After a month of sleep issues, I decided it was time to do something about it—other than stare at my ceiling at 3 a.m. and watch every Beyoncé video that exists on YouTube until, quite literally, the sun comes up. How did I get here? Well, I was a daily meditator, but I slowly stopped prioritizing it, and it’s no coincidence that my anxiety increased as my mindfulness decreased. While the benefits of meditation can set in pretty quickly, I wanted something instantaneous. (Give me relief and give it to me fast.)
Now there are a handful of wind-down–related items that I’ve started to incorporate into my bedtime routine. Here are the products that have been taking me on the express highway to quality sheep counting.
The Weighted Blanket
Gravity blankets have been shown to be an effective calming mechanism (in one study, 63 percent of participants reported feeling less anxious after sleeping with one). Adding this blanket to my bedding helped me get my full eight hours, plus it’s the best-looking throw I’ve seen. The chunky blanket is hand-crocheted out of organic cotton (that’s it!) and available in three different weight options.
The Magnesium Spray
The symptoms might be minor, but magnesium deficiency can negatively impact your sleep, muscles, and nerve function. I like to spritz this cooling spray, which also contains lavender, on my neck right before crawling under the sheets. It helps me nod off immediately.
The Herbal Tea
I’m head over heels for this potent kick of ginger, which tastes of sweet galangal and golden turmeric and helps me get in the mind-set for winding down, screen-free. I try to drink it an hour or two before bed while nestled under my weighted blanket. I swear that even just holding a warm mug while reading a book helps my brain slow down.
The Sleep Spray
Anywhere between 30 to five minutes before bed, I’ll spray some of this light, soothing mist onto my pillows. It’s full of natural ingredients (frankincense, lavender, and cedarwood, to name a few) that promise to relieve tension and encourage a sense of tranquility. Essential oils not only smell great, but they can also provide powerful relief for disrupted sleep.
London-based brand De Mamiel has taken aromatherapy one step further by creating products that don’t just make you sleepy—they address what’s causing your sleep problems and fixes them over time. And the company’s Soothe Sleep Series Roll-On is a dream: Just add a small amount of balm to your hands, place them over your nose, and breathe deeply for a minimum of three breaths. At the end of the day—literally—it comes down to finding which tricks work best for you, and every evening is another opportunity to try again.
Pillow preferences are a very personal thing (there are lots of different levels of softness and firmness, as well as a ton of material options to choose from). As someone who has struggled with neck pain, this memory foam pillow has been a game changer. The fabric is also designed with ventilation, so my head never gets too hot either.