Whether you’re a morning person or a natural night owl, you’ll occasionally find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. While switching off Netflix and doing yoga before bed can help calm your senses, many people still find it challenging to close their eyes (and sleep well) all night.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it could be because of your busy, stressful life or because your bedroom isn’t conducive to getting a good night’s sleep. The good news is that you can influence your sleep cycle to get some shut-eye by investing in stuff that helps improve sleep quality. Below is a roundup of the best sleep essentials to ensure you have a restful sleeping space to go to every night.
This one might be a no-brainer, but it’s definitely essential for getting quality snooze time. When it comes to physical comfort, nothing is more critical than your sleeping mattress. The choice of bed will determine whether you will snore like a baby or toss and turn all night.
Generally, a good mattress will last for 8-10 years – after that, you need to replace it. But if you find yourself tossing and turning every night or waking up feeling achy in the morning, it may need replacement even if it has not reached that time. If you can’t find a comfortable position to sleep in every night, then maybe it’s time for you to shop for a new mattress.
The type of pillow you have is crucial for sleep quality. Using the wrong pillow for your sleeping style could make you very uncomfortable and keep you awake. Have you ever woken up feeling so stiff in your neck? Your sleeping position may be the culprit, but the quality of your pillow may also be to blame.
Breathable blankets and sheets
Sheets and blankets play the essential role of keeping us warm. However, too much warmth can wake you halfway through the night (in loads of sweat). On the other hand, you also don’t want anything too thin, or you’ll end up shivering as you wake up. So, choose sheets and blankets made with natural materials to prevent these and stay cozy throughout your sleep cycle. A few good materials are wool, linen, and cotton. In comparison to polyester and other similar synthetics, these materials trap less body heat because of their breathable nature.
It’s also a good idea to keep two sheet sets at your disposal as you’ll need to wash one every week. This way, you’ll always have a fresh set ready for use when the other is in the wash.
Weighted blankets have become popular for a reason. It offers a stress-reducing way to fall asleep and to keep yourself sleeping. It also does a great job keeping you warm. The theory behind weighted blankets is that it works the same way swaddling helps babies sleep. Weighted blankets can help you calm your nerves and feel hugged and relaxed all night long.
If you’re a light sleeper, it can be a struggle to get some interrupted sleep with all the light and noise coming in. However, you don’t have to wait for distractions to end — you can kill them by getting a few essentials.
Earplugs – Can’t sleep because of the constant sounds of traffic, your roommate snoring, or your neighbor’s dog barking? A good pair of earplugs can help block these out.
Blackout curtains – Blackout curtains can block any light that passes through the windows, which prevents you from falling asleep. It might be worth looking into a blackout curtain if you reside in a bustling city or have fancy streetlights right next to your house. This essential will make your room womb-like (dark and comfortable), so you sleep as babies do.
Eye mask – If blackout curtains are not enough, or if the light is coming from inside your bedroom (like a night light or a clock), try a sleep mask. Traditional eye masks may work for you, but there are sleep masks that come with contoured cups that rise above the eyes, allowing more comfortable mid-sleep eye movements.
Noise machine – White noise machines are popular for newborn babies’ parents because they work well. If you live in the city, or if you want to block out the sound of your partner snoring or the cacophony of sounds in the country – a white noise machine may be the thing you need to get a good night’s sleep. Even if you live in a relatively quiet house, a white noise machine can help you sleep more soundly by evening things out, making those night bumps less noticeable. Many white noise machines often come with multiple settings to help you drown out outdoor noise.
You should get a humidifier to enhance the air quality in your room. Doing so could mean the difference between restful sleep and sneezing and sniffling all night long. The right one will also act as a silent dust soldier, keeping debris away to help reduce morning allergies and stress.
Some homeowners buy fans to use them as noise machines, as they can help block ambient noises to get better sleep. For most people out there, it serves the purpose of keeping the body cool as you go to bed. The wrong temperature inside a bedroom setting (either too cold or too hot) can make the nighttime routine iffy. A cooler room is ideal for many people, and a fan would help in case the thermostat setting can’t be changed or you’re looking for ways to cut down on your electricity bills.
When you close your eyes at night when you sleep, your sense of smell heightens. This means that you can try aromatherapy to fight insomnia. Many promising studies (and anecdotal evidence) show that aromatherapy can help the body relax. You may want to try to get a diffuser that won’t look cluttered on your bedside table, as clutter can add to the stress. If it’s compact enough to fit into a dresser or bedside table, it’s great to consider.
So if you’re into aromatherapy, you’re the kind of person who can benefit from a scent for sleeping, too. Some essential oils can bring you to dreamland when used in the right manner and proportions. You can try out diffusing these essential oils in your bedroom before sleep:
- Lavender oil
- Chamomile oil
- Ylang ylang oil
- Bergamot oil
- Sandalwood oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Marjoram oil
- Clary sage oil
- Vetiver oil
Sometimes, all we need to get better sleep is to replace our tired old T-shirts and sweatpants. You may want to spoil yourself a little and buy a sleep shirt with luxurious and breathable fabric to enhance that relaxing feeling.
Sure, you track your steps and heart rate, but have you ever thought about tracking your sleep? Many fitness trackers in the market come with features like tracking sleep cycles, so you will be aware when you’re in the light, deep, and REM sleep stages. Knowing how your body sleeps can offer you insight into what you need to sleep better.
A good book
We all have those days where we mentally feel tired come evening. Hence, taking some time to unwind is the secret to getting a good night’s sleep. While everyone has their own way of taking a breather, you can’t deny the impact of a good read. Reading can significantly lower your stress levels and works even better than sipping a cup of tea or listening to music. Just make sure to get a physical book instead of reading articles on your iPad. We say this because the light from electronic devices can hinder the body’s ability to generate melatonin (the hormone that puts us to sleep).
Water bottle or mason jar
If you think about it, eight hours is a long time to go without drinking anything. Even mild dehydration can cause you to be cranky, less energized, and less focused during your waking hours.
When you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night, you’re less likely to make your way to the kitchen to get a glass of water. And even if you manage to force yourself out of bed, it might be harder to fall asleep. The solution is to keep a glass of water on your side table, ensuring it’s within reach. A mason jar or a stainless-steel water bottle will work if you’re clumsy and knock things over.