When we were growing up, no one ever told us that getting a good night’s sleep would be one of the biggest challenges we’d face daily as adults. And yet, here we are, trying everything at our disposal that could replicate the blissful sendoff into dreamland that we experienced as kids.
Now more than ever, it can seem like a nightly struggle just to get ourselves into bed, let alone get quality rest. The stress of the day — including work, childcare, and the 24-hour news cycle — seems to really save itself for consideration once you get horizontal, no? In our opinion, one of the most essential steps for conquering sleepytime stress is creating an evening routine designed to let your melatonin take over and push you over the edge to “lights out.” Here, our editors share their favorite products from their own nighttime regimens, including weighted blankets, special sleeping caps, eye masks, and more.
The SLAPTM (Satin-Lined Cap) by Grace Eleyae®
Who: Joslyn Winkfield, Creative Lead, Digital
Why: One of my biggest sleep stressors is how to keep my natural kinks and curls in place while I get some Zzzs. Even though I use a silk pillowcase, leaving my hair uncovered at night usually results in a dry, frizzy bad hair day the next morning. I love this satin-lined cap from Grace Eleyae because it doesn’t look like a headscarf, or worse, a bonnet. I definitely do not want to go to bed looking like a Victorian lady in waiting. To the unsuspecting eye, it looks like a sleek cotton beanie, yet underneath its cool exterior is a layer of strand-protecting charmeuse satin. Best part? It has an elastic band sewn in that actually keeps it on my head at night, perfect for the wild sleeper.
Dove® Whipped Lavender & Coconut Milk Body Cream
Why: I don’t think there is any smell I love more than lavender for bedtime, so I’m always seeking out any products that boast it as an ingredient. All of Dove’s body creams are heavenly, but this one in particular has the soothing scent of lavender (plus coconut!) in a nicely-sized 10-ounce tub of whipped goodness. It’s perfect to slather on after an evening shower, and truly locks in the moisture I like my skin to get before I crawl under the covers. Plus, there’s nothing like a little nighttime luxury at a drugstore price!
Quility® Weighted Blanket
Who: Emily Orofino, Senior Beauty Editor
Why: I have tried many, many methods for improving my sleep over the past 20 years — blackout curtains, earplugs, whale songs, you name it — and while they’ve all had a cumulative positive effect, none of them have been quite so beneficial as this blanket. The weight is evenly distributed throughout the fabric, so you can throw it over your whole bed and let the soothing pressure help knock you out (although, I admittedly like to fold it in half so it’s extra heavy!). It also minimizes my ability to toss and turn all night, meaning my sleep is deeper. If you’re not sure if this blanket is for you, ask yourself: Do you enjoy the weighted vest they drape over you during a dentist’s X-ray? If so, give it a shot! Simply pick a blanket that’s close to 15 or 20 percent of your bodyweight in pounds, snuggle under it, and wait for the Zzzs to roll in . . . just be prepared to struggle a little more when you make the bed.
Sagely NaturalsTM Drift & DreamTM Capsules
Why: I’ve taken a lot of different melatonin supplements, but this is the only one that has reliably kept me asleep without also affecting my mood the next day. Though it may read like a bowl of Alpha-Bits®, the blend of broad spectrum CBD, 5-HTP, and GABA promotes calmness and relaxation, while lemon balm and passionflower help relieve stress. The result: a gentle sendoff into dreamland.
As always, talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement.
Jo Malone® London Lavender & Musk Pillow Mist
Why: Aside from having a sultry boudoir perfume in your scent wardrobe, you might think that there’s no way to incorporate fragrance into your evening routine — not so! Snag yourself a pillow mist, like this new one from Jo Malone London. A few minutes before hopping in bed, simply add a few spritzes to your bed linens, then slide between your sheets. The soothing blend of English lavender and musk hugs you like a calming cocoon, making it easier to drift off.
UGG® Pom Pom Fleece-Lined Socks
Why: Fascinatingly enough, there are actual studies that show wearing socks to bed can help you fall asleep faster, as they help regulate your body temperature. Your mileage may vary, but my personal experience has absolutely shown a correlation between my sleeping habits and socks. The cozier, the better, in my opinion! Fleece-lined socks, like these from UGG, keep my tootsies toasty without making me sweaty or overheat — plus, they double as impromptu slippers.
Moon Juice® Magnesi-Om®
Who: Thia Laurain, Senior Social Media Editor
Why: This relaxation-inducing, magnesium-infused drink powder has replaced my nightly cup of tea as my soothing, bedtime beverage of choice. One tiny teaspoon mixed into a glass of water is all you need to reap the benefits of three kinds of magnesium, which have been shown to relax the body by reducing muscle aches and enhancing feelings of calm. I love that the not-so-sweet, natural mixed berry flavor isn’t saccharine or fake-tasting. Plus, in my experience, the pretty pink color the powder creates in a glass of water has added mood-boosting benefits.
Slip® Silk Sleep Mask in Charcoal
Why: There are many things in my nighttime routine that are far from glamorous — mouthguard, pimple patches, oil-swathed skin — but a silky sleep mask ensures I feel like an Old Hollywood screen siren whenever my head hits the pillow. While I’ve tried several different brands, my favorite is this padded, plush, totally-light-blocking beauty from Slip. I love this sleep mask so much that I have three at home, all in the same sleek, gender-neutral charcoal gray: one reserved strictly for travel, one for nightly use, and one for the sporadic occasions when my boyfriend (begrudgingly) asks to use one, too.
