Can’t get no sleep? Whether you’re juggling a fast-paced lifestyle, battling a sleep concern, experiencing peri-menopausal ups and downs or expecting a baby – this one is for you. With World Sleep Day we’ve rounded up (and personally tested) some of the very best sleep products that help with different types of sleep concerns to help you bank a better night…
Whatever your age or stage in life, we don't need to tell you how important sleep is. The NHS recommends that adults should on average aim for between 7 and 9 hours sleep… but are you getting that? Apparently not, as according to Direct Line’s ‘Need For Sleep’ study last year, nearly three quarter of UK adults (71%) aren’t.. and trust us, we can relate.
There are so many things which can interfere with our sleep - from what we eat and drink, to our stress levels and even fluctuating hormone levels. With this in mind, it’s no wonder so many of us struggle to sleep well!
Whether it’s pregnancy, the menopause, a hectic work schedule or perhaps you’re battling a common sleep concern, this World Sleep Day we’ve rounded up some of the very best sleep products to help you bank a better night, and our team has each tested them, depending on our sleep needs. Read on to figure out what might help you catch some zzzz's.
For Stress, Anxiety And Racing MindsIf you have a hard time switching off after a busy day and often feel anxious lying in bed, a weighted blanket could be one answer. Often thought of as the adult alternative to swaddling, they work by giving a type of deep pressure stimulation (a form of therapeutic touch) that mimics the sensation of a hug or squeeze. This pressure works to activate your parasympathetic nervous system which then lowers your heart rate, calms your breathing and encourages you to relax. Give this one from Aeyla a go. 92% of their customers said they slept better after seven days!
Our Verdict – Alice’s husband has one of these so she stole it for a few nights to try it out. She claims the weighted blanket helped her falls asleep faster, especially if she was feeling restless or stressed. She also said she slept deeper with it and woke up feeling like she’d been in a coma for 8 hours – sign us up!
Some other nifty little devices that are worth trying include this Sleep Aid Device from Dodow which emits light onto your bedroom ceiling for you to sync your breathing to as it slowly shrinks and grows. This too will help slow your breathing and distract you from your thoughts. Similarly this handheld Melo device will also help you refocus your breath and create a moment of calm – great for getting you off to sleep but for also using during the night if you wake too. One last tip if you’re an overthinker… try jotting down your thoughts before bed to try and clear your mind.
For Those Who Don’t Wake Easily
Mornings not your thing? Never feel refreshed upon wakening? Forever wanting to hit snooze? If you find this is exceptionally hard on darker mornings, you could be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is often a low mood due to a lack of sunlight and can have a negative impact on your circadian rhythm… AKA your internal body clock. We love the Lumie Sunrise Alarm which works by introducing light into your room gradually meaning you can wake more naturally. The guys at Lumie really know their stuff and have been researching and developing these clever clocks for over 30 years. Whilst we can’t promise it will suddenly make you a morning person, but it will make you feel a little brighter first thing… literally!
Our Verdict - Equi’s head of customer services, Becca, is a Mum of 3 and has always hated mornings, especially in Winter, but she finds her Lumie clock a game changer. She sets it early and it really helps to be woken with light and not someone shouting Mummy! She also found the night red light is really calming and used to use it for night feeds when her baby was tiny.
For Pregnancy Sleep Disturbances
Poor sleep during pregnancy can be for a whole host of different reasons… in the first trimester, early hormonal changes can leave you tired but wired, nauseous and emotional, whereas later in your third trimester, with regular kicks, muscle twitches and restless legs, it can be harder to get comfortable at night. Since comfort is key to good sleep, we’re all for a good quality pregnancy pillow. Our favourite? This one from Bb-Hugme. It’s adjustable meaning you can find the right firmness and shape to suit you throughout the different stages of pregnancy.
Our Verdict - Alice is a huge fan of this having relied on it through both her pregnancies when she had pelvic girdle issues. She also found it a great feeding pillow once the baby arrived!
If you’re perhaps looking for something a little more compact, try this Dream Belt which provides support for your growing bump to help relieve pressure and weight at night.
For Those Experiencing Peri-Menopausal Sleep Changes
The menopause brings with it a lot of change… hormonally, physically and psychologically – all of which will likely impact your sleep. First things first, our Menopause Formula can help to counteract lots of these symptoms by helping to balance fluctuating hormones. This can then help with depleted energy, low mood, skin changes and even hot flushes. KSM66® Ashwagandha is also helpful here because it helps to reduce cortisol, the hormone that can make you feel wired I the evening even though you’re tired – maybe why a study showed this significantly improved sleep in women taking it for 2 months (1).
Whilst we’d recommend keeping a fan by your bedside, for hot flushes, you should also rethink your bedding. Switch to a lower tog duvet and opt for breathable fabrics like bamboo. These 100% bamboo sheets from Panda London are perfect. If you’re really looking to invest in bettering your sleep (invest being the operative word because they don’t come cheap…) take a look at the auto-cooling Pod cover from Eight Sleep which works by adjusting to your optimal temperature. It adjusts as and when your temperature does throughout the night to help keep you cool.
For Anyone & Everyone Wanting Better SleepIf you’re just on the lookout for things to slot into your nightly routine, we’re big advocates of taking a warm bath. Not only does it encourage you to relax and soothe achy bodies, but it also helps to change your body’s core temperature and signal to your body that it’s time for bed. Try dropping in these Relax + Sleep Himalayan Bath Salts from Anatome… they’re enriched with calming chamomile and lavender to help induce deep, restorative sleep. Another favourite of ours is the NEOM Wellbeing Pod which diffuses a sleepy scent into your bedroom to further help you unwind. It also has an auto timer so you can set it for an hour whilst you read. Another one we just had to mention are these Kokoon Nightbuds which are super comfy – even for side sleepers. They not only mute any disturbances, but they also have sensors to monitor your sleep and will auto-fade out as your drift off.
Our Verdict - Rosie tried out the Nightbuds and was a huge fan – she said it helped her sleep deeper and was less disturbed. Only ‘problem’ is that you may not hear the kids calling out for you!
For The Sleep CuriousTrackable, wearable sleep tech has become huge over recent years thanks to its ability to help you monitor your sleep patterns and be more mindful of the hours you are (or aren’t!) getting. Our top pick is the WHOOP band which uses biometric tracking to record key metrics. It will accurately measure your sleep stages and will even recommend how much sleep YOU personally need based on the data it records. There’s even a haptic alarm setting which will gently vibrate to wake you at the optimal time. Still not sold? It’s not just sleep it will help you with… it will also give you extensive feedback on your overall wellbeing by measuring things like your heart rate, recovery, temperature and oxygen levels. If you are into exercise and training, this one’s a wise purchase.
If this is TMI for you and you'd rather not know the details of how badly you're sleeping, another one to try instead could be the Sensate – which is a wearable device that uses infrasonic vibrations to help you relax deeper and meditate better, whilst also supporting the nervous system by stimulating the vagus nerve. Don’t know what any of that means? Essentially you lay down with this egg-like device on your heart, tune your earphones in to the app that goes with it and breathe in time with the vibrations.
Our Verdict – Our head of logistics tried the Sensate and is now obsessed! She said it brought her meditations to a whole new level.
- Langade, D., Thakare, V., Kanchi, S., & Kelgane, S. Clinical evaluation of the pharmacological impact of ashwagandha root extract on sleep in healthy volunteers and insomnia patients: A double-blind, randomized, parallel group, placebo-controlled study Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 2020, 264:113276.