7 Natural Sleep Aids + Gadgets for Better Sleep

 
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Not getting enough shut eye? Try these natural sleep aids and gadgets to help you get a better nights sleep.

Getting a good night’s sleep has a direct impact on just about every aspect of your health. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, sleeping less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with several health concerns, including:

  • Weight gain and obesity

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Heart disease and stroke

  • Depression

  • Increased risk of death

Sleeping less than 7 hours also impairs immune function and performance, and increases errors, pain, and risk of accidents (1).

Clearly sleep is fundamental to both mental and physical health, but sadly less than 30% of US adults report getting 7 hours of sleep per night on a regular basis.

Recommended Reading: Tired of Being Tired? Try these science-backed nutrition tips for insomnia

Thankfully, there are some great ways to biohack your sleep naturally without having to rely on sleeping pills and medications with scary side effects. Keep reading for my favorite all natural sleep aids and gadgets for a better night’s sleep.


7 Natural Sleep Aids + Gadgets for Better Sleep

01 - BLACK OUT CURTAINS

Melatonin is a key hormone in our body’s circadian rhythm that helps us feel sleepy, calm, and ready for bed. This powerful sleep hormone also promotes restorative deep sleep during the first half of our sleep cycle.

When the sun sets and it starts getting dark out, our brain release melatonin in preparation for bedtime in a few hours.

Artificial light exposure at night from street lights, car lights, and technology screens suppresses melatonin production, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Blackout curtains are one of the best bio-hacks for better sleep because they keep your bedroom nice and dark, helping to regulate melatonin production. If you work night shifts, blackout curtains are game-changing for ensuring a good night’s sleep even when it’s light outside.

Here is my favorite brand for blackout curtains:

02 - EYE MASK  

When blackout curtains aren’t an option, sleeping with an eye mask is another great way to minimize artificial light exposure at night and stimulate melatonin production. Eye masks are great for travel and are my go-to natural sleep aid for overnight flights. I prefer sleep masks that are made with natural and organic fabrics to minimize chemical exposure. Finding the right fit for your head is important for comfort, so adjustable straps are always a nice option when looking for a sleep mask.

Here are a few of my favorite brands:


03 - SUN LAMP

Getting sunlight during the day helps increase melatonin production in the evening. The amount of sunlight we need to support our circadian rhythm depends on a few factors:

  • Individual biochemistry

  • How much skin is exposed

  • The season of the year

  • Clouds and air quality

  • Where we live

Since there are so many factors that can interfere with our sun exposure, it’s best to aim for at least 20 minutes of sun per day. Spending time by a bright window can also help get enough sunlight to regulate your circadian rhythms.

If you work nights, live in area with little sun exposure or long winters, using light box therapy is a great way to meet your needs for “sun” light.

I recommend options that have at least 10,000 lux with either blue or white light. Place the sunlamp 1 - 2 feet from the side of your face, and use the sun lamp for 15 - 30 minutes per day at around the same time every morning or midday. If you work nights, use the lamp at whatever time is morning or midday for you.

Here are a few of my favorite brands for sun lamps:

 

04 - BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES

Wearing blue light blocking or amber tinted glasses are one of the best ways to biohack your sleep and support melatonin production.

Avoiding blue light at night, and sticking to red and yellow wavelengths of light (and less light overall) helps minimize cortisol production at night and increase melatonin production.

I recommend wearing amber-tinted or blue light blocking glasses 2 - 3 hours before bed every night, especially if you are exposed to artificial light from indoor lights, tv, computer and phone screens

Here are a few of my favorite brands:


05 - THE CALM APP SLEEP STORIES

Anxiety and racing thoughts is another big contributor to sleep issues like insomnia and poor sleep quality. When our brains are idle subconscious thoughts, worry, and fear tend to bubble up to the surface, causing racing thoughts that keep us up at night.

Mindful meditation is one of the best ways to quell these thoughts, calm the mind, and focus on being present and calm in the moment.

My absolute favorite mindfulness meditation app is the Calm App. This app also has a great selection of bedtime stories (aka sleep stories) to help you gradually drift to sleep.


06 - WEIGHTED BLANKET

Weighted blankets are also a great option for people who suffer from insomnia related to anxiety and stress. Similar to swaddling a baby, weighted blankets give a comforting and soothing pressure to the body, increasing sleep quality and total sleep time.

Choose options that weight 10 - 20% of your body weight, and are made of natural materials.

Here is my favorite brand for weighted blankets

07 - WHITE NOISE MACHINE

White noise machines are a great option for light sleepers who get startled or wake up easily from noise. White noise masks high frequency noises, and their repetitive natural sound helps soothe you to sleep and calm your nervous system.

Here are a few of my favorite options:

Tell me, what are your favorite natural sleep aids and gadgets! Any listed here that you’ll be trying?

 

AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE 

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that All Great Nutrition may receive a percentage of a product or service you purchase using the links in the post. You will pay the same price for all products and services, but your purchase helps support our ongoing work to help others be healthy and happy. Thanks for your support!

 

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Hey! I’m Tamar…

the founder of All Great Nutrition, Dietitian, and National Board Certified Health Coach. I help frustrated dieters get back to feeling confident, empowered, and positive about their health.

Want to transform your relationship with food and stop emotional eating? Contact me to learn more about my coaching program.

 

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