Contrary to the popular saying, there are actually three things that are certain in life: death, taxes, and the fact that, try as you might, you'll never consistently get enough sleep. In a world that now seemingly runs on digital airwaves, we're often too plugged in to mindfully power down—in fact, 42 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep every night. The sad reality is that, aside from feeling painfully tired the next day, continually not getting enough sleep lends itself to a myriad of consequences, like sullen skin, high blood pressure, and, according to a small new study, the possible development of Alzheimer's.
There are a couple of key changes we can make to help log more hours of shut-eye, like consciously getting less screen time and avoiding certain foods before bed, but there's something to be said about the actual space in which we sleep in and fostering a calm, comfortable environment that gives way to maximum slumber opportunity. The market is seemingly attuned to the potential for building a better sleep haven as well since so many exciting snooze-focused launches are surfacing left and right. Below, we've rounded up our tried and tested favorites.
All of us here at Byrdie HQ use and love Buffy, a cloud-soft, sustainably-made comforter that uses recycled bottles in its fill and silky eucalyptus fabric on the outer shell. It's also super breathable to keep you nice and cool all night long (the optimal room temperature for adults is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit). You can take it for a test drive for free for 30 days, and if you don't like it, they'll take it off your hands at no cost (though we're fairly certain you're going to be obsessed).
We've all played Goldilocks with our pillows (too hard, too soft, etc.) and it's especially difficult to know how supportive it's going to be on your head and neck when you're just squeezing it in-store. Pluto Pillow aims to take the guesswork out of pillow shopping with an interactive questionnaire and algorithm to find you the perfect density for your personal needs. Yes, the price is steep, but it's been met with rave customer reviews with many claiming it helped alleviate neck pain.
Can't swing blackout curtains? A comfy silk eye mask will do the trick, boosting your body's natural serotonin levels for a more restful sleep. Bonus: Pop these in the fridge before you're ready to snooze to decrease under-eye puffiness.
So long as you have moisture diffusing into the air to keep your skin hydrated and your nasal cavities moist (that helps fend off getting a cold, by the way), you might as well add the benefit of aromatherapy, right? This open-top humidifier-diffuser duo releases your essential oil of choice into the air along with a steady stream of moisture to keep you relaxed and hydrated all night. We suggest adding a few drops of lavender to the water, as it's scientifically proven to help you get more restful sleep.
Mindful breathing is a known practice in yoga and meditation to help calm your mind, and it's been proven to help you fall asleep faster. But if you have a hard time getting out of your headspace, this light from Dodow may be your answer. It projects a blue pulsing light onto your ceiling that you're to sync with your breath, helping you to focus on something outside your thoughts to slow down your breathing and help you fall asleep in eight minutes or less.
Weighted blankets are supposed to mimic the sensation of being held to decrease anxiety and make you feel as though you're wrapped up in a hug; one study found that participants who used a 30-pound blanket felt more calm, a sensation similar to deep pressure stimulation, a scientific remedy for insomnia. If 30 pounds sounds like too much, you'll still see benefits from a lighter blanket—according to this brand, to choose the right weight, take 10 percent of your body weight and add 1 (so someone who's 140 pounds would choose a 15-pound blanket).
Those who live in noisy cities or an apartment with paper-thin walls are all too familiar with the need to block out sleep-inhibiting ambient noise. Thanks to this handy little travel noise machine, you can choose from three different calming white noises to cancel out distraction and lull yourself into a deep sleep.
Burn this candle while you're laying in bed with a book (no television time, as this inhibits sleep) and take in the aroma of lavender and chamomile to place your mind in a state of relaxed nirvana. Just remember to blow it out before you dose off!
Shokri-Kojori E, Wang GJ, Wiers CE, et al. β-Amyloid accumulation in the human brain after one night of sleep deprivation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2018;115(17):4483–4488. doi:10.1073/pnas.1721694115
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Cleveland Clinic, Health Essentials. What is the ideal sleeping temperature for my bedroom? Updated November 8, 2018.
Koulivand PH, Khaleghi Ghadiri M, Gorji A. Lavender and the nervous system. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:681304. doi:10.1155/2013/681304
Garland SN, Zhou ES, Gonzalez BD, Rodriguez N. The quest for mindful sleep: a critical synthesis of the impact of mindfulness-based interventions for insomnia. Curr Sleep Med Rep. 2016;2(3):142–151. doi:10.1007/s40675-016-0050-3