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Updated: 4th February 2020 22:00Gifts For Restless Sleepers, From Eye Masks To Sunrise Clocks | HuffPost Canada Wellness
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Gifts For Restless Sleepers, From Eye Masks To Sunrise Clocks

We talked to sleep experts about how to get better shuteye, and then found gifts to help your tired friends and family members put the tips into action.

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These gifts for insomniacs will help them get a good night's sleep.
These gifts for insomniacs will help them get a good night's sleep.

Some people can sleep anywhere — on the bus, in broad daylight, in a noisy hotel. Others, though, aren’t so lucky. In fact, studies show that a growing number of Americans are struggling to fall or stay asleep each night.

While there are several commonly known tips and tricks to follow — use ear plugs, create a routine, ensure your room is dark and cool — few things are more frustrating than lying in bed wide awake when you should be getting your seven to eight hours.

To help those with trouble sleeping, we asked sleep experts for their tips and tricks to snag some shuteye. Then, we found related gifts that’ll help you shop for the insomniac in your life this holiday season.

Take a look:

Blue light-blocking glasses
The advice:
Brendan Duffy, a certified clinical sleep educator with Start School Later, recommends scrapping all your electronics well before hitting the sheets. But if a full digital detox before bed is too much of a challenge, he suggests trying blue light-blocking glasses. They work to block the blue light that emanates from your computer and phone screens. “Several athletic teams use blue blocker glasses as a way to assist their players that use digital devices late in the evening,” he told HuffPost.

Our picks:
There are plenty of blue light-blocking glasses on Amazon, including these Warby Parker-looking clear frames and these flattering-on-everyone tortoise shell frames.
Stocking stuffers that encourage a good bedtime routine
The advice:
Dr. Kannan Ramar is the president-elect of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. He’s also a sleep physician, and the professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. You could say he’s a guy who knows a thing or two about getting quality zzz's. He recommends leaving your books and Netflix out of the bedroom, and instead using your sheet time for sleep.

“You should do these activities in a different room and go to bed when you are sleepy,” he said. “What’s most important is that your bedroom provides a dark, quiet and cool space.”

Our picks:
Quality ear plugs
and a cult-favorite blackout eye mask are useful stocking stuffers for troubled sleepers who need help blocking out the energy of the day.
A way to unwind before bed without their phone screen
Amazon x Bed Bath & Beyond
The advice:
Wendy Troxel, senior behavior and social scientist at the RAND Corporation, recommends a relaxing activity — that does not involve technology — before bed. This could be a bath, a book or conversation with family.

“When we race off to bed without any wind-down, it’s really difficult for our brains to be able to shut down and prepare for a deep, restful sleep,” she said.

Our picks:
Products like CBD bath salts, relaxing bath bombs or a fun-to-use bathtub tray caddy will encourage a relaxing pre-bed routine that has nothing to do with a phone.
A good book they’ll reach for when they just can’t drift off
Radovanovic96 via Getty Images
The advice:
“Instead of lying there for hours, staring at the ceiling and wishing oneself to sleep (and likely getting increasingly frustrated), the best strategy is to get out of bed and go to another room and do some relaxing but distracting activity, like reading a book,” Troxel said. “You may find that you get sleepy again, and at that point, you return to bed.”

Our picks:
Snag your sleepy friend or family member a copy of a bestseller to crack open when they just can’t shut their brain down after bedtime. In fact, there are plenty of books hitting store shelves this season they might enjoy reading when they’re wide awake at night.
An incentive to get pent-up energy out before bedtime
PredragImages via Getty Images
The advice:
Terry Cralle, a registered nurse with the Better Sleep Council, has a sleep hack that’s been proven by a recent Brandeis University study: Taking a brisk stroll to walk off any remaining stress and energy prior to hitting the sheets.

“Other research has shown that evening exercise does not necessarily disturb your sleep at night as long as you avoid vigorous activity one hour prior to bedtime,” she said.

Our picks:
Encourage them to trade in their slippers for a new pair of comfy (and sustainable!) sneakers before bedtime to walk off remaining worries from the day. Otherwise, they might enjoy a fitness tracker like a Fitbit to track their steps and heart rate prior to bedtime.
A sunrise alarm clock, so they can wake with the “dawn”
The advice:
Sunrise alarm clocks are exactly what they sound like: alarm clocks that wake you up with a simulated sunrise. They work by exposing you to a slowly increasing intensity of morning light for 15 to 30 minutes or more prior to awakening.

Cralle, the registered nurse, notes that a previous study demonstrated that light exposure during the last 30 minutes of sleep increased subjective alertness and improved cognitive and physical performance after waking.

Our picks:
There are plenty of top-rated sunrise alarm clocks on Amazon worth browsing, like this Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock. Your sleep-deprived friend will thank you.
Gifts to take their sack time to a new level
Amazon x Brooklinen
The advice:
Dr. Rachel Salas, associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has simple advice we could all use, even if we're usually good about falling asleep and staying asleep. “Wash your sheets regularly,” she said. “Dust mites and allergens can negatively affect your sleep. Also, fresh smells can be helpful.”

Our picks:
Gift the insomniac on your list a new set of snooze-worthy sheets they’ll love. Otherwise, a nice-looking air purifier that’s also quiet could be the key to helping them get more shuteye. Don’t forget a small stocking stuffer of bedroom sleep spray to help lull them to dreamland.
A way to soak in some sun during the day, even during winter
The advice:
What you do during the daytime is also important for a good night’s sleep, says Dr. Sabra Abbott, a sleep specialist from Northwestern Medicine. “While it is important to allow time to wind down before bedtime, getting bright light and activity during the middle of the day can improve your sleep at night.”

Our picks:
Changing daylight hours and long working days can mean folks go without natural sunlight for longer than they would like. And for some, that lack of natural light can sap energy, potentially making it harder to fall and stay asleep. Light therapy lamps, like the Carex Day-Light Lamp or the desktop Boxelite Lux Light Therapy Box, might be good solutions for folks who feel like they aren’t getting enough bright light during the day.
Temperature-regulating pajamas
Vera_Petrunina via Getty Images
The advice:
“Temperature regulation is particularly important for sleep quality because overheating disrupts sleep,” said Janet Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep specialist. That’s why she recommends Cool Nights pajamas from Soma Intimates for women. “They perform as advertised, keeping you from overheating as body temperature fluctuates during the night. They look and feel great, too.” For men, try SHEEX moisture-wicking performance sleepwear. They’re made of the same breathable material as SHEEX moisture-wicking sheets.