Falling soundly asleep isn’t always easy—and counting sheep never seems to work. As elusive as that sweet slumber may be, catching Z’s is vital to a life of success, happiness, and health.
So, what do you do to improve your sleep and get the rest you need?
Read this helpful guide for five simple tools for better sleep—and quit all the tossing and turning, once and for all.
#1: Sleep Tracker App
The key to sleep regulation is understanding what is at the core of your poor slumber—do you slip out of R.E.M. too often? Perhaps you take hours to fall asleep. Or, maybe, your sleep schedule is so erratic that your circadian rhythm has been thrown out-of-whack.
No matter what the problem is, you can’t solve it until you identify it.
While you can always see a specialist, try this first: a sleep tracker app. Mobile phone applications like Sleep Cycle and Clock are clever solutions that help get to the bottom of your poor sleep patterns by tracking the following:
- How long you slept
- Fluctuating sleep levels
- How long it took you to fall asleep
- Snoring levels and volume
Not only that, but the alarm feature allows you to wake up at the perfect moment when you are leaving R.E.M. sleep within your desired time range—so you never have to slip out of bed groggy and grumpy again.
#2: Scented Candles
Close your eyes for a second. What does your room smell like? Like the mint tea on your desk? Like your slightly overfilled laundry hamper? Or does it just smell like nothing?
While none of these scents are necessarily bad (well, maybe it’s time to do the laundry), adding gentle candles to your sleeping environment is an easy way to delight your senses, lift your mood, and relax your mind before bedtime.
Here are the best scents to ignite that much-needed sleep-inducing magic:
Within minutes of those sweet, sensuous smells filling your space, you’ll feel more than ready to snuggle up to Mr. Pillow—just don’t forget to extinguish your candles before dozing off.
#3: Weighted Blanket
Sometimes all you need to get to sleep is the support and comfort of a loving embrace—minus all the sweat and movement of another person. A high-quality weighted blanket gives you up to thirty pounds of therapeutic goodness. Not only can it relieve pain, but it also relaxes the nervous system, helping you drift into a delicious slumber.
#4: Relief Pillow
For anyone struggling with chronic pain, post-surgery recovery, or arthritis, achieving sleep can feel insurmountable. Luckily, you can ease that discomfort with specially designed relief pillows—give your deltoids a break with a shoulder relief pillow, or buy an acid reflux pillow to soothe your esophagus.
#5: Meditation App
Calm your racing mind with cheap (and often free) meditation apps like Calm and Headspace. If you find yourself under excessive stress, you might have issues shutting out all the noise in your head. Thanks to these convenient apps, you have access to a variety of soothing meditations, exercises, and sleep sounds to help you achieve the calmest sleep of your life.
Bonus Tip: Avoid Anti-Sleep Tools
All the sleep tools in the world won’t help you if you’re actively inhibiting your sleep through poor evening habits. The biggest sleep deterrent? That good ol’ phone of yours.
Here are some general rules to switch off the screens and slide into sleep:
- Keep your phone and laptop in another room at night.
- Place your phone on Do Not Disturb or Airplane Mode before falling asleep.
- Shut off screens at least one hour before bedtime.
- Read a calming piece of fiction in bed—avoid self-help, horror, or anything that can leave you overly agitated, scared, or inspired (inspiration is for the morning!).
Sound sleep does wonders for the mind and body. With just a few simple changes, smart purchases, and a can-do attitude, you’ll be floating away to dreamland in no time. And remember—after you’ve bought some of these nifty tools to improve your sleep, don’t forget to close that laptop long before hitting the hay.