These days it is harder than ever to get a good night’s sleep. With our 24-hour a day access to work tasks and electronic entertainment, good sleep hygiene means getting the lowdown on the best sleep tools to help you.
The more tired and grumpy we get as a nation, the more ingenious the gadgets get for helping you sleep! There are so many things to choose between: eye masks, white noise machines, earplugs, pillows, weighted-blankets, heating pads, and more.
Your Pillow is Your Number One Sleep Buddy
One of the best accessories for helping you optimize your sleep is one of our natural, firm, moldable handmade pillows. Check out all of our unique designs.
Our flagship all-natural organic Buckwheat Pillows come in a range of styles.
For a little more bounce we have a unique hybrid Buckwheat Latex Blend Pillow. This is a great choice if you don’t want a pillow that is overly firm but still want the neck support that buckwheat gives you.
Our finer grain Millet Pillows provide great support without the bulk or weight of our signature Buckwheat Pillows.
The first of its kind, our Hemp Hull Pillow comes with our signature super-soft bamboo cover. Hemp hulls are a little smaller than buckwheat but not as small as millet. You will love the support, adjustability, and nutty aroma of this new hemp creation.
We also have a newly designed natural Latex Stix Pillow if you want a more bouncy pillow.
And last but not least is our unique hybrid Buckwheat and Memory Foam Pillow for people who enjoy the softness of memory foam.
For a neck massage before bed try our physical therapy Wooden Neck Pillow with lavender.
Darkness is Important for Melatonin Production
Eye masks can be difficult to get used to. They come off when you switch sleep positions, and they can make your eyes puffy in the morning if they are too tight.
But blocking out excess light can help you stay asleep longer even if you don’t have blackout curtains.
It is ideal to have blackout curtains, but they can be expensive or impractical. Full blackout blinds can make the room too hot and prevent proper ventilation. This temperature issue can destroy the usefulness of black-out curtains because you need a slightly cooler temperature if you tend to sleep hot.
Sure, our ancestors slept in caves and didn’t have electric lights. But they had a banked fire near the mouth of the cave and surely some light got in from the cave opening.
The theory that our ancestors slept in complete darkness may not have been the case except on specific nights when it was extremely overcast with no moon.
Complete darkness may not be practical for you. Just do your best to make sure your phone is off or covered so no bright lights flash on your eyes or skin, and cover any computer switches and anything else that might emit bright light.
The Manta Sleep Mask is one of the most comfortable masks on the market and it fully blocks out the light. They have a 60-day trial so if you don’t like it you are covered.
The FreshMe Handmade Cotton Blackout Sleep Mask is comfortable and soft and adjusts for all head sizes.
Noise Reduction for Sleep
Basic Ear Plugs
Earplugs can be uncomfortable for some people. It’s hard to find earplugs you can stand to wear all night. But it is worth trying some of the newer products to see if you can find something to keep the louder sounds down to a minimum. Sounds from airplanes, dogs barking, and traffic can make you sleep less deeply.
Flare Audio makes a noise-reducing ear device called Calmer that is small, light-weight and mellows out the harsher sounds. I like this device because it doesn’t actually plug your ears and give you that weird feeling in your eustachian tubes the next morning. You will avoid that feeling of having your ears closed with these noise mellowing devices.
Hearprotek has a set of earplugs with different sized tips and wings to ensure comfort and fit.
White Noise Machines
- Sharper Image has a white noise device you can wear around your head like a headband with speakers in it. It has a timer and 17 sleep sounds.
- Bose Sleep Buds II comes with an app and a timer, so they have a white noise aspect while they also work as earplugs. But at $250 the price may seem a bit steep.
- Manta has a nice little white noise box with 40 different sounds. You are sure to find something that works if you are willing to try things out.
Do You Need Blue Blocker Glasses After Dark?
The verdict is still out on whether blue light is really worse for you than warmer colors at night, scientists agree that too much bright light from screens later in the evening can suppress natural melatonin production.
It is best to dim the lights and turn off the screens an hour or two before bed. Reading a book is a quiet activity that doesn’t seem to do too much harm to melatonin. Stretching, self-massage, or meditation can also be helpful in calming the nervous system before sleep.
Aromatherapy for Better Sleep
At Pinetales we have the perfect Lavender buckwheat Hull Pillow to soothe you to sleep.
You can also try an essential oil diffuser with natural oils:
- Lavender is an age-old therapy for sleep that has proven benefits.
- Rose oil helps relieve anxiety and calm you for sleep.
- Holy Basil, also known as Tulsi, is a traditional Ayurvedic herb for sleep.
- Valarian is a great sleep aid but has a strong odor so you might like it better in pill form.
- Marjoram is not just for cooking. The oil has a soothing woody aroma.
- Ylang Ylang has been shown to calm the mind for sleep.
- Neroli combines well with marjoram and Ylang-Ylang and Lavender for calming the nervous system.
- Clary Sage has a relaxing, sweet, earthy aroma and helps with mood and anxiety.
- Jasmine has been found to help you sleep more restfully.
- Cedarwood has sedative effects that can help you sleep.
- Chamomile has been studied for sleep and relaxation-inducing qualities and has been used for many centuries.
- Bergamot has a sweet citrus scent and can help you relax.
- Lemon Balm, also known as Melissa, is soothing and calming with a mild sedative effect.
You can mix your own blends or try some of the blends you will find at your local natural food store or get blends or diffuser kits online.
It takes a little experimenting to improve your sleep. But with the right pillow, bedding, eye masks, and other sleep accessories you can improve your sleep and your health in a very short time.