Do you struggle to get a good night’s sleep? Wake up every morning feeling groggy and have to drag yourself out of bed? Desperate to find things to help you sleep better? Keep reading, because the 7 bedtime essentials listed below will help you get a blissful night’s sleep.
If the above sounds familiar, you’re not alone. An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep-related problems. And if you’ve ever suffered from sleep deprivation, you’ll understand why it has been used for centuries as a form of torture and interrogation.
Sleep deprivation lowers your immune system, increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, affects growth hormone production, negatively effects your mental abilities and emotional state and makes you irritable and feel fatigued during the day.
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My Sleep Struggle
Up until about 5 years ago, I never struggled with sleep. Most nights, it took me only a few minutes to fall asleep and I woke every morning feeling well-rested.
During pregnancy, that all changed. I experienced severe hyperemesis gravidarum which, along with many other negative effects, caused me to struggle with sleep.
Of course, when I gave birth my hyperemesis gravidarum disappeared but I was now faced with a future of many sleepless nights with a young baby.
My son is now 4 years old and has been an amazing sleeper since he was around 12 months old. However, I struggled to return to my normal, pre-pregnancy sleep pattern.
In my quest to get a good night’s sleep, I tried various products and techniques. Thankfully, I was able to sleep well again. Below, I’m sharing my 7 bedtime essentials.
7 Bedtime Essentials for a Better Night’s Sleep
1. High Quality Pillow
How much thought do you give to choosing a pillow to sleep on? If the answer is “not much,” then that needs to change.
A good pillow helps keep your body in alignment which promotes a more restful sleep and ensures you don’t wake up feeling stiff and sore.
I can attest to this personally. Years ago, whenever it was time to buy a new pillow, I used to buy the second-cheapest pillow I could find. I figured the “second-cheapest” was a bit better than the cheapest and that would be good enough.
Although I slept fine, I would constantly wake up with a sore neck. When I learned that my poor pillow choices were the likely culprit, I upgraded to a shredded memory foam pillow. Memory foam supports the neck, shoulders, back and head and allows for a restful sleep.
The Dream Rite Shredded Memory Foam Pillow is my pillow of choice. It’s hypoallergenic, comes with a removable, washable cover and is suitable for back, side and stomach sleepers, thanks to the ability to customize the firmness of the pillow by removing shredded memory foam.
Meditation is the #1 tool in my “get to sleep” arsenal. When done just before bedtime, meditation can help to quiet the mind, promote calmness and achieve a sense of inner peace. In fact, a lot of people often fall asleep during meditation – that’s how calming the practice can be.
The following bedtime meditation can help you enter into a deep state of relaxation.
3. Wake Up Light
I don’t know about you, but there’s little I find more aggravating than be jolted awake in the morning by a loud, grating alarm. Unfortunately, most of us require a wake-up alarm in the morning, myself included.
The Philips SmartSleep Alarm is the perfect alternative. Instead of waking you up with a jolt, the light therapy lamp and natural sunrise alarm clock wakes you up gradually. In addition, you can choose from one of five wake up sounds if you’re a heavy sleeper and worried the natural sunrise light won’t do the trick.
Herbal teas have been used as a sleep aid for centuries and modern scientific research also suggests that there is a relationship between tea and sleep.
Personally, I was never a big tea drinker until I was at my wits end over the prospect of another sleepless night and decided to add this Yogi Bedtime Tea to my Amazon Prime shopping cart.
It arrived two days later, I boiled the kettle and poured myself a cup, and I’ve been drinking it regularly ever since. If you’re not a fan of tea (I wasn’t,) I encourage you to give this variety a try. It contains licorice, cardamom and cinnamon which gives it a delicious, warming flavor, while the chamomile and passionflower supports relaxation and helps you to unwind.
5. Badger Balm
Badger Balm is a calming night balm that I’ve been gifting and recommending to everyone I know since I discovered it in a Cracker Barrel store in Tennessee.
I’ll admit it – the adorable packaging is what first drew me to Badger Balm. But beyond the cute packaging, Badger Balm is a dreamy, wonderfully scented balm that includes Lavender, Balsam Fir and Bergamot to help calm and soothe the mind, easing you into a relaxed state which helps to allow sleep to come naturally.
Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Cracker Barrel in Tennessee to buy Badger Balm – you can order it right here.
6. Oscillating Fan
An oscillating tower fan works by creating a powerful breeze which helps to circulate air throughout the room. This not only makes you feel cooler, it also helps reduce stuffiness in your bedroom. In addition, the small amount of white noise emitted by the fan also helps you sleep better.
An added bonus is that tower fans use a lot less electricity than air-conditioner, which is better for the environment and saves you some money.
I recommend the Lakso Portable Oscillating Fan – it’s budget-friendly, quiet, comes with a remote control and features a convenient nighttime setting which automatically dims the control display and puts the fan on high for 1 hour, medium for 1 hour then low until you interact with the display again.
7. Weighted Blanket
When I first heard about weighted blankets helping with sleep I was skeptical – I thought they’d make me feel claustrophobic which would have the opposite effect.
As fate would have it, I actually received this weighted blanket for Christmas later that year and was pleasantly surprised. Instead of feeling like I was being suffocated, the weighted blanket felt comforting, almost like it was giving me a big hug.
When you’re choosing a weighted blanket, it’s important that you choose the correct size and blanket weight for your body weight – there’s a handy chart here that will help you determine this.
BONUS TIP- Get on a Schedule
My final bedtime essential is getting on a schedule. Sleep experts recommend going to bed at the same time every night to help maintain your body’s internal clock.
Sure, I still have the odd late night where I stay up binge-watching Netflix but on the whole, I try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night.
Ensuring you have a good night’s sleep is one of the biggest acts of self-care you can perform. Hopefully my 7 bedtime essentials will help you in your quest for a better night’s sleep.