Skip to main content

10 Best Sleep Products to Ease Your Bedtime Anxiety (Inc. 2 Freebies)

We've all experienced a sleepless night from time to time. As someone who has struggled with insomnia my entire life (even as a baby, according to my understandably perplexed family), I have tried everything to improve my sleep. Melatonin pills? Check. Yoga and meditation? Check. Drinking a big glass of tart cherry juice before bed? Check...and all it did was wake me up to use the bathroom.

When you're unable to sleep well night after night, just the thought of bedtime - the tossing! the turning! - can be enough to propel your cycle of insomnia. It doesn't help that every health article seems to scream about the dangers of not getting enough sleep. I'll spare you the lecture - it's not like we're intentionally getting inadequate sleep. You know practicing good sleep hygiene is beneficial, so you try to keep a consistent sleep schedule and avoid caffeine in the evening. What else can you do?


Here are 10 of the best things to help ease your bedtime anxiety, straight from a chronic insomniac. Some are long-term solutions and some will have you catching more zzz's tonight. As an added bonus, some of these products are offering discounted Cyber Monday deals for today only.


Who am I kidding? My inbox has been flooded with "Cyber Monday" specials since Saturday. Heck, even Amerisleep upped the ante and switched to a Black Friday promo code more than a week before Thanksgiving.

10 Sleep Products to Ease Your Bedtime Anxiety (Inc. 2 Freebies)

The Right Pillow for You
$20-$100

The National Sleep Foundation recommends replacing most pillows every 1-2 years. Chances are you're due for an upgrade. Many factors, including your preferred sleep position, determine which pillow is best for you. Luckily, these days there is a perfect pillow for everyone. You're a stomach sleeper who gets too hot? There's a pillow for that. You sleep on your side and have dust allergies? There's a pillow for that. You can even go the glamorous route with a silk or satin pillowcase, which is said to reduce facial wrinkles. Rumor has it that was the deeply guarded secret of Sleeping Beauty.


I used to rotate through an assortment of pillows nightly. One would feel comfortable initially, but I'd wake up with it suddenly seeming too thick or too thin and swap it for another. Eventually, I gave some consideration into what qualities my perfect pillow would have. It would be firm, skinny, and maintain its shape throughout the night. Ah, but such a dream pillow could not possibly exist and who has the time to start their own pillow company, right? A little Amazon research later, I found the Bluewave Bedding Ultra Slim Gel-Infused Memory Foam Pillow (now there's a mouthful) and have been comfier ever since.


The Right Mattress for You

Price varies, though the right mattress for me is around $1,000 for a Queen.

Do you ever lie in bed wondering if your mattress is keeping you awake, perhaps with a spring that's poking you, an unsupportive spot you always fall into, or by causing you to wake with back and neck pain? If so, it's a source of bedtime anxiety. Mattress technology has advanced exponentially over the last few years. The new bed you buy today may be nothing like the one you purchased last time. My husband and I have found that our perfect mattress is the Amerisleep AS3 and I have written several Amerisleep mattress reviews as a result. We love that it doesn't get hot or transfer motion. That last part is especially important to me, as I'm a light sleeper and he gets up daily at the crazy hour of 5 am. It used to be to go to work, but now he goes in later and just putters around the house. Weirdo.


Come to think of it, you might stick me in that 'weirdo' category too based on my next recommendation. If part of your trouble sleeping is that your partner is always in the way, cramping your style, a larger mattress may solve your problem. But we're already sleeping on a King bed, you think. So were we...but I reeeally like to stretch out at night. (And my husband reeeally likes to not be kicked and smacked at night.) Our nontraditional solution? I placed a King mattress and Twin XL mattress side-by-side, creating what I like to refer to as our Superbed. It's the ideal solution for a family with young children or for a gal who likes her space.



funny amerisleep mattress idea
Behold our Superbed (and our dog, Pica, who isn't actually allowed on the bed) in all its (their) ridiculous glory.

Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer Tea

Just a few cents per cup

Here's a fun fact: Sleepytime is Celestial Seasonings' #1 selling tea, with more than 2 billion (yes, billion) cups sold. The chamomile tea is so beloved at bedtime that there is even a version of Sleepytime offered specifically for kids. You've probably already tried it. And, like me, perhaps you've already tried it and it did absolutely nothing for your insomnia.


Try Celestial Seasonings Tension Tamer tea instead. Unlike their Sleepytime varieties, Tension Tamer includes an extra special ingredient to help you sleep - catnip. I promise it won't give you the urge to run around the house or bat a ball of yarn. According to WebMD, catnip has a relaxing effect on humans. Benefits include reducing anxiety and improving sleep.


