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World Sleep Day: The IndyBest team’s products we can’t nod off (or wake up) without

Tired of tossing and turning? Improve your snooze with these top-rated buys

IndyBest Team,Sarah Young
Friday 18 March 2022 09:19
<p>From cosy duvets to luxury pillows and body mists, these products will soothe you into a deep slumber   </p>

From cosy duvets to luxury pillows and body mists, these products will soothe you into a deep slumber

Getting a good night’s rest is the stuff dreams are made of but, thanks to all manner of daily aggressors, from noisy neighbours to nightmares and anxious thoughts, drifting off soundly can prove quite a challenge.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone, because a massive 36 per cent of UK adults admit they struggle to fall asleep at least on a weekly basis. But, aside from counting sheep, what can you do to ensure you get an undisturbed slumber?

One positive thing to come out of all this insomnia is an explosion in the number of products designed to help you catch 40 winks and, since it’s World Sleep Day, we thought we’d share the snooze-boosting buys that have become part of our nightly routines, from silk pillowcases to night time tea.

How we tested

Everyone has their own little tricks to help them sink into their beds, so we asked the IndyBest team to share some of their favourite buys that help them sleep more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Everything is a tried and tested recommendation, so whether you’ve been struggling with insomnia long-term or are in a temporary period of sleeplessness, we hope there’s something on our list to help.

Read more:

Emma Henderson (Editor)

Rituals of jing hair, body and bed mist: £17.50, Rituals.com

Making little changes to my pre-sleep routine has helped a lot with switching off and this has been my favourite one. It’s the updated collection of the Rituals of dao scent, but if you’re not already familiar with it, it uses the fragrance of lotus and jujube which are both calming and are also used in traditional Chinese medicine.

I find the lightly floral scent now reminds me so much of relaxing that it’s a catalyst for sleep. I either spray the fine mist on myself, around me or on my pillow before sleep and let the scent help me get ready for the land of nod. It’s free from alcohol, so it doesn’t stain fabrics or irritate sensitive skin.

Buy now

Nightire sweet clementine eye mask: £18, Nightire.com

This is one of my favourite pyjama brands, which has made a name for itself for its beautiful prints in 100 per cent bamboo material, winning points for being very breathable as well as sustainable as it grows so quickly. My set became my go-to during the summer thanks to its comfort and ease to turn over in, but Nightire doesn’t just stop at jammies.

Although I’ve never been an eye-mask wearing sleeper, it’s only because I’d never found the right one. Until now. Previously, it’s either never had enough coverage or has an ill-fitting band around the head, meaning it’s pulled too tight over my eyes – the antithesis of aiding good sleep.

But this one is super soft thanks to the bamboo material, is lightweight and is a generous size over the eyes and around the head. I sometimes find annoying light keeps me awake, whether it’s through cracks in the shutters, glows from chargers or the alarm clock, but as soon as I pop this on, a sound night of slumber is ahead. Utter bliss. I love this summery print, but it’s also available in four other colourways.

Buy now

Emma Rossiter (Freelance)

Made by Zen gem aroma diffuser: £68, Madebyzen.com

A good diffuser will not only bring scents of the spa to your home, but will ultimately help you relax and unwind. And I honestly can’t imagine drifting off without this one from Made by Zen. It’s fashioned to resemble rose quartz, features an LED light and allows you to choose between continuous or intermittent misting. I tend to pop mine on the latter just as I start my nighttime, routine so that my favourite scents (I personally love the lavender oil) fill the room and encourage sleep. I also love the soft orange glow that the light brings to my bedroom – it almost mimics a sunset, which really helps all the day’s tensions melt away. And don’t worry, once the machine empties (after around five hours) it turns itself off automatically. You can also add the essential oils kit for another £21.

Buy now

Pixi Dream-y Mist: £16, Boots.com

Speaking of my nighttime routine, it would not be complete without this Pixi mist. I tend to follow a strict skincare routine before bed – that means applying cleansers, moisturisers, serums, occasionally spot treatments, and oils too – and this spray is just the cherry on top. It helps to lock in all the goodness and contains active ingredients including jasmine, lavender, camomile and allantoin, which all help nourish, brighten, calm and heal skin, as well as promote sleep. Or, if you don’t feel like adding another product to your bathroom shelf, you could just as easily use this as a pillow spray.

