rather than indulging in a nightcap, enjoying a cup of relaxing, herbal tea before bed can help to soothe and calm you at the end of the night. Founded by supermodel Elle McPherson, WelleCo has a range of wellness supplements, including their Sleep Welle Fortified Calming Tea. Each teabag includes hops, valerian, lemon balm, passionflower and skullcap, and has been formulated to help you relax and ease your mind before bedtime – plus the lavender tin is super cute too!
As a sensitive sleeper, it doesn’t take much noise to keep me awake – and being married to a snorer, I was overjoyed to come across Bose Sleepbuds! More than just earplugs, these tiny earbuds have been engineered to fit securely and comfortably into your ear, even when pressed against a pillow all night (where are all my other side sleepers at?). You can’t use them to stream your own music, but they connect wirelessly to the Bose Sleep app, which delivers relaxing sounds, played at optimal frequencies that neutralise common unwanted noises. Then of course there’s Bose’s noise-masking technology, with the design of the buds forming a gentle seal in your ear for passive sound reduction. Most nights I don’t even use the app, as the buds on their own are enough to sufficiently drown out hubby’s snores. Bose Sleepbuds cost a pretty packet, but if you’re sleep deprived then I’m sure you’ll agree, you can’t put a price on much needed good sleep!
The Dark Side
Do you require complete darkness to fall asleep? Then say hello to the Sleepy Silk Eye Mask, one of my bedside table must-haves that I use every single night. This sumptuous silk sleep mask is made from incredibly soft Mulberry silk, and even the plush filling is 100% Mulberry silk fibre for ultimate indulgence. Unlike other light coloured masks which are translucent and offer little blockage, this generously sized eye mask has a jet-black silk underside, so it’s completely opaque, making sure that absolutely no light sneaks through! The elasticised velvet head strap features an adjustable buckle, allowing you to tailor it to fit you comfortably no matter your head size. Apparently I have a larger than average head, as I’ve found other silk eye masks painfully tight, with their supposed one-size-fits-all elastic strap digging into my eyes, ouch! Lastly, the natural hydrating properties of silk allow moisturisers and eye creams to fully absorb into your skin rather than into your eye mask or pillowcase – bonus!
Scent is extremely powerful, and your sense of smell is actually directly linked to the part of the brain that monitors memories and emotions. It makes sense therefore, to surround yourself with soothing scents before bedtime, including those that help to relax your body and mind, such as lavender, cedarwood, geranium, ylang-ylang, bergamot, sandalwood, rose, jasmine, vanilla, and frankincense. Apart from using essential oils in an oil diffuser, there are other ways to surround yourself with relaxing fragrances, such as using one of the many pillow sprays or scented candles on the market that are specifically designed to help give you a restful night’s sleep.
Ren Skincare’s & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray is a heavenly, soothing mist that contains a blend of natural oils such as frankincense, hops and lavender, all known for their sleep-enhancing and anxiety-reducing properties. Simply spray this lovely mist onto your pillow (and even sheets!) before climbing into bed, and feel yourself being enveloped in its calming atmosphere.
For those who aren’t too keen on lavender, Neom’s Bedtime Hero is the scented candle for you! Fruity yet still super soothing, this hand poured natural wax candle is a blend of 11 pure essential oils, including sweet chamomile, spicy ylang-ylang and warming cedarwood. Light this gorgeous 3 wick candle at least an hour before going to sleep so that the relaxing fragrance can fill your bedroom as it burns, helping you feel calm, soothed and ready for slumber.
Tell Me a Tale
Hooray, bedtime stories are no longer just for kids! Channel your inner child with the Calm app, by falling asleep to someone reading you a bedtime story every night. Featuring classic fairytales as well as some Calm originals, there are several celebrity readers and an ever-growing list of titles. Can you think of anything cosier than snuggling down under the covers on a cold winter’s night and drifting off to dreamland to the soothing Southern drawl of Matthew McConaughey??
If you really want to treat yourself with a night time routine that will help you unwind and make your worries melt away, indulge in long warm bath before bedtime using aromatherapy infused salts. sōak sisters combines 100% pure magnesium chloride, aromatherapy essential oils and natural botanicals into one beautiful blend, handcrafting their soaks in small batches to ensure your bath is perfectly balanced. Their Lovely Lavender and Calm-ōmile blend has been specifically formulated to relieve stress and anxiety, soothe muscles and lull you into a more deep, restful sleep. Yes, you will need to set aside a little extra time at the end of the day for this ritual, but it’s guaranteed to help you melt away tension, relax your mind and body and slip into serenity…
Lovely Lavender & Calm-ōmile Soak, 400g by sōak sisters (also available in other scents and sizes)
Blocking the Blues
Your internal body clock is an incredible thing, and one of your natural, built-in circadian rhythms is the production of the hormone melatonin when it’s dark outside, driving you to feel tired and preparing you for sleep. Exposure to light disrupts the production of melatonin, and blue light in particular, being the shortest wavelength of light on the visible light spectrum, suppresses melatonin production the most. In our technology driven, information age, this has a profound impact on our sleep patterns, especially for those of us with the terrible habit of spending hours on gadgets before bedtime, blue light glaring in our faces. This problem has been met with an onslaught of new products being introduced to the market, such as glasses and screen covers designed to filter out blue light and reduce eye strain. While numerous studies have shown that blue light does suppress melatonin more than other hues, there is still continued debate amongst scientists and health professional as whether using a blue light filter actually has any dramatic benefits for sleep. Like the other products in this article, this might not be the silver bullet that delivers on the promise of better sleep, but many people swear by them. My verdict is, even if you see only an incremental improvement, then it may still be worth combining with other products to give yourself the best chance of a deep slumber. I use the EyeJust Blue Light Blocking Screen Protector on my iPhone, an easy way to introduce blue light filtering into my day without having to think about it. And since it doubles as a scratch-proof, shatter-proof screen protector, at the very least I know that I’m protecting my phone! They also make screen protectors for laptops, iPads and Nintendo Switch too. The one thing all scientists agree on, is that we should avoid screen time and light exposure altogether before bed, if we’re to truly improve our quantity and quality of sleep. And if you’re like me and can’t help but have a scroll on your phone before bed, at least turn down your brightness (the brightness of light makes a bigger difference than the colour of the light) and try to keep it quick!
Best of luck, I hope you find a few products here that you can incorporate into your bedtime routine and that you’re able to get your best sleep ever! Goodnight xx
NB. We all feel restless sometimes, but if you’re suffering from serious sleep deprivation and insomnia, make sure you consult your doctor. They make put you on prescription strength melatonin supplements or recommend other therapies and treatments.