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- If you didn’t sleep well the night before, you’ve probably experienced symptoms like irritability and poor concentration.
- It helps to create a bedtime routine and an optimal environment to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Our Insider Reviews product testers swear by these 26 products for getting a great night’s sleep.
Anyone who has ever walked into school or work coming off of a bad night of sleep can understand that rest is critical. It affects your emotional, mental, and physical health and helps you function in everyday life.
Beyond anecdotal examples, research backs this up. Sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality affect concentration, memory, and decision-making. They can cause feelings of anxiety, irritability, and impulsiveness (and this effect is worse for younger adults than older adults), and they’re also linked to disorders like high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
So what’s an easy way to fall asleep faster, stay asleep, and have a better night’s sleep overall?
“Build a routine,” says Dr. Benjamin Smarr, assistant professor at the University of California San Diego who specializes in neuroscience and sleep science and a member of Reverie’s Sleep Advisory Board. “Sleep is very complicated and requires many parts of your brain and body to agree. So the more familiar your pre-sleep routine is, the more likely all those parts will line up.”
Everyone has their own little tricks to help them achieve this ideal sleeping state, so I asked the rest of the Insider Reviews team to share the products that they’ve built into their nightly routines.
It’s not surprising that many of their essential products are the ones directly related to sleeping: pillows and comforters, for example. Apps and accessories also help our team out, whether they fill the air with soothing scents and sounds or contribute to overall comfort and coziness.
But if you’re experiencing serious sleep disturbances that are consistently impacting your life, the following solutions may not be adequate and you should consider consulting a specialist. Dr. Azizi Seixas, an assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine whose research focuses on sleep disparities, says, “If these disturbances occur for longer than a month, then the person should seek professional help. Another sign that suggests immediate intervention is needed is if the person feels physically sick as a result of sleep disturbances.”
Here are 26 products and apps the Reviews team uses to fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up well-rested:
I’ve struggled with insomnia and parasomnias for most of my adult life and I’ve tried almost every remedy, medication, and relaxation technique out there. The most marked improvement I’ve had is with a weighted blanket. I have the Luna Weighted Blanket, which is our best budget pick in our guide to the best weighted blankets. It took me a few days to get used to the heft, but it’s now my go-to solution if I’m having trouble falling asleep. It particularly helps cut down on the amount of movement I experience during sleep, which helps me sleep more restfully throughout the night. A weighted blanket is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for myself and I highly recommend anyone who wants a better night’s sleep take the plunge on investing in one. —Lauren Savoie, senior editor
A serene meditation app
Whenever I have trouble sleeping, I love to use Headspace’s dedicated sleep content to easily fall asleep. I particularly like Headspace’s Sleepcasts which include soft background noises such as rain over a quiet narrator’s voice. My favorite feature of the Sleepcasts is that you can adjust them to play more background noise or narration depending on your preference. I also enjoy the app’s “Wind-downs,” which help to prepare your mind to sleep or help you get back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. While features are limited while using the free version of the app, it’s a great low-stakes way to try out Headspace’s features before committing to a paid membership. —Maliah West, home & kitchen fellow
A smart mattress that automatically adjusts as you sleep
Having tested more than 30 mattresses, I am always sleeping on something new. Last month, I finished up testing the Sleep Number 360 i8 Smart Bed, and I didn’t want to stop. In fact, I chose it as the best adjustable air mattress in our recently updated best mattresses guide. As with other Sleep Number mattresses, the i8 is an adjustable air bed with 20 firmness levels. What sets the i8 apart is the “responsive air” feature that automatically adjusts the firmness as you move around at night. This is ideal for me since I often switch between side and stomach sleeping. Since the comfort adjusts, I don’t have to choose a position and stick with it. Also, the mattress tracks your sleep quality and offers personalized insights for improved sleep through the SleepIQ app. —James Brains, reporter
A cool and silky eye mask
I’m sensitive to light and I haven’t had the chance to buy some good blackout curtains for my room yet. In the meantime, this cool and silky eye mask has been the perfect fix. It’s soft and comfortable, and the material doesn’t rub against or irritate my acne-prone skin. The elastic band also doesn’t squeeze my head, which is a feat since I have a big head and often find sleep masks too tight. —Connie Chen, senior reporter
A collection of calming essential oils
It seems like everyone owns a diffuser these days, be it a fancy free-standing one or a mini aroma mister perched on a windowsill. I never understood the hype until I was gifted my own, along with the Pure Body Naturals Premium Essential Oils Collection, which is a six-piece set of peppermint, lemongrass, lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, and sweet orange oils. All of the oils have been purity tested, are vegan, and make your room smell heavenly. Not to mention, the lavender oil is wonderful to apply on your wrists and even mix with water to spritz on your pillow for a good night’s rest. —Victoria Giardina, buying guides fellow
A weighted eye mask
Move over weighted blankets. Weighted eye masks are all the rage. These self-described “hugs for your head” have gentle weights with just the right amount of pressure to lull you to sleep. The four equally weighted pods let you rest easy no matter your preferred sleep position. For someone who’s a light sleeper like me, I love how this completely blocks out light.