Along the same lines, Emergen-C has created a line of drink mixes specifically for insomniacs. It's cleverly called Emergen-Z. If you're a fan of their vitamin C packets like I am, you might consider giving it a try.


Second Alarm Clock
Free

I never used to worry about whether the alarm on my phone would wake me up for work...until the morning it didn't. The screen said the alarm had been going off since 6:30 am (at what was now 8:07 am - oh no!), but my phone was completely silent. I hadn't adjusted any of the settings; it was just a weird fluke. For several nights afterward, I found myself waking early to double check that I hadn't overslept. Finally, it occurred to me to simply set an additional alarm on my tablet.


Weighted Blanket

Approximately $100

A weighted therapy blanket will ease your sleep-related anxiety, as well as your 'anxiety' anxiety. These have been shown to help promote a deeper, more restful sleep, especially for those who have a sensory processing disorder. The first time I heard of using weighted blankets to improve my sleep was in a yoga class. At the end of each session, we would lie down on our mat with the lights turned off. The instructor placed heavy beanbags on each student's hands and on their chest. Strange, right? I was amazed by how relaxing it felt, as if the weight was pushing me into a deep sleep. This portion of the class only lasted about 10 minutes and I always wished we could have just stayed there, sleeping.


The YnM Cooling Bamboo Blanket is Amazon's best-selling weighted blanket and has more than 1,000 positive reviews. There are different blanket weights to choose from, so a smaller person can, and should, go with a lighter option.

Sleep Aid

Just a few cents per night

Sleeping pills have been vilified. Although I found a solution that worked well for me, the Kirkland Signature Sleep Aid from Costco, I avoided taking it whenever possible. I certainly didn't want to be hooked on sleeping pills. (DRUGS!) I'd toss and turn all night, intentionally shunning the little tablet that had helped me in the past.


That changed at a doctor's appointment a few years ago with what is probably the best sleep advice I've ever received. When asked about medications I was taking, I mentioned the sleep aid but was adamant that I rarely used it. My doctor was surprised. I explained that sleep aids are bad for you. "You know what else is really bad for you?" she asked. "Not sleeping."


If you think you may benefit from a prescription or over-the-counter sleep aid, discuss it with your doctor. Don't let some imagined stigma surrounding sleeping pills affect your health.


Blackout Curtains and/or a Sleep Mask

$7.99 and up

You don't think of an eye mask as having a cult-like following and thousands of reviews, but the Alaska Bear Sleep Mask is here to change that notion. My guess is the price (less than $10) has something to do with its success. Unlike other sleep masks, this one is oversized to block light completely, even if it shifts a little while you doze. It is recommended as 'Amazon's Choice' for sleep masks.


Blackout curtains are another must-have for reducing sleep anxiety. You don't want to be stuck awake all night just because of a lousy sliver of light sneaking into your bedroom. Although you may not think it affects you, studies show the presence of light can disrupt sleep. Why take the risk when the problem has such a simple solution? In our new home, I'm actually taking this concept a step further by painting all of the walls of our bedroom (and the ceiling, as soon as I can convince my husband) an inky blue. It's going to be a dark, cozy cocoon.


Polysomnogram (Sleep Study)

Covered by many health insurance plans, though you may have to meet your deductible first 

If you're waking morning after morning feeling unrested, it's a good idea to see a doctor to rule out any medical condition causing your insomnia, such as sleep apnea. It's painless and records your brain waves, heart rate, blood oxygen level, breathing, and movements. There are so many wires, you'll feel like a Christmas tree! After analyzing every little detail of my night in a lab, my sleep study revealed...nothing. Specifically, the results showed that I don't sleep well (I already knew that) but found no reason for it. So why do I recommend this? For many years, I'd wonder when I couldn't sleep if it could be due to restless leg syndrome, sleep apnea, or a million other problems my brain would obsess over at 2 am. My sleep study allowed me to cross many of my worries off my list.



what happens during a sleep study
This is probably your first time seeing what I look like and this is the photo I choose? Also, why did the sleep lab technician color all over my face??

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

$149 for a 26-week online program

After ruling out a medical cause for my chronic insomnia, my doctor recommended I enroll in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program, such as SHUTi. It isn't fun - it seems the goal is to punish my brain for not allowing me to sleep all these years. 10 pm bedtime? No, better make that 1 am. And get up an hour earlier while you're at it. Oh, you can't sleep? Get out of bed, any chance of falling asleep be darned. Frustrations aside, CBT is one of the top-rated treatments for chronic insomnia. Sleep experts swear by it, as study after study shows it is more likely to help than anything else. It tackles sleep anxiety and reprograms your brain. The results can last a lifetime.


