When you're having trouble catching some Z's, it can be extremely frustrating. You might have a hard time falling asleep, or find yourself tossing and turning, or waking up a couple of times throughout the night and unable to go back to sleep. Then after an unrestful night, you can be so tired the next day and have a hard time functioning, which can affect a lot of other things in your life. And finally, when you're in bed after that long day, you might even feel like you can't drift off. The cycle never ends for some people.
I don't have to tell you that getting enough sleep is just so important. There are short-term problems like not being alert, impaired memory, relationship stress, and the risk of getting into car accidents. And then there are the long-term issues like health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes that are associated with sleep deprivation, according to The Cleveland Clinic.
Sleep hygiene is so important, and there are a couple of things you can try to improve it. Putting away your phones and other technology as you're getting ready for bed can help. Sticking to a fixed wake-up time can get your body on a certain schedule and routine. Exercise, natural light exposure during the day, reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake, and not eating or exercising too late are all things that might get you better shuteye.
Because I know that people have been struggling with sleep, especially during this pandemic, I polled our editors to see how they've been dealing with their sleep issues. They had a lot of really interesting and helpful ideas, so see what they had to say below.
"I recently made a few upgrades to my bedtime routine, and I am pleased to report I am falling asleep faster and waking up more refreshed.
The newest addition to my 'bedscape' is the Lavender Frost Gel Pillow from Blu Sleep. Infused with soothing lavender essential oils, this pillow not only smells dreamy but also stays cool all night. Paired with a silk pillowcase, I feel like I'm sleeping on a luxurious cloud.
Speaking of dreams, I received a Barefoot Dreams blanket over the holidays, and I finally get what all the hype is about. The texture and subtle weight make it the perfect blanket for watching Netflix on the couch or taking a quick nap on top of the covers. This is a splurge I can definitely recommend.
Also, since I finally got a TV for my bedroom, I have made a concentrated effort to wear my blue light glasses while watching shows in bed. This has helped immensely with eye strain as well as fending off headaches I would typically get from prolonged screen time in the dark.
As a fan of all things aromatherapy, I was excited to discover The Well Organics's Spritz and Roll-on Perfume. Made with 100% organic essential oils, this is an aromatherapy treatment that helps me set the vibe for my space. Weirdly, I use the Awakening spritz when I get into bed, and like the Positivity roll-on throughout the day, Both remind me to take a moment to breathe in, reboot, and reset with intention.
Finally, my PJs needed an upgrade, so I purchased a few cute matching sets. I loathe anything made of synthetic fabrics (they tend to retain heat), so I was pleased to discover these 100% cotton pajamas in several styles at Nordstrom."—Drew Elovitz, director of content strategy and senior managing editor
"Last year, my anxiety skyrocketed (shocker) and it almost always hit me as soon as I got into bed. I was struggling to fall asleep and when I would I'd often wake up, sometimes even into a full-on panic attack. Previously, when I'd go through bouts of sleeplessness, I'd rub a little lavender essential oil on my temples which was always nice, but I knew I needed something more than that. But I've always been a bit skeptical about meditation—it's just never been my thing. I didn't want to resort to taking medication, so I did what anyone would do and took advantage of the Calm app's seven-day free trial and gave it a go. I've been hooked ever since. I still don't understand how or why the sleep meditations help me, but they seriously do and that's all I care about honestly. If you're like me and brushed off meditation, my one piece of advice is to not knock it until you've tried it."—Caitie Schlisserman, managing editor, branded content
"I have such a bad habit of going on my phone before bed or getting some work in, which often leads to headaches and restless sleep. To get out of the habit and help me sleep better, I’ve been keeping a book or a coloring book on my bedside table just so I have something to do before bed that isn’t going on my phone or my laptop. It sounds small, but it makes a big difference. I have always felt like every action must be productive, and while reading a few chapters of fiction or coloring may not be something that’s traditionally considered 'productive,' it's still needed in a sense that sometimes we need breaks from the fast pace of internet, work, etc., and just slow down before we sleep."—Yusra Siddiqui, Who What Wear assistant market editor
"If you like Le Labo and other smoky, woody scents, this unisex scented oil is definitely for you. Once upon a time, I used to always have the little roll-on in my handbag when I traveled and would put a little on my neck and the inside of my wrists. These days, I keep it in the drawer of my bedside table. It's so nice as I drift off to sleep, and my partner loves it, too."—Natalie Cantell, senior director, branded content
"Speaking of things that smell delicious and relaxing, this candle is still my all-time favorite. I've always found lavender (which is meant to be great for a calm sleep) just a little strong for my liking, but coming into our bedroom when my partner has this burning (or, even better, right after it's been blown out) is the best thing there is."—Cantell
"I'll be the first to admit that sleep—and getting enough of it—has never been my strong suit, and this past year in quarantine has only made my insomnia worse (go figure!). Because of this, I really do try to relish whatever precious time I have when I’m finally able to catch some shuteye. In my quest for better sleep, I've picked up some essentials that have elevated my wind-down routine tenfold. Among my current favorite bedtime rituals include using an aromatherapy mist during my nightly showers (the Sleep scent is intoxicating and immediately relaxes me), changing into PJs or a sweatsuit that I love, and slipping under the covers with a weighted eye mask.
Of course, my nights don't always end up like this. But when it does, I've learned that carving out the time for a routine that I've built and love has never not been worthwhile." — Candice Aman, social media editor
I used to not be a bath person, but I've finally come around to the healing power of them. I love taking one when I need to de-stress and unwind after a long day and prepare for bedtime. I'm obsessed with Lord Jones's CBD bath salts—it leaves both my body and mind so relaxed.
I try to limit my phone usage before bed, but I do use it to listen to meditations or calming music before I drift off to sleep. I normally do meditation from Headspace or Peloton as part of my wind-down routine. I find that when I wear my AirPods, I can focus better because of the noise cancellation feature.