It offers dual softness, with one side a cool jersey cotton and the other a warm microfiber. You can also add it into your freezer for an added coolness. Its loose flaps let it rest freely over your eyes, so that once you’re asleep, it’ll fall off throughout the night. —Jacqueline Saguin, style & beauty reviews fellow
A CBD sleep spray
Life Bloom Organics Premium Nano Hemp Sleep Spray (currently sold out)
I’ve tested a lot of CBD sleep remedies over the last few years thanks to my job, and this nano spray from Life Bloom Organics is still my leading choice. It’s a tasteless spray formulated with not just CBD but also natural sleep aids like melatonin, valerian root, and L-Theanine. Two to four sprays consistently makes me sleepy within about 15 minutes of use, and I never feel any groggy effects the next morning the way some other formulas can leave me. The downside is it’s a bit pricey (you get ~25 nights for $40) but IMO, it’s worth buying and saving for the nights you can’t stop tossing and turning. —Rachael Shultz, health & fitness updates editor
A weighted comforter
Having a weighted blanket on top of my usual comforter often means it’ll slip and slide throughout the night, which can be disruptive. I’ve been using this weighted comforter for three months and I like that it doubles as a comforter so it won’t shift around and that it decreases the amount of stuff on my bed. I find myself falling asleep faster and waking up more rested each night. There are loops on the corner to secure the comforter in a duvet cover, but you can use it without one. — Jada Wong, contributor
A convenient pillow spray you can bring anywhere
I’ve lent this spray out to friends, roommates, and family to help them sleep, and I’ve always had trouble getting it back from them. The power blend of lavender, vetivert, and chamomile is unbelievably soothing, and it helps set up a sleep routine for me that signifies to my body it’s time to relax. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
A travel pillow so you can finally fall asleep on your flight
At first glance, the Trtl pillow looks nothing like a pillow. It seems more like a scarf or blanket, and in some ways, that’s actually what it is. A soft, lightweight fleece wrap hides and cushions a plastic neck support on one side, which rests on either shoulder or your chest to keep your head in a comfortable position.
The neck support consists of a few stiff ribs on one end of the scarf. To use the Trtl, simply place the ribs in the position you find most comfortable, then wrap the scarf around your neck. Velcro on the other end of the ribs holds the wrap in place while you doze off. The ribs have a little bit of flexibility to eliminate any pressure points or discomfort. —David Slotnick, senior reporter
A fluffy, comfortable bathrobe
I hate to say it, but as I’ve mentioned in my full review, I’ll pull on this fluffy, luxurious Snowe robe after a shower and settle into bed for a few Netflix episodes before doing my nightly routine in earnest. I can’t count how many times I’ve woken up in it eight hours later. It’s more absorbent than my towels and dangerously comfy. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
A hybrid pillow
Leesa’s hybrid pillow is pretty much my dream pillow. The gel pillow base is firm enough to make me feel like I’m still sleeping on my memory foam pillow, but the soft, quilted down alternative topper makes it more comfortable to rest my head on the pillow at night. I’ve been using it for a few months now and I’ve never slept better. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
A 0.5-pound weighted eye mask that can help relieve headaches and sinus pressure
Weighted blankets have become increasingly popular since research has proven them to decrease anxiety. I have anxiety myself, but I love my comforter too much to part with it. I read about this weighted eye mask and decided to give it a try. While I don’t love sleeping through the night with it on, the Therapedic Weighted Eye Mask is perfect for napping.
Napping used to be a passive activity for me – it was more an act of lying down and relaxing than actually falling asleep. I’m now able to sleep deeply for short increments, something I never pictured myself being able to do. The weight is heavy enough to distract from my thoughts and tire my eyes without being so heavy that it’s annoying. Plus, the mask is made of plush fleece, so it’s comfortable to wear. —Emily Hein, story producer
A stretchy tank top
I’m obsessed with this soft, super stretchy tri-blend tank. It clings to my body nicely instead of restrictively and it doesn’t hurt that it has a flattering v-neck so I don’t feel like a slob in bed. The thin, barely noticeable hems and lack of clothing tags are blessings that ensure optimal comfort. I’m always reluctant to change out of it in the morning. —Connie Chen, senior reporter
A light that slowly dims at night and brightens in the morning to mimic a sunrise
My circadian rhythm is hyperactive, which means my sleep is easily disrupted by late-night screen time and bright lighting before bed.
The Glow Light from Casper is the one tool I’ve found that consistently puts me to sleep — it starts out bright enough to read a book, but dims down over the course of about 45 minutes until it’s off (you can adjust the schedule using an app, though I’ve never tried it). Because it mimics the setting sun, my body responds well and knows it’s time to sleep by about 20 minutes into the light’s cycle.