Diptyque® NarguileTM Classic Candle
Why: We all know I love a scented candle (as evidenced here and here). So, it should come as no surprise that basking in the soothing scent and warm, cozy glow of a candle is part of my nightly bedtime routine. My candle choices vary by mood and season (I consider them part of my extended “fragrance wardrobe”), but my current favorite is the new Narguile candle from Diptyque. With delicate notes of warm spices, smokey tobacco leaves, and the delicately floral sweetness of raw honey, this scent is the equivalent of getting tucked into bed by your mom while wearing fuzzy socks and clutching a belly-warming mug of decaf chai. Simply put, it’s cozy, cuddly candle perfection.
IGK® AntisocialTM Overnight Bond-Building Dry Hair Mask
Who: Madisen Theobald, Senior Social Media Editor
Why: I love going to bed with either freshly showered, towel-dried hair or some type of decadent hair mask coating strands. But, recently, I discovered I don’t need to go to bed with wet hair smelling of Olaplex® or globbed up in a hair mask — I can simply do an overnight dry mask. For the uninitiated, a dry mask is a leave-in, bond-building spray that can help protect hair from the inside out. I am currently obsessed with the IGK Antisocial Overnight Bond-Building Dry Hair Mask, not just for its conditioning benefits (it’s infused with silk extract to soften strands), but also due to the sleep-enhancing scent of coconut, pink pineapple, and eucalyptus. It helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. Once I awake, my hair looks and feels extremely smooth, refreshed, and nothing like bedhead.
This WorksTM Deep SleepTM Pillow Spray
Why: When my Advil® PM doesn’t do the trick, I reach inside my bedside table drawer and grab my This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. I spritz a bit onto my pillows and take a few deep breaths to inhale a sweet blend of lavender, vetiver, and chamomile. The sleep-inducing smell lingers until I fall asleep, which usually takes about eight to 10 minutes with this stuff. Not only am I out like a light, but this soothing pillow spray has the ability to reduce my stress and improve the overall quality of my sleep.
Bucky® 40 Blinks Sleep MaskTM
Who: Sophie Wirt, Beauty Editor
Why: I started wearing sleep masks a few months go, and they’ve been a game changer in terms of my snooze quality. I’ve since realized, however, that most masks don’t play well with lash extensions. After waking up to crushed, haphazard lashes one too many times, I decided to look for one that could accommodate my faux flutters. This one has a flexible, convex cup design that gives enough clearance for the longest of lashes — and, true to its name, you can even blink while you’re wearing it. I’m also partial to the adjustable velcro strap, which fits my larger-than-average head without feeling too snug. The cherry on top: Bucky 40 Blinks comes in numerous fun patterns. (I’m partial to the cheetah print!)
Maude® Burn® no. 1
Why: Candles, like sultry perfumes, are an integral part of my bedtime routine. I don’t generally care which candle I burn — as long as it’s musky, plummy, or otherwise cozy-sexy. This one from Brooklyn-based personal care brand, Maude, popped up on my Instagram® feed one day (thanks, targeted advertising!) and I was instantly lured in. Not only does it fulfill my luxe fragrance requirements with the likes of amber and medjool date, but it opened my eyes to a new bedtime ritual I hadn’t considered: massage. Unlike most candlewax, Maude’s is specifically formulated to be poured over — and rubbed into — tired, dry skin. The formula contains jojoba and soybean oils, and leaves my skin feeling like silk come morning. Win-win!
Natrol® Melatonin Gummies
Who: Cat Matta, Copy Editor & Fact-Checker
Why: For my entire adult life — more than 20 years now — I have been a chronic insomniac. Whatever the reason, I could be absolutely zen all day, but the moment my head hits the pillow, to-do lists for near and far swamp my brain, and my thoughts are flooded with potential scenarios (likely and not) for situations that have, might, or can occur. The more I try and shut it off, the louder and more hyper-verbal my mind’s voice seems to become. I’ve tried everything, from teas, tonics, and baths to cognitive behavioral “sleep hygiene” and prescription sleep medication. No luck . . . until I came across Natrol Melatonin Gummies. They have a whopping 10mg of non-GMO, vegetarian, and gluten-free melatonin. I take a dose 20 minutes or so before hitting the hay, and (wandering mind be gone!) I’m snoozing like a baby.
As always, talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medication or supplement.
LATHER® Quiet Night Pillow MistTM
Why: After taking the aforementioned melatonin gummies, I head to my bedroom as part of my “sleep hygiene” routine (it works much better for me when paired with the supplements than as a standalone therapeutic process). This involves establishing (and keeping to!) a regular bedtime routine. The idea is that familiar nighttime rituals can help prompt your body to recognize that it’s time to sleep. In my case, I then turn on my fan for a little white background noise, and spritz the Quiet Night Pillow Mist on my pillows. Then, I slink my way into the sheets and am quickly enveloped in the scent of calming lavender, ylang-ylang, cedarwood, ho wood, and lemon. As if laying in a field full of flowers, I can usually then drift serenely into dreamland.
Some complimentary products were provided to the authors for the purpose of writing this article.
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