White Noise

Free for Amazon Prime members

I'm always baffled when I see that people are still paying for white noise machines. In addition to being an unnecessary expense, they take up valuable real estate on your nightstand. There are dozens of free white noise apps available for Apple and Android. If you are an Amazon Prime member, and it seems like everyone is these days, there are many 5-star white noise programs available at no charge. Scrolling through the reviews of Amazon's Midnight Thunderstorm 9 hours for Sleep, you'll find many insomniacs who swear this specific white noise soundtrack puts them to sleep, and keeps them asleep, nightly. It blocks all the little sounds that would otherwise disturb your rest.


If you have a tip for reducing bedtime anxiety, please let me know about it in the comments section below. I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve my sleep.

Popular posts from this blog

Cake Mix Pancakes

This reader-favorite recipe is *almost* as popular as my Cake Mix Cookie Bars recipe .  When making Cake Mix pancakes , the scrumptious possibilities are endless. Red Velvet cake mix pancakes. Chocolate cake mix pancakes. Butter Pecan cake mix pancakes. Funfetti cake mix pancakes. (Yes, Funfetti cake mix pancakes!) With this 2-ingredient recipe, you can turn your favorite cake mix into your favorite pancakes. Pancake making at its finest. Cake Mix Pancakes Personally, I think my funny napkin is the icing on the (pan)cake. It's Sunday morning and you're planning to do all the things today - scrub those grody baseboards, polish your quartz countertop that was supposed to be low maintenance but actually isn't at all, sort through the disaster that is the freezer.  While on your superhuman kick, you think I'm going to make my family pancakes for breakfast. Not just any pancakes - the best pancakes ever. I may even serve them as breakfast in bed! You pu

How to Move a Mattress

My site is popular for reviewing memory foam mattresses. With today's bed-in-a-box options lasting much longer than the traditional 7 years of a spring mattress, there's a good chance you'll eventually need to move one. But how? This is  how to move a mattress  without damaging it - even by yourself!  When we were faced with the challenge of moving our beloved Amerisleep AS3  to our new home, it seemed like my readers would enjoy the details. This handy tip should work for any memory foam bed, including Casper, Leesa, and Nectar.  I'm happy to report there is an extremely simple way to do it. Apartment and dorm dwellers rejoice! How to Move a Mattress At first, I wasn't sure how to move our king-size mattress down a flight of stairs. It's a problem we've dreaded solving ever since we made the decision to build a new house.  The answer? It was right in the back of our truck.  Ratchet straps . This solution could also serve as a 'How To' for returning

Chemical Peel Before & After

This article has been updated! My new chemical peel post, which includes pricing, Jessner peel before and after photos, product recommendations, and a helpful timeline for scheduling your treatments, is at the bottom. My original Jessner peel post (one of the most popular on my site of all time) is at the beginning. Original Chemical Peel Article Considering a chemical peel? I recently underwent my first Jessner peel and thought I'd share my results, post a Jessner peel review, and answer some frequently asked chemical peel questions. (I'm guessing that "Does a chemical peel hurt?" is a biggie!) I'd been planning to order an over-the-counter peel when we were in Iceland , but my computer led me a different direction. I decided to do this on a whim after Groupon greeted me one morning with a great $40 chemical peel deal. Now, I can read your mind. You just gasped in horror and thought  You trusted your face to a  discount  chemical peel?!  You're wondering w

Hello Fresh Complaints

Hello, my bloggy friends. I have a HelloFresh complaint and believe they are pulling a scam. Yours truly came *this close* to falling for it.  Maybe scam is too harsh of a word. Sneaky? You can decide for yourself. The fact that there are so many Hello Fresh complaints online does seem suspicious. My main complaint about Hello Fresh has to do with their promotional rate, which seems like it is set up to be intentionally misleading (more on this below). Despite so many people complaining about being charged more than they thought they'd agreed to, Hello Fresh maintains this as part of their business model and continues to mislead. So it's intentional, right? I do not recommend Hello Fresh. For starters, the service is just ingredients-by-mail with recipes, not meals. You can buy your own ingredients for much less, especially now that most grocery stores conveniently offer pickup and delivery. Excellent recipes are easy to find.  Click here for a list of top-rated, reader-favorit

Window Seat Idea - Dream Home Inspiration of the Day

See it? Waaay at the back of the photo?  I like how the window seat extends past the window all the way to the wall. How about you? If that's not your style, how about one of these lovely window seats? I'll seat you, my pretty, and your little dog too. How perfect would this be in a home office? I'd swap out that wimpy rug with a larger one.

