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Getting a good night's rest can help set the tone for the next day, which is why it's so important to go to bed feeling calm and relaxed. Whether it's the stress of homeschooling your kids or adjusting to a new lifestyle, it can be hard to shut your mind off before bed.
According to sleep expert and author Tzivia Gover, going to bed with a clear head can make all the difference.
"The number one sleep stealer is in your head," Gover said. "Bringing negative thoughts, problems, plans, and regrets to bed crushes your chances of getting much-needed rest. To make matters worse, during some of our natural sleep cycles, mood-boosting neurochemicals, like serotonin, are in short supply. So, whatever stress we bring to bed with us is amplified in the night."
If you're looking for some soothing bedtime essentials, we put together a list of expert-recommended products that might finally give you a stress-free night.
Stress-reducing sleep accessories
Gover suggests investing in a sleep mask to help calm your eyes as your head hits the pillow.
"A cozy eye mask will keep out the light," Gover told us. "Also, the gentle pressure on the eyes is comforting, and when our eyes are still, our thoughts settle down, too."
This mask is not only an Amazon bestseller, but it also features an adjustable strap for added comfort. It's made of mulberry silk on both sides for a gentle and smooth feel.
Gover recommends using a lavender-scented lotion before bed to help ease away worries.
"Lavender-scented lotion is great to massage into your hands or feet before bed," Gover said. "It helps move your attention away from your busy brain and down to your extremities. Plus, the lavender scent invites relaxation."
This popular option from Aveeno is meant to relax you while providing up to 24 hours of moisture for your skin.
Gover says that journaling can be beneficial for clearing your thoughts before bed, and even in the morning too.
"A notebook or journal to write in before bed is great because journaling helps clear your thoughts for a good night’s rest," told Gover. "Writing dreams in the morning can help you work through challenging emotions in a creative and meaningful way."
Weighted blankets are becoming a popular option for those looking to unwind at the end of the day.
"The weighted component is based on the idea that the pressure brings a sense of comfort and likely stimulates the serotonin system, which then promotes sleep," Rebecca Spencer, professor of psychological & brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts, previously told Shop TODAY.
This weighted blanket by YnM is designed with bamboo, a naturally breathable material that helps ventilate heat.
If you're specifically looking for a cooling weighted blanket that's suitable for the warmer months, licensed psychologist Dr. Hayden C. Finch says the key is to find the right fabric.
"For the hot sleepers, bamboo fabrics or other cooling fabrics can be more comfortable," Finch said.
Finch recommends this blanket because of its breathable material that's also designed to be noiseless as you move throughout the night.
Blue light can also have a major impact on our sleep, which is why investing in a pair of blue light blocking glasses might be beneficial. According to Spencer, dim lights help you fall asleep faster by allowing our brain to release sleep-aiding chemicals.
"There are also products to dim light, particularly blue light, in the evening," Spencer told us. "Dim light not only gives us that psychological sense of calm, but it also allows you to release melatonin which will aid sleep."
Aromatherapy has become a popular way to relax and de-stress, whether it's through a diffuser or simply spraying essential oils on your pillow.
Dawn Shipley, founder of Blue Dawn Aromatherapy, recently told us that essential oils such as lavender, ylang ylang and chamomile can help relieve stress before bedtime.
"Aromatherapy can enhance our health in many ways," Shipley said. "Using aromatherapy at home can be as simple as inhaling a drop of oil on a tissue, though diffusers, baths, topical ointments and steam inhalation."
Last but not least, it's important to have comfortable bedding if you're looking to drift off into a slumber. This breathable sheet set by Casper has tons of rave reviews, and select sizes are currently 50% off at the moment.
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