Happy Sleep Week! Yes, it’s that time of the year again—the “holiday” week that was surely invented by mattress manufacturers, but that we love all the same—when we celebrate the eight-ish hours a day that we spend unconscious and therefore liberated from the prison of sentience and reality. Sleep is just about our favorite thing ever, tied with sweatsuits, Uncrustables, and the Satisfyer Pro 2, and it makes sense to invest in quality slumber when it’s what fuels your brain, heals your body, and recharges you for the days ahead.
Sure, when we were 19, we only needed four hours of terrible-quality sleep next to a rando that we met at the foam party, and when 10:41 a.m. came around, we could chug a couple of sugar-free Monster energy drinks and be back on our feet. But these days, we’re believers in the much-discussed self-care ethos, and have realized that finding moments of comfort, peace, and solace where we can is crucial to maintaining PMA, dodging depressive episodes, and being able to show up to our acupuncture appointments on time.
So, what conjures grade-A, top-choice sleep? According to our editors, who have tested everything below, a few tried-and-true ideas include upgrading your sheets to dreamy linen, winding down with CBD teas, and finding a silky sleep mask that will shut out the haters, aka the light streaming in from a skylight in your shoebox apartment. For some, good sleep requires earplugs, memory foam, and quenching overnight lip masks; for others, it’s found via cult-fave blankets and high-tech alarm clocks.
Read on for our staff’s absolute favorite products for getting to sleep, staying asleep, and waking up well-rested and ready to face the shitshow that is our Idiocracy-like modern society. JK, we’re feeling pretty great this morning! Time for a cup of adaptogenic mushroom coffee.
Honeydew’s pillow specifically for side sleepers
I’m a lifelong side sleeper who unfortunately never quite figured out how to position my arms, and often wake up in a totally different body config than the one in which I fell asleep. That changed, though, when I got my hands on Honeydew’s Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow and realized that maybe all of my crunchy feather-filled pillows hadn’t really been taking me to my max snoozing potential. This thing gently cradles my head while leaving room for my shoulder and arm to fully relax, and as a result, I often wake up refreshed and realizing that I slept so deeply, I didn’t even move around. —Angel Kilmister
Breezy linen-blend sheets
First of all, yes—linen sheets are worth it. Secondly, you know you need to buy new sheets, dude, and you absolutely need to stop buying janky ones from the dollar store every six months just because you don’t want to do laundry. (Yes, that is a personal anecdote.) Linen is cooling, breathable, and perfect for the warmer parts of the year, which we soon, unfortunately, approach. This was my very first set of linen-blend sheets, so I went with an affordable but super highly rated set from Amazon, and they’ve got me addicted. —Ian Burke
Luxury CBD sleep gummies
I’ve tried a lot of CBD gummies, and my favorites are always effective, but rarely this delicious. Standard Dose’s CBD gumdrops stand on their own as an herbaceous treat first, and a relaxing CBD dispenser second; they taste like woodsy Turkish delights that were left on your doorstep by a sexy fairy, and infused with organic flowers and herbs from upstate New York. —Mary Frances Knapp
The best earplugs for light sleepers
If you’re the kind of person who wakes up at the slightest sound, you’ve gotta have some Howard Leight earplugs on-hand. They’re so comfy and effective that sometimes I’ll just work with them in my ears during the day if there’s construction outside my apartment, and I always end up taking a pair for plane travel, doling them out to visiting houseguests, and keeping a pair or two by my nightstand. There’s nothing worse than getting jolted awake in the middle of the night by Diplo-loving neighbors—and nothing more satifying than shutting them out of your senses, instantly. —Mary Frances Knapp
Zolt’s bedtime bev that turns your brain off (in a good way)
Sometimes, I fall into this really wack cycle where night after night, I’ll wake up at 3 or 4 AM with my mind speeding through a torturous loop of the “mama-say-mama-sah-ma-ma-coo-sa” part of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” or a never-ending PowerPoint presentation of my most cringe moments. It’s disruptive, incredibly annoying, and very hard to get my brain to STFU. When I came across Zolt and its adaptogenic and CBD-infused sleep “tea”—it’s actually a powder that you shake into a cup of any-temperature water—I figured I had nothing to lose, but I wasn’t expecting to be so impressed with its effects. I tried both the Dreamy+CBD Isolate and the (CBD-free) Dreamy+Collagen Boost supplements, the latter of which contains skin- and hair-enhancing ingredients, on different nights, stirring each powder into a glass of room-temperature water which I then downed about half an hour before heading to bed, and found that I wasn’t roused by The Bad Thoughts. One night, I woke up for a brief second, but instantly fell back asleep without a single existential crisis. Think of it as Emergen-C for kicking insomnia to the curb. —Hilary Pollack
This alarm clock wants you to “break-up with your smartphone alarm”
