After spending another sleepless night, tossing and turning, you are probably searching on the Internet for products to help you sleep better. While some of the online recommendations work, the effectiveness of other online products is dubious at best and completely overstated at worst. These are some of the online products designed to improve your sleep but which you should carefully consider before purchasing.
Weighted blankets are making the rounds in the sleep-deprived community. The product claims to ease insomnia by providing security as you snooze under its comfortable weight. The weight of the blanket comes from plastic pellets, chain, glass, or sand woven into the fibers. This extra pressure on your body as you sleep supposedly helps release happy hormones like serotonin and endorphin. It ostensibly simulates the feeling of a warm and loving embrace. Instead of lulling you into a reassuring embrace, it can interrupt your sleep cycle. Weighted blankets can become too hot if you choose the wrong type and if you do not have a good cooling system at home. Plus, the weight and comfort of it may keep you in bed longer which is counterproductive. Finally, weighted blankets can be a safety hazard in some homes. If you have kids or pets, it can become risky if they get trapped under its weight.
The idea is to spray your pillows with a relaxing scent to help you drift to sleep easily. Chamomile and lavender are popular sleep spray trends. These scents are supposed to promote the production of oxytocin in the body which aides sleep. However, pillow or linen sprays can also cause irritations or allergic reactions. The solution could also seep into your pillows and promote bacterial growth. For some people, it may just be a placebo effect which will not have long-term benefits. Save your dollars. Clean sheets and pillowcases are cheaper and healthier for you.
This is the recommended alternative to the traditional alarm clock which can be jarring. The wake-up light is a gentle way of nudging you awake from your slumber with soothing sounds, like nature ambience, and gradually lighting up to simulate sunrise. While this can seem like a pleasant way to start your day, some of these devices can be expensive and hard to set up. Instead of feeling relaxed, the functionalities could just add to the stress. Your phone already has the option of changing your alarm sound into something more soothing, so why spend money on another device? As for the sunrise simulation, just let the natural light in with lighter curtains to get your much-needed Vitamin D.
Sleepphones or sleep buds
For people who want to block out noises or listen to relaxing sounds while sleeping, the sleephone or sleep bud are supposedly designed to be comfortable enough for you to wear while you sleep. They are flatter and fit into the contours of your ear so you can toss and turn or sleep on your side without the buds getting in the way. Again, the high-quality versions of this device can set you back hundreds of dollars. Sure, it can block out ambient noises, but this can also be a safety risk if you are “dead to the world” and unaware about possible ruckus in your vicinity. Finally, instead of making you fall asleep, whatever you are listening to may end up being more stimulating than relaxing. Listening to podcasts and audiobooks, for example, can keep you awake and engaged rather than drifting off.
Light can be a major deterrent to sleep. And if you work at night and sleep during the day, then this can be helpful to mimic nighttime. However, just as headphones and ear buds, this can rob you of an important sense which can be useful for detecting risk or danger in your surroundings. Opt for blackout curtains instead if you sleep during the day. Eye masks can also be uncomfortable, poking and prodding around your eyes as you sleep. Perhaps you can even develop skin marks from wearing it. Closing your eyes already provides necessary darkness if you make sure all the sources in the room are off or dimmed. Finally, bacteria can grow in the mask or they can accumulate dust particles which can cause irritations around your eyes.
These online products for sleep only serve as temporary solutions to your insomnia. It's best not to get too dependent on products and gadgets, especially if there is a deeper concern for your sleeplessness.