After a long day, the only thing you probably want to do is crawl into your bed and drift off into a deep sleep. But if you frequently find yourself tossing and turning in your bed, struggling to get the rest you need, you may be experiencing insomnia.
Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell, a board certified pediatrician and certified sleep specialist, described insomnia in an email exchange with HuffPost as the difficulty of falling asleep, staying asleep and/or waking up earlier than desired.
There are two types of insomnia: acute, which is short-term, and chronic, which is long-term and occurs when you experience symptoms that happen at least three nights per week for at least three months. But regardless of which type of insomnia you experience, Holliday-Bell said there are many possible causes, with the most common being stress and anxiety.
“This could be from an acute stressor such a move, new job, death in the family or other similar stressor. It could also be from more generalized daily stressors such as work, family or financial constraints,” she said. “When the brain is wired and active due to these stressors, it makes it difficult to transition into sleep and can lead to lighter, poorer quality sleep.”
But all hope is not lost if your sleep routine is in dire need of improvement and you’re tired of your eyes carrying bags as accessories. Below, we chose four products based on Holliday-Bell’s guidance that may help with decreasing your bouts of insomnia, plus items previously recommended to HuffPost by sleep experts for getting better z’s.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change. The experts we consulted for this story do not necessarily endorse the products ahead unless otherwise noted.
A sleep mask
One of the culprits of poor quality sleep is the presence of distracting light, which can keep you up later that you may want to be. To prevent this, Dr. Angela Holliday-Bell
, a board certified pediatrician and certified sleep specialist, suggested wearing a blackout sleep mask to block out ambient light that can interfere with falling and staying asleep.
We chose this mask that comes in black, blue and red, and is silk on both sides for comfortable snoozing. It even has an fully adjustable head band so you can get the perfect fit before you drift off to to sleep.
A pair of blackout curtains
If you prefer not to sleep with a mask on, Holliday-Bell recommends installing blackout curtains over your windows to block outside light. We chose these curtains that come in 36 colors and various sizes up to 55 by 96 inches. You'll be thankful for their insulation against summer heat, too.
A weighted blanket
Holliday-Bell also suggested "a weighted blanket which has been shown in research to calm anxiety through deep pressure touch stimulation, often leading to better and deeper quality sleep."
Our choice is this soft blanket that comes in dark gray, pink, white and light gray, and in weights ranging from 7-30 pounds.
A white noise sound machine
"A white noise or sleep sounds machine to block out ambient sounds that can interfere with sleep" may help, too, said Holliday-Bell.
We found a highly-rated sound machine that comes in blue, white and gold and with six soothing sounds: white noise, thunder, ocean, rain, summer night and brook. It has an optional auto-off timer with 15-, 30- and 60-minute options.
LED light-dimming stickers to block disruptive lights from household electronics
Sanam Hafeez, a New York City-based neuropsychologist and director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services,previously told HuffPost
that the tiny and overly bright lights commonly found on televisions, WiFi routers and alarm clocks might be impacting your ability to fall asleep at night. This is because they often contain blue light, which may impact your circadian rhythm, keeping you feeling awake and alert.
This variety pack contains over 100 stickers in assorted sizes to help dim between 50% and 80% of light. They can be cut to accommodate particular light sources and don't leave a sticky residue when removed.
An oscillating tower fan for lowering room temperatures
Dr. Abhinav Singh
, a faculty director for the Indiana Sleep Center and sleep expert at the Sleep Foundation,
previously told HuffPost
that cooling your space down to 67 degrees can help prepare your body for sleep and make a better external environment.
This 42-inch oscillating cooling fan by Lasko can quietly provide a powerful cooling flow even in larger spaces, thanks to the high-reaching tower design and its wide oscillation. There are three fan speed settings, including an ultra-quiet nighttime setting that automatically decreases fan speed and dims control lights while you sleep. It also comes with a remote so you can control settings from the comfort of your bed.