Remember alarm clocks? And no, not the one that goes off on your iPhone—and the iPhone of millions of others—every day. The Loftie Alarm Clock is one of the most magical, relaxing pieces of non-tech tech (lol) I’ve seen in years, because it’s designed to take you off of your phone and into dreamland. I was lucky enough to be given one for a test-run by the woman-owned wellness and shopping platform The Verticale, and I won’t shut-up about it to my friends. The aesthetic is sleek, and the alarms are like soundscapes from a Miyazaki movie; it includes sleep-inducing podcasts, white noise machine options, and so much more. —Mary Frances Knapp
A tea for knocking out
I drink this most nights before bed; it has a light, relaxing flavor and contains chamomile and valerian root, as well as licorice, cardamom, and cinnamon for a spicy-sweet flavor. If you’re looking for a nice relaxing cup of something warm before you head to bed, this soothing tea is perfect for winding down. Pro tip: add two tea bags if you want to fall asleep as fast as possible. —Jamie Steidle
Brooklinen’s Mulberry Silk Eye Mask
If you’re not wearing an eye mask to sleep, you’re missing out on some serious chunks of REM. (Or so I’m told.) I’m a huge fan of Brooklinen’s Mulberry Silk Eye Mask, since it’s soft, not too tight, and doesn’t make my face sweaty at night. It’s also one-size-fits-all, which is impressive, since it fits around my massive head with ease. —Ian Burke
The best blanket ever IMO
People are obsessed with Barefoot Dreams blankets and I never understood why until my sister got me one for Christmas a couple of years ago. There’s a reason the reviews are a sea of five-star raves; nothing else compares to the soft, stretchy, warm, luxurious feel of these blankets, which seem to be spun straight out of clouds, candy, laughter, and yarn made from Care Bear fur. They’re not cheap, but it’s 100% worth it for something you’ll cuddle with every night (or, even better, if a family member buys one for you). —Hilary Pollack
Keepin’ em juicy all night long
I’m referring to my lips, duh. They tend to get really dry at night, especially in the winter… if the A/C is on… if the heat is on… so, yeah, pretty frequently. So I like to slather them in a lip sleep mask before bed, which is more hydrating and lasts longer than any miscellaneous checkout-counter lip balms. I used Laniege’s cult-fave one for a long time because it comes in a lovely gummy bear flavor, but now, I actually prefer the lip mask from Tatcha, which feels less sticky, and is infused with Japanese peach and olive-derived squalane. When I do, I wake up with zero chapping.—Angel Kilmister
A morning robe that feels like a hug
The Brooklinen waffle robe is my closest companion, and I talk to my mother at least twice a day, so that’s saying a lot. It’s made out of a lightweight and cozy Turkish cotton, and it’s deep-set waffle pattern allows the robe to absorb water and dry super fast. But the real cherry on top for me is the actual stitching and form of this baby, which seems normal enough but truly does slip onto your body like a hug. If you’ve ever felt annoyed/constricted by your robes, this is a game changer. Sleep is just better when you know you’re gonna wake up and wrap yourself in a perfect robe. —Mary Frances Knapp
A weighted blanket for your eyes
In the words of my colleague Mary Frances Knapp, weighted blankets “feel like cuddling up in a sigh of relief”; that gentle pressure is just what the doctor ordered for melting away the stresses of every day in this godless world of late capitalism. (Huh? Nothing!) Anyway, the Nodpod sleep mask takes that concept one step further with its weighted blanket eye mask, which is like a long, cozy caterpillar that gently rests on your face, hugging your head, blocking out light, and deterring haters. It’s perfect for people who find that extra darkness and gentle pressure help them sleep, but who don’t like the feeling of having a piece of cloth tightly strapped to their noggin, as it doesn’t have a band. It’s definitely best for those who sleep on their backs, but can be configured for side sleepers, too, as long as they don’t mind readjusting it here and there. —Hilary Pollack
Cooling memory foam pillows
Fellas, is your significant other constantly griping about how “you only have one pillow” and that it’s “yellow from years of neglect?” Well, have we got the solution for you: Buy some more pillows! Specifically, these breathable memory foam pillows from Amazon. They’re doughy and cooling in all the right ways, and are a comfortable, affordable way to get your partner off your back—and into your bed. —Ian Burke
The Headspace app, because meditation really does help
I always wondered if meditation could really help manage my anxiety and intrusive thoughts, and I found out through personal experience that the guided meditation app Headspace absolutely can. There’s no better time to mellow out than when you’re trying to sleep, and Headspace has lots of dedicated sleep features, including meditations for sleep, sleep music, and sleepcasts that are designed to help you relax and, well, get in the headspace for sleep. —Jamie Steidle
Here’s to banishing that horrible feeling of looking at the clock and calculating how much sleep you can get if you fall asleep now. Sweet dreams are made of this (stuff).
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.