Trouble Sleeping? These 10 Sleep Products Actually Work & They’re Backed by Science
There are so many sleep products on the market, it can be tough to tell which ones are real and which are B.S. Will that tea really help you doze off earlier? What about the eye mask that promises to help you stay asleep all night? To separate the gems from the gimmicks, we turned to the pros: sleep specialists. Here are ten sleep products that they actually recommend.
1. Therapedic Reversible Weighted Blanket
It’s no coincidence that you pass out on the couch every time you cozy up with your weighted blanket. According to the National Sleep Foundation, that’s because they decrease anxiety, increase serotonin levels and reduce restlessness for some people. “I’ve had a number of patients report benefit from these,” confirms Dr. Alex Dimitriu, M.D., double board-certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine and the founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine. This particular blanket has racked up over 200 five-star reviews on Bed Bath & Beyond, many of which claim that it has solved their sleep woes.
2. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Lavender, vetiver and chamomile oil join forces to take you to dreamland in this calming pillow spray. The brand claims that the fragrance will help you enjoy a deeper, more restful sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. While he doesn’t outright confirm that this product will promote slumber, Dr. Dimitriu suggests that it could help you relax before bed. “There is some evidence that lavender has a calming effect, with some potential to lower heart rate and induce relaxation,” he says.
3. Hum Nutrition Beauty zzZz Sleep Support Supplement
Wary of supplements? Us too. But Dr. Dimitriu says that melatonin is worth trying because it can help some people fall asleep faster. Hum Nutrition’s variation contains 3mg of the popular sleep aid, plus 10mg of vitamin B6 to aid in serotonin production, which is thought to regulate sleep patterns. But whether you try a gummy, a patch or a spray, the exact form hasn’t been proven to make a difference yet, Dr. Dimitriu emphasizes. To help your body produce its own melatonin, you should dim the lights before bed, avoid screens and set a regular bedtime.
4. SNOOZ White Noise Sound Machine
Some white noise machines are better than others, and this one is rumored to be the best of the best. That’s because it has a fan inside it, so it offers a peaceful, real sound rather than a looping track. Dr. Joshua Tal, Ph.D., a New York City-based psychologist specializing in insomnia notes that while he’d have to hear it for himself before fully endorsing it, the SNOOZ sounds pretty promising since fan-based white noise machines are considered to be the most effective.
5. Felix Gray Blue Light Glasses
We’ve noticed that we have a harder time falling asleep when we watch a couple of episodes of Succession before bed, and the research backs it up. According to a study conducted by Harvard University, exposure to blue light suppresses the body’s melatonin production for twice as long as another light source of comparable brightness. It also shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much, meaning it threw off the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. And while the best solution is to avoid blue light in the hours before bed, sometimes we just need a Netflix binge. The solution? Blue light glasses. They filter blue light rays to protect your eyes against the negative impacts of screen time.
6. The Honest Company Ultra Calming Bubble Bath
We’ll use any excuse to take a bubble bath—but this one is actually pretty convincing. A 2019 study published in Sleep Medicine Reviews found that 10 to 15 minutes in a warm bath before bed helped participants fall asleep 10 minutes faster on average. Plus as Dr. Dimitriu mentioned earlier, the lavender in this formula may aid in relaxation, making it easier to catch some zzz’s after use.
7. Manta Sleep Mask
Move over, silk eye mask. The Manta Sleep Mask is basically a blackout shade for your eyeballs. The unique eye cups are designed to mold to your face and block out 100 percent of light. The whole thing is fully adjustable, because what good is an uncomfortable eye mask that keeps you up at night? “This one looks like it’s well designed,” confirms Dr. Tal. He explains that blocking out light keeps your circadian rhythm(the internal process that regulates your body’s sleep-wake cycle) in check, helping you finally get an uninterrupted snooze.
8. Dodow Sleep Aid Device
If the idea of guided breathing sounds helpful, try the Dodow. It projects a circle of light on the ceiling—inhale when the circle expands, then exhale as the circle contracts. It slows your breathing down to about six breaths per minute, which signals to your body that it’s time to rest. This exercise is especially helpful for people who find their minds racing at night, because it gives you something to focus on, Dr. Tal says.
9. Ayo Premium Light Therapy Glasses
Dr. Tal has recently recommended these light therapy glasses to quite a few of his patients. “They’re really good for resetting your circadian rhythm, dealing with jet lag and fighting seasonal affective disorder (SAD),” he explains. The glasses work like a portable light box, increasing your energy levels and alertness during the day and adjusting your body’s rhythm so you’ll sleep better at night.
10. Somnox Sleep Robot
A sleep robot? That’s right. Cuddling this bean-shaped bot will help you fall asleep by simulating a calm breathing pattern you can sync your breath to. “This would be especially helpful for someone who benefits from a sensory approach—so kids or someone who likes a lot of pillows,” Dr. Tal says. Deep breathing, which he refers to as diaphragmatic breathing, can help you fall asleep by activating the body’s relaxation response.