To turn the light on or off, you just flip it over; you can also twist it left and right to bring the brightness up or down, and shake it while it’s off to turn it into a night light. —Stephanie Hallet, editor
A good old-fashioned crossword puzzle
I do a crossword puzzle pretty much every night to help me wind down. Not only is it good for my long-term cognitive function, it’s also the perfect way to tire my mind after a long day (without resorting to screens). I suggest doing them with a gentle light on once you’re already in bed — that way you can just zonk out as soon as you’re ready. —Sally Kaplan, senior editor
I was recently gifted an incense holder, and I’ve been getting used to the happy luxury of falling asleep to the calming smells of sandalwood and jasmine. I use candles, too, but this is my cautious option for when I’m already feeling drowsy. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
A warm yet breathable comforter that’s surprisingly affordable
This highly-rated comforter is warm, soft, and breathable — and such a bargain at $29. I’ve slept with the comforter by itself as well as with a duvet cover for 1.5 months now, and both versions have allowed me to settle into bed more quickly than ever because this blanket is so comfortable.
It’s made from alternative down, prevents dust accumulation, and is resistant to bacteria, making it the optimal choice for people who are sensitive to allergens. —Connie Chen, senior reporter
Herbal tea and a brewing basket to make it
I like to brew a hand-blended chamomile herbal tea a few hours before bedtime. The tea relaxes and hydrates me at the same time, so I can sleep well and sip away the stress of the day. My best friend actually bought me this tea for Christmas last year, and I’ve been a huge fan ever since. I love the mix of lemon with lavender and valerian root.
If you’ve never used loose-leaf tea before, you’ll also need Finum’s brewing basket or a nice teapot with a brewing basket to make it. —Malarie Gokey, deputy editor
A breathable weighted blanket
Weighted blankets are the best tool I’ve found for stacking the deck in my favor when it comes to amazing sleep. They help create deeper, more restful sleep and reduce anxiety and stress by using deep-touch therapy — similar to the comfort created by swaddling babies. I wake up feeling noticeably better rested whenever I use one.
Gravity makes my favorite option because it’s the most breathable and aesthetically pleasing — but YnM is also a great option, and it’s considerably cheaper at about $60. The rule of thumb is to pick one that’s 10% of your own body weight. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
An e-reader with adjustable brightness settings
I try to end every night with a good story. My Kindle goes with me everywhere, including in bed. It has a high-resolution 300 ppi display so I’m not squinting at the words on the page, and the brightness settings let me adjust the light to whatever level I’m comfortable with. Since it only weighs seven ounces, my arm is relaxed, not strained. —Connie Chen, senior reporter
A white noise app
Noisli, available for iOS and Android
Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker and used to hearing sirens and the piercing screeches of subway trains coming to a halt, but my mind needs background noise to fully relax at night. Right before I’m ready to go to bed, I pair a white noise app called Noisli via Bluetooth to my speaker. I customized a setting that emits the soothing sounds of wind and light rain all night long. —Ellen Hoffman, executive editor
A pillow that strikes the balance between down and memory foam
I’m a light sleeper who changes her position all night long, so I need a pillow that can truly keep up with me. Casper’s pillow is arguably the best I’ve tried so far. The first night I slept on the pillow I started out on my left side, then moved onto my back some hours later, and ultimately woke up on my right side staring into the face of my very hungry cat.
So I can confirm that Casper’s claim that it made a pillow that works in every position is true. It’s a really nice marriage of a regular down pillow and a memory foam pillow — simultaneously fluffy and firm, and very comfortable. —Ellen Hoffman, executive editor
Micromodal lounge pants
Unless I’m wearing some version of recovery compression clothes to bed, I rely on these MeUndies loungers. I bought them based off of many, many recommendations from coworkers and wasn’t disappointed. They’re incredibly soft, feel like nothing, and don’t trap heat. Their underwear is also awesome for bedtime, as well as Tommy John’s and Everlane’s. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
A reading app
I hate feeling idle, and that becomes a problem at bedtime. Instead of relying on TV shows, I’ve started setting a sleep timer on audiobooks in my favorite reading app and letting that lull me to sleep. I don’t think I’ve ever lasted more than five minutes awake. —Mara Leighton, senior reporter
Pajamas that athletes use to recover from workouts
I go to the gym at least three times during the week after work, so I’m pretty sore by the time I’m ready for bed. Instead of wearing normal pajamas or loungewear, Under Armour’s Ultra Comfort Pants and 3/4 Henley have become my favorite pieces to sleep in. They’re extremely soft, stretchy, and have a next-to-skin fit, without being too tight.
In addition to basic comfort, they do a great job at preventing me from waking up with lingering soreness or pain from the gym. They have a bioceramic print on the inside, which reflects Far Infrared — a type of energy that is proven to promote cell regrowth in the body. You can read my full review here. —Amir Ismael, reporter
For some of the top products that can help you get the best sleep, check out these in-depth buying guides:
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