Buy now

Tal Dekel Daks (Audience lead)

Slip silk pillowcase: £85, Lookfantastic.com

Promising smoother skin, less frizz and cooler sleeping temperatures, we’ve all heard about the benefits of sleeping on silk by now – though I have to admit I hadn’t believed the hype at first, after initially purchasing a much cheaper satin pillowcase on Amazon. That all changed when I tried the much raved about mulberry silk pillowcase from Slip and saw the difference first hand. 

Unlike standard cotton pillowcases, silk pillowcases allow the skin to breathe and glide, which reduces pressure and creases, and also prevents my hair from getting tangled and damaged while I sleep. Plus, being less absorbent than your traditional pillowcase, they can also help my skin stay hydrated and keep any recently applied night creams locked in. If you really want to invest in this beauty hero, you can also pick up the matching sleep mask.

Buy now

Read more: Did Eve Sleep’s mattress topper breathe new life into our tired sleep setup?

Ellie Fry (Deputy editor)

Bondi Sands self-tanning sheet protector: £29.99, Bondisands.co.uk

Aside from the dreaded biscuit-like smell, or looking like a loaf of tiger bread a week after application when it’s time to exfoliate your tan off, the bane of a fake tanner’s life is the product transferring onto your sheets. But as an avid tanner, this silky number helps me drift off knowing my bedsheets will remain pristine.

The sheet, which is made from polyester, doesn’t slip and slide during the night and feels comfortable to sleep in. The built-in pillow slip, as well as press studs along the side of the sheet, help with this, almost like a sleeping bag without the restrictiveness. It doesn’t disrupt my partner in the night either, although sometimes I wish it would, as he constantly wakes me up snoring and I’d like to get him back from time to time.

Buy now

Lois Borny (Freelance)

EarHub sleepwell soft silicone earplugs: £6.75, Ocado.com

OK, so they might not be the chicest things in the world, but if you’re a particularly light sleeper like us, silicone earplugs really do block out noise like a charm. Whenever there’s a niggling sound that’s keeping me from drifting off, like a TV downstairs or a party a few doors down, I pop these EarHub squishies in and they seem to do the trick.

Unlike those terrible foam things that pop out of your ear (and don’t actually seem to work), these mould to the shape of your ear, so are less likely to fall out during the night – and to be honest, half the time I don’t even notice that I’m wearing them. If you’re serious about your lie-ins, or just live with an early riser, they’re brilliant for securing that extra hour or two of uninterrupted sleep.

Buy now

Sarah Young (Writer)

Bbhugme pregnancy pillow: £145, Naturalbabyshower.co.uk

As someone who slept like a baby pre-pregnancy, the aches and pains that ensued overnight during my second trimester came as quite a shock. So, after struggling to find a relaxing sleep position, I finally took the plunge and invested in the celebrity-approved BBhugme pregnancy pillow – Ellie Goulding, Princess Eugenie and Vogue Williams are all fans. And when I say invest, I mean it, as this pillow is one of the most expensive on the market – but my, oh my is it worth it.

Designed with a long sausage shape, the pillow is filled with microbeads, comes with a stylish cover of your choice and features two “pebbles” at either end, which you use to make it firmer or more malleable, depending on your preference. The pillow made an immediate difference to my sleep as I hugged onto it at night to help take the pressure off my hips and growing bump. The only downside? It’s so good that there’s regularly a race to be the first one to bed, as both my husband and cat have taken a liking to it.

Buy now

Read more: 9 best silk pillowcases that prevent frizzy hair and help reduce wrinkles

Eva Waite-Taylor (Senior writer)

John Lewis & Partners natural duck down double duvet, 10.5 Tog: £125, Johnlewis.com

My bedding is something I’ve perfected over the years. It started when I went to university and wanted to create a haven of comfort for days spent hungover or homesick. It’s now dubbed the “feather fest” and has even become renowned in my friendship group.

For me, creating this sanctuary all started with a duvet I could cocoon in, and the one that I swear by comes from John Lewis & Partners. It’s lightweight and made from a blend of duck down (90 per cent) and duck feather (10 per cent) and can be washed on a 40C cycle. it’s perfect for wintery evenings when the weather’s cold and you need something to snuggle up in.

Buy now

Beurer WL50 wake up to daylight table lamp: £74.99, Johnlewis.com

It’s fair to say I am not a morning person. The way a phone alarm clock startles you awake is something I actively despise. So, after countless people recommended a light-up alarm clock, I finally caved.

