Falling asleep fast and finding a real, therapeutic deep sleep is tough—especially now when our jobs, anxieties, and iPhone screens practically run our existences. We've been conditioned to go, go, go, and, only now are we starting to see the consequences. I certainly have. As such, I've made a distinct effort to change things around (i.e. get more sleep, live a healthier life, the usual). To counteract the stress and fatigue, we've done a bit of research to find more restful sleep.
I polled the editors here at Byrdie HQ, our readers, and a few experts for some science-backed research and advice. Below, find the best, easiest options to work with, from weighted blankets to supplements and muscle salve to organizing your bedroom.
As someone who suffers anxiety, falling asleep as my mind races can be tough. I was recommended this weighted blanket by a friend, and it has transformed my nighttime routine. See, weighted blankets have been used in niche medical communities for years, but recent studies have shown they can be used to fall asleep faster and sleep through the night more deeply. The blanket is engineered to be around 10% of your body weight, providing a grounding experience that is both calming and shockingly comfortable. It feels like someone is giving you the best, snuggliest hug of your life—all night long. I crawl into bed, pull this blanket up over my shoulders, and my anxiety is soothed and I'm practically cooed off to sleep.
One of our readers, Victoria, recommends a muscle rub for better sleep. She says, "I massage a CBD balm into any tense or sore parts of my body—cannabinoids (CBDs) are a non-psychoactive byproduct of the marijuana plant, and since the ingredient is shown to offer significant relief for pain and stress, more and more topical products are hitting the market. I've found it to be a godsend when PMS cramps are keeping me awake. That coupled with Whole Foods' store-brand sleep supplement has been knocking me out lately."
As someone who fancies herself a night owl, I used to spend my nights working, watching television, and scrolling through my phone with abandon. Once I realized how sluggish such a schedule was making me feel during the day, I decided to take action. These gummies have been the most helpful accessory to pair with my new bedtime (I aim for 10 p.m. on nights when I don't have anything else going on) because they really work. They're a mix of melatonin, L-Theanine, and botanicals like chamomile and lemon balm, which helps to boost your natural sleep hormone, encourage calm feelings, and support a healthy sleep cycle. I chew them up and feel drowsy within the next 20 minutes, and I sleep all through the night. They're a miracle.
Sleepwear company Lunya launched a collection of pieces made with a fiber called Celliant, which has been clinically proven to increase oxygen levels in the body by 10% to 24% in a healthy population—and healthy oxygen levels help your cells grow stronger and injuries heal quicker, increase endurance, and minimize areas of pain, which all sounds pretty incredible. However, it has also been clinically proven to help your body maintain an ideal temperature, which results in a more restful and deeper sleep. According to studies, when Celliant was used in bedding, subjects fell asleep 15 minutes faster on average, and 50% of the participants reported a noticeable improvement in the overall quality of their sleep. Our editorial director, Faith, is a fan and delves into what happened when she tried them out for herself.
Research from the National Sleep Foundation found people who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep than those who don’t. The logic is that a cluttered room can create anxious or restless feelings. Doesn't that ring true in your own life? When my room is clean and organized, I feel a sense of relief wash over me as soon as I walk in. When it's out of sorts, I feel even more stressed trying to navigate everything strewn all over the place. A clean room will soothe you and rock you to sleep. It's science.
A favorite of our assistant editor Erin, these blue light–blocking glasses help you unplug and fall asleep easier after a day of staring at various screens (your computer, your phone, etc.). "While light of any kind can suppress the secretion of melatonin, blue light at night does so more powerfully," explains an article from the Harvard Health Publishing. "Harvard researchers and their colleagues conducted an experiment comparing the effects of 6.5 hours of exposure to blue light to exposure to green light of comparable brightness. The blue light suppressed melatonin for about twice as long as the green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much (three hours versus an hour and a half)," the article reveals. These glasses work to cut down blue-light absorption by 30%, limiting the overexposure to blue light emitted from screens and indoor lighting. As a result, you'll fall asleep faster each night after wearing them.
I have read in various research that regulating your temperature is really important in finding deeper sleep. Most experts recommend that you keep your bedroom between 65º and 70º since our body's core temperature drops just before we fall asleep. But I hate sleeping with a comforter that's anything less than opulent and cloud-like. Finding Buffy's comforter was a dream come true. It's made with silk-soft, ultra-light premium eucalyptus fibers, which make it uniquely fluffy and light as well as more sustainable than other fabrics. See, the plant-based fabric is ultra breathable and moderates your temperature while you sleep, making sure the conditions are optimal for better rest.