10 Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks

You're in for a treat. Today I'm sharing my best canned cinnamon roll hacks and improvements for turning store-bought cinnamon rolls, like the Pillsbury Grands ones or even the store brand, into something special.  Dry cinnamon rolls? No thank you. They need to be OOEY and GOOEY. That's just Cinnamon Roll 101. All of these ideas keep Pillsbury canned cinnamon rolls soft, company-worthy, and delicious. These are also great for taking homemade cinnamon rolls up a notch, but what a pain that is. With these better-than-homemade canned cinnamon roll hacks, you'll never bother to bake them from scratch again. Test out some of these ideas tomorrow. Won't it be nice to dig into a mouthwatering cinnamon roll for breakfast? You can't get a better start to your day than that. Canned Cinnamon Roll Hacks Actually, make that 11 easy ways to improve store-bought cinnamon rolls: you can top them with homemade coffee whipped cream . Yum! Nope, make that 12 canned cinnam

3 Minute Toaster/Convection Oven Smores

These are perfect when you're craving a quick, sugary treat. They work equally well in a toaster oven and a convection oven. Best of all, compared to eating an entire bag of Oreos (something I have never  done), they're quite healthy. What's that, you say? You already know how to make s'mores in the toaster oven? Well then, sit back and enjoy the ooey-gooey marshmallowy photos. (And if you're someone who works with me, please keep the "I've seen her polish off an entire bag of Oreo cookies" nonsense to yourself.)  Step 1: Put desired amount of graham crackers on a toaster oven/convection oven-safe pan.   Looks like it's time to clean this pan, Sexy Nerd Optional 1st step, which is Sexy Nerd's favorite: Spread peanut butter on each graham cracker (I'm not much of a peanut butter fan - WHAT?!? - so I skip this step.) Cover with yummy marshmallows. Top with chocolate chips. Place in the toaster o

Dental Memes

As the manager of two successful dental offices, my favorite memes are ones I can share with my dentistry dream team.  Happy Team = Living the Dream! You don't have to work in dentistry to enjoy these. After all, everyone is a dental patient. You have visited the dentist within at least the year...right? (No guilt if you haven't! I've scheduled patients who haven't seen a dentist since the 1970s. Dentists, dental assistants, dental hygienists, and dental administrators have seen it all. We love this field because we love helping our patients. It's never too late to get back on track!) Funny Memes for Dentists Reminder: National Dentist's Appreciation Day is March 6th! Funny Memes for Dental Hygienists Reminder: National Dental Hygienist Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of April! Funny Memes for Dental Assistants Reminder: National Dental Assistant Appreciation Week is always the 2nd week of March! Funny Memes for Dental Office Administrators Reminder: Ad

Anonymous Flower Delivery

Anonymous Flower Delivery Sexy Nerd and I came home from a day of running errands on Saturday to discover an odd message on my phone. It was a girl from a flower shop calling to confirm my address for a delivery.  I called and said there must be a mistake, as I wasn't expecting any flowers, to which she pointed out that people don't usually expect flowers. Oh, of course.  As nice as it would be to have someone send me flowers, it seemed unlikely. Sure enough, she was unable to find any orders for me when I gave my name. She did have a Danielle though, and asked if there might be a different last name. I told her my maiden name. There really were flowers waiting for me!  She confirmed the delivery address - the rental house Sexy Nerd and I lived in 3 years ago. I updated my address and ended the call, anxiously waiting to see who would send me flowers. Who sent me flowers from FTD? My mysterious stalker has beautiful taste! Strange? I had no idea how str

My Instant Pot Explosion!

Like many new Instant Pot owners, I've wondered, How many Instant Pots have exploded?  (Eeek!) I'm happy to report that my research on Snopes and other sites has shown that these do not explode, at least not when used properly. There is a lawsuit between a woman in Texas and the Instant Pot manufacturer, but she admits she had thrown a towel over the steam vent. Do NOT do this.  Still concerned? Consider that on Prime Day of 2018, Amazon sold more than 300,000 Instant Pots. That's more than a quarter of a million sales in only 1 day! If these things were not safe, you would see news stories every day about someone being injured. Still, things can go wrong. We love our Instant Pot, the digital pressure cooker that seems to suddenly be in every home. You can't mess up - just throw in random ingredients and you'll get something yummy every time. It's foolproof. At least, that's how I used to feel about our Instant Pot, until the explosion... Inst