If you know someone who has trouble sleeping, how great would it be to give them something that might help them sleep better?
As someone who’s suffered from insomnia for many years, I know how nice it is when something comes along that makes a difference, however small.
So I’ve compiled this list of gifts which I think most people who have difficulty sleeping would appreciate. Hopefully you’ll find something here that provides the wonderful gift of a better night’s sleep.
When neither silence nor music help, white noise comes to the rescue
Although earplugs and music are probably the most common ways to block out noise at night, there’s an alternative that many people swear by.
In some situations, white noise can actually do a better job at masking sound coming from outside the bedroom. It’s also a great way to concentrate when studying or working, cope with tinnitus, and even babies find it calming because it simulates the sound they were used to in the womb.
The Lectrofan is a simple, yet highly efficient, white noise generator. With a choice of either fan sounds or pure white noise, and 10 different settings for each, you can find the right level to drown out whatever sound the outside world is throwing at you.
It might not be everyone’s idea of peace and quiet, but many insomniacs (and babies) find it provides instant relief from the sound of music, dogs, birds, traffic, talking in other rooms, television and perhaps that creaking pipe somewhere under the floorboards.
2) Cozyphones sleep headphones
Comfortable fabric headphones you can wear in bed all night
If you enjoy relaxing with some calming music, but your bed partner doesn’t share the same taste, it’s not easy to find a set of headphones that are comfortable to wear in bed – especially if you’re a side sleeper.
There are a few different specially-made fabric headphones, with the Cozyphones being the best I’ve tried so far. Importantly, the lycra material is breathable, so doesn’t feel too hot when you’re in bed.
The speakers are thin and don’t bother your ears. And the sound quality is more than good enough to listen to relaxing music or a calming meditation track.
Although normal headphones might have better sound quality, these headphones are much more comfortable to wear in bed, and can help the insomnia forget about their worries and hopefully drift off to sleep.
3) Philips wake-up light
Happier mornings with the sunrise simulator
Do you know someone who struggles to wake up during the winter months? Perhaps they often seem grumpy in the morning, and don’t exactly face the day with a spring in their step?
Not everyone finds it easy to start the day with a smile, especially when it’s still dark outside. That’s where the Philips sunrise simulator wake-up light can make all the difference.
A short while before your chosen alarm time, it will emit a warm sunrise-red glow and slowly increase in brightness, gently fading from red to orange to yellow.
With nature sounds or a radio to add to the sunrise effect, it’s a much calmer way to begin the day than with a sudden jolt as your mobile phone blares out a jarring ringtone.
It’s scientifically proven to help you wake in a better mood and feel better during the day. And if you have trouble sleeping, you can reverse the process to help you relax and drift off into the sunset.
4) Alaska bear silk sleep mask
The perfect way to rest your eyes and sleep in complete darkness
While the gift of darkness might sound a little dramatic, it’s surprising how much even a little bit of light can keep you awake.
Many insomniacs find that even a tiny LED light can cast enough of a glow in the room to keep them awake. And if you’re fond of daytime naps, it’s even more likely the room will be too bright to completely switch off.
The Alaska Bear was my favorite sleep mask when I tested a wide range of different shapes, sizes and materials. The natural silk feels pleasant against the skin, the straps hold it in place without being too tight, and most importantly, it does an excellent job of shutting out light.
It’s also breathable and easy to clean, so can be used time and time again. So for those that need complete darkness to fall into a deep sleep, this is a sleep mask which will draw the curtains on the world for a short while.
5) Moldex earplugs
Sometimes it’s the little things in life that count
As you probably know, bedroom products can sometimes be dizzyingly expensive. For many insomniacs though, it’s not the quality of the bed that keeps them awake, but basic things like too much noise.
Moldex make excellent earplugs, providing a solid barrier between the insomniac’s sensitive ears and a snoring partner or noisy neighbors.
They’re comfortable to wear when sleeping, easy to insert and remove, and to top it off they come in all kinds of funky colors!