I now swear by Beurer’s light for waking up feeling a whole lot fresher. It has two different alarm sounds – either a chime or birds – and I opted for the latter for a Cinderella-like wake-up. It lights up over the course of 10, 20 or 30 minutes, depending on your preference. At £75, it is obviously more expensive than your average alarm clock, but if you’re looking for something that’ll make getting out of bed a hint easier, this is honestly it. I won’t be going back.

Buy now

Daisy Lester (Production journalist)

Audible subscription: £7.99 per month, Audible.co.uk

At the start of lockdown, after only being able to sleep in fitful bursts, I eased myself into a new routine – listening to audiobooks right before bed. I’ve had an Audible subscription for years but mostly listened on public transport or car journeys. In the past year, I’ve started listening for half an hour or so in bed, helping me wind down and switch off before sleeping.

Subscriptions start from £7.99 a month, which allows you one free book and the ability to purchase however many more you want from the vast collections available.Favourites from the last year include David Sedaris’s Calypso (£19.99, Audible.co.uk) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (£19.99, Audible.co.uk).

Buy now

Pukka night time tea: £2.99, Hollandandbarrett.com

When the first lockdown hit, I swapped a vino in the pub for a Pukka night time tea on the sofa, which did wonders for my sleep. Having never been a tea drinker (I don’t like the taste, don’t judge me), I found this blend of oat flower, lavender and lime flower surprisingly nice while being both warming and soothing. It worked well to relax me and countered the (excessive) amount of coffee consumed in the day. The caffeine-free mixture is organically grown and ethically sourced.

Buy now

Suzie McCracken (Senior production journalist)

Organic decaf coffee: £7.80, Horshamcoffeeroaster.co.uk

A few years ago, fearing the decomposition of my insides, I went cold turkey on Diet Coke and caffeine. When I finally started to reintroduce bouji coffees, it was clear that they were affecting my sleep. It transpired I couldn’t have a cup of joe after midday. So I turned to decaf for its ability to give me a placebo-style boost after lunchtime.

Thankfully, the quality of decaf has improved exponentially in recent years, with new, chemical-free techniques removing the dreaded drug without destroying every ounce of taste. Horsham Coffee Roaster does an organic, Peruvian version that is flavourful but still affordable for a daily cup.

It’s hard to find decaf profiles that go beyond “chocolatey”, and, although this definitely has that, it’s rounded out with a third-wave, red berry fruitiness. I make one with a V60 dripper (£20, Amazon.co.uk) – with a technique honed from watching too much James Hoffman on Youtube – just after lunch for a delicious pick-me-up that leaves my sleep pattern unbothered.

Buy now

Fogarty all seasons duvet: £65, Dunelm.com

I’ve now had a wool duvet for five years and I’ll drone on about it to absolutely anyone – I even wrote a piece on how much of a game changer it is for those who live in small flats. Why? Because it dispenses with the need to have a duvet per season. The wool keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter: simple. It also really helped with my allergies – I am no longer a terminal sniffler. You’re welcome.

Buy now

Read more: Aldi’s heated dressing gown is breaking the internet – and it’s back

Jasper Pickering (Gaming writer)

Emma original pillow: £65.45, Emma-sleep.co.uk

A good pillow can make a big difference in not just comfort, but quality of your sleep. The original memory foam pillow from Emma uses the same materials and lining as the brand’s mattresses and offers excellent support for your head and neck, regardless of what position you like to sleep in. The inside of the pillow has three separate foam materials that can be removed and configured based on how soft or firm you prefer the top to be, and this also means that it is much easier to wash when they are removed.

It may seem like a steep investment but they are quite often on sale for a reasonable price – there’s 45 per cent off right now – and when you spend eight hours of your day resting your head, you want to make sure it’s on something comfortable.

Buy now

Dominique Boulan (Freelance)

Revolution Skincare overnight soothing sleeping mask: £10, Revolutionbeauty.com

Skincare routines can be overwhelming and I prefer to keep mine as simple as possible, but it took me a long time to find a night cream that didn’t feel too heavy on the skin. This one from budget beauty brand Revolution has become my go-to since the first time I tried it. It soothes and smooths skin overnight – giving you a proper beauty sleep – and left mine feeling soft and hydrated in the morning.

Its lavender scent is subtle yet distinctive and has a relaxing effect, which really helps me drift off more easily come bedtime. I especially love that this cream is free from animal-derived ingredients and PETA-approved as free from animal testing, so it’s suitable for vegans and animal-lovers alike.

Buy now

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For more top picks from our editors read all about the work from home essentials the IndyBest team can’t live without

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