8 Sleep Aids That Keep You Asleep Through The Night, According To Experts
As William Shakespeare said, "He who sleeps feels not the toothache," which can loosely be interpreted to mean that sleep can give you a few sweet hours where your troubles take a freakin' seat, and the world just melts away. Well, at least, that can happen for those who are actually able to fall and stay asleep, anyway. Yes, for many, sleep can be a rather elusive necessity, but rest assured (pun only mildly intended), there are sleep aids that actually keep you asleep through the whole night, and I've rounded up some expert-recommended products to make things as easy as possible.
As frustrating as it is to have so much trouble getting to sleep at night, remember that you are far from alone in this struggle. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45 percent of Americans have said poor sleep regularly affects their daily routines, and what's more, NPR reports that as many as 60 million Americans struggle with insomnia. And when you're constantly trying to function on lack of sleep, you might have to endure things like mood swings and a weakened immune system, according to Healthline. Bottom line: Never underestimate the power of a good night's sleep.
If you're majorly tossing and turning when you lay down at night, try a few of these expert-recommended sleep aids to help you get that uninterrupted snooze you deserve.
1. A Wall Plugin That Creates A "Sound Blanket" In Your Room
The Nightingale is a unit you can plug into the wall in your bedroom, and it creates something called a "sound blanket," which essentially masks other noises that might otherwise keep you awake by sending out "customized, comfortable ambient sounds."
According to a 2016 clinical trial done at Harvard Medical School, this "smart home sleep system" can help you fall asleep 38 percent faster than under normal conditions. Plug it in, customize the sounds you want using an app on your phone, and you're good to go.
2. Blackout Curtains To Help You Snooze Past Sunrise
"If your bedroom is too bright or you work the night shift, blackout curtains or an eye mask can help you stay asleep longer," Dr. Nikole Benders-Hadi, a board-certified psychiatrist with Doctor on Demand, tells Elite Daily.
The National Sleep Foundation backs this up, too: According to the organization, making sure your room is completely dark can make a huge difference when you're trying to fall and stay asleep, so consider all sources of light that might be making their way into your room:
Survey your room for any other sources of artificial light, for example, street lamps or porch lights, or even the glow from the power buttons of electronics like TV's or bright alarm clocks.
Once you get all that light out of there, you're golden.
3. A Night Light Designed To Help You Wind Down
According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, exposure to too much light in your bedroom can suppress and shorten your body's production of melatonin, aka the hormone that helps you fall asleep. And, as sleep expert Luis F. Buenaver, Ph.D., C.B.S.M., told Johns Hopkins Medicine,
Melatonin levels rise about two hours before bedtime. Create optimal conditions for it to do its job by keeping the lights low before bed.
Get yourself a light-therapy lamp like the one above (which also doubles as a white noise machine!), or even a not-too-bright light to use when you get up to go to the bathroom at night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation.
4. A Drink Just For Bedtime
Rob Bent, a food and beverage scientist at Som Sleep, tells Elite Daily that this nighttime beverage can help you fall and stay asleep, thanks to its active, snooze-optimizing ingredients.
“Magnesium and vitamin B6 help ensure your body’s natural sleep cycle is running as smoothly as possible," Bent explains. "L-Theanine and GABA help promote relaxation...and as you transition into this sleep-adjacent state, melatonin acts as the trigger that starts the series of events in your body associated with actually falling asleep."
Science doesn't lie, people.
5. White Noise That Works For You
According to the National Sleep Foundation, white noise works for a pretty interesting reason:
White noise works by reducing the difference between background sounds and a "peak" sound, like a door slamming, giving you a better chance to sleep through it undisturbed.
Mind you, you can think outside the box a little when it comes to figuring out a type of white noise that works for you. For instance, metaphysical expert Dr. Athena Perrakis, of Sage Goddess, tells Elite Daily she often falls asleep while listening to a video that plays the sound of a heartbeat.
"It's the first sound you hear in the womb," she says, adding that it has centering effect that can lull you to dreamland.
If the heartbeat video isn't for you, spend some time on YouTube to see what else is out there. Whether it's a gentle, constant shushing sound, or the pitter-patter of soft rain drops, you're bound to find something that makes those eyelids feel heavy.
6. A Fancy Pillow That's A Total Game-Changer
According to the product's description, the Sleep Crown is a "natural sleep aid that provides gentle pressure over the crown of the head," blocks out light, and even helps muffle any sounds around you in the bedroom that are keeping you up.
In other words, it basically includes everything you'd ever look for in a sleep aid, but it's all rolled into one, super cozy package.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar To Help Your Hormones Do Their Thing
A little bit of apple cider vinegar before bed will do wonders for your pineal gland, which is a part of your brain that controls the secretion of melatonin and governs your sleep cycles. According to Dr. Perrakis, your pineal glands get calcified and harden over the years, which makes it much more difficult for the gland to do its job.
"All the things in our environment calcify your pineal gland... they're just covered in layers of calcium," she tells Elite Daily.
And while this might seem super weird, doing things that will "decalcify" your pineal gland can really help you sleep, says Perrakis. She recommends using toothpaste without fluoride, drinking filtered water, staying away from processed foods as much as possible, cutting down on meat, and of course, drinking apple cider vinegar.
8. A Supplement To Naturally Calm You Down
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., a sleep expert, medical doctor, and nutrition expert, suggests using this magnesium-based supplement to help you relax and fall asleep.
"Magnesium also relieves the muscle tension that can prevent restful sleep, and activates GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter of the central nervous system, and activation of GABA(A) receptors favors sleep," Dr. Dean tells Elite Daily.
The fact that these babies are cherry-flavored certainly doesn't hurt, either.