They might not be the most exciting or extravagant of gifts, but what they lack in glitz, they make up for in potential to make a difference to how well you sleep.
6) Fitbit Charge 2
A wearable sleep and activity tracker that motivates change
Even though there are dedicated bedroom sleep monitors, I think wearable devices have more longevity because of the activity tracking side of things.
The Fitbit Charge 2 is my current favorite; it looks great, it’s accurate and it’s useful. Where sleep is concerned, it tells you how much sleep you got and how often you were awake or restless for, presenting the results on a detailed phone App.
With a constant heart rate monitor, it does a wide range of activity tracking, such as how many steps you took, how far you traveled and how much intense exercise you squeezed into your day. And one unique feature I love about it is a relaxation App that guides you through a short breathing exercise.
The hope is that it will inspire you to be more active during the day and improve your sleep patterns by meeting the sleep goals you set in the App. And for people who struggle to sleep, doing exercise and maintaining a stable sleep routine are two of the best things they can do.
7) Bed Jet
For those who struggle with temperature throughout the year
Some people find they sweat their way through the sticky summer nights, and then shiver their way into bed in the winter.
For others, their body is just never quite comfortable, no matter what the ambient temperature might be.
The Bed Jet brings a bit of high tech wizardry into the bedroom, doubling as a cooling fan in the summer and an alternative to heated bedding in the winter.
It’s not cheap, but it’s a reliable and effective temperature regulator at both ends of the spectrum. And with programmable settings, you can control at what time during the night it works and at what temperature.
If you sleep with a partner, you can choose a dual zone version, so you both have control over the power and speed of warm or cool air flowing over your feet and legs.
If normal fans or heated bedding have disappointed in the past, the Bed Jet will rise to the challenge of bringing some thermostatic relief to the insomniac.
8) Pinzon flannel bed sheet set
A luxury flannel sheet set that feels beautifully soft and warm
There’s nothing quite like that welcoming feeling you get when you slip into bed at the end of a long day and are met by the soft embrace of your bed sheets.
The fabric that surrounds you in bed can make a big difference to how comfortable you feel, both to the touch and in temperature.
While cotton is the more common type of sheet fabric, cotton flannel is great in the colder months, adding an extra layer of cozy warmth.
The Pinzon sheets are thick, warm and made from quality flannel that doesn’t pile or create lint. With a fitted sheet, flat sheet and two pillow cases you have everything you need to add a soft touch of luxury to the bed.
9) Sunbeam heated mattress pad
Keep warm this winter with heated bedding
When the temperature plummets and the heating bills soar, a heated mattress pad is a great way to bring targeted warmth to your shivering body.
With a pre-heat setting, you can ensure you climb into a snug nest at the end of a long day. And with dual controls, you and your partner can both decide exactly which of 10 heat settings you’d prefer your side of the bed to have.
Sunbeam are well known for creating quality heated bedding, and with their pad you know you’ll get a safe product, with an even heat spread and a good range of temperature options.
And with a thick and comfortable material that hides the internal parts, it adds an extra layer of padding to your mattress. Heat rises, so the heated pad ensures you’ll feel warm and snug throughout the night, no matter how long the icicles are outside the window.
10) Coop memory foam pillow
To fall asleep the second your head touches the pillow, it needs to be a good one!
For a sensitive sleeper, every last detail of the bed and bedding can have an impact on how well they sleep. Personally, I can tolerate most mattresses and bedding, but the one element I really need to be comfortable is the pillow.
The Coop memory foam pillow is made from quality materials, from the shredded memory foam to the hypoallergenic cover, with it’s cool fabric to help prevent overheating.
What’s particularly useful is that you can easily unzip the internal cover (there are 2 covers) and add or remove some memory foam. That means you can create just the right level of thickness you find comfortable.
Because you can change the fill and the pillow will mold perfectly to your head, it’s an ideal pillow for sleeping in any position. Add to that the fact that it’s machine washable, and you have a pillow which is practical, adjustable and very comfortable.