Anyone who lives with chronic insomnia knows the feeling of the never-ending night. Each passing hour can feel like an infinity, yet, at the same time, the night slips away.
Before you know it, the clock says 3 a.m., and you’ve been awake the entire night.
A good night’s sleep can be like night and day when it comes to your ability to feel happy and productive. While falling asleep would ideally happen without any help, our modern world calls for modern sleep interventions.
That’s where products for insomnia can help. Whether it’s artificial light or scratchy sheets that are keeping you from falling asleep, we’ve got you covered.
The term insomnia is often used casually to mean any given night when sleep is difficult. However, insomnia as a sleep disorder can be defined by four criteria:
- having difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or only getting non-restorative sleep
- persisting difficulty, even when you have the opportunity and ideal conditions for sleep
- lack of sleep affecting your ability to function properly during the day
- sleep disturbance occurring at least 3 times per week and continuing for at least 1 month
Short-term insomnia is often caused by stress, schedule changes, or changes in the environment (one reason that insomnia frequently occurs when traveling).
However, the cause of chronic insomnia can be more difficult for doctors to pin down. They often recommend a mix of healthy lifestyle changes, therapy, and medication to help manage and treat it.
Although the exact cause of insomnia can be hard to figure out, it’s clear that many of our modern lifestyle habits — such as using screens late at night, overworking, lacking exercise, lacking sunlight, and using a lot of stimulants — can set our minds racing and make it tough to settle down at night.
Creating healthy habits that help us transition from activity to rest is crucial, and certain products on the market can help counteract the effects of this lifestyle to help us get a better night’s sleep.
There are so many products on the market that claim to relieve symptoms of insomnia. To ensure that you choose the highest quality products possible, we used the following criteria:
- Scientific research. Numerous studies examine the effects of factors, like light, diet, and meditation, on sleep. We used peer-reviewed research to help inform the types of products that could most support sleep.
- Customer reviews. The customer is always right, which is why customer reviews are one of our best indicators of a product’s quality. We took a close look at reviews to make sure customers really love each of our picks.
- Company reputation. All the products we reviewed are from reputable companies that have a history of making quality items.
- Price. While prices vary based on the products, we did our best to include products for a variety of budgets.
We reviewed a diverse range of products that have a diverse range of prices.
Prices are indicated as:
- $ = under $100
- $$ = $100–$500
- $$$ = $501–$1,000
- $$$$ = over $1,000
Purple + Gravity Weighted Blanket
A weighted blanket can be an amazing tool if you experience anxiety that’s keeping you up at night.
Weighted blankets create a calming effect by putting a pleasant pressure on the body. This releases serotonin and calms the nervous system. Research shows that people with insomnia caused by depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and ADHD experienced improved sleep when using a weighted blanket.
We like this weighted blanket from Purple because, at 35 pounds, it’s one of the heavier weighted blankets available on the market. On top of that, it’s reversible, with one side made of soft Minky fabric and another designed to keep you cool. The cover is also machine washable.
This blanket receives overall positive reviews, and many people say it improves their quality of sleep. Many reviewers also appreciate having the ability to choose either a cozy or cool side.
Buy the Purple + Gravity Weighted Blanket online.
Saatva Classic Mattress
- Price: $$$$
While a bad mattress might not be the entire reason someone experiences insomnia, an uncomfortable or unsupportive mattress can play a major part in poor sleep.
An old mattress can also be a problem. A 2008 study found that replacing an old mattress (over 7 years old, according to The Better Sleep Council) can help improve sleep quality.
If you’re in the market for a new mattress, a medium-firm mattress can be a great one to consider. A 2015 study showed that medium-firm mattresses are typically comfortable for most people. They can also help reduce back pain.
This mattress from Saatva is available in a “luxury firm” option that many reviewers say helps improve their sleep. It’s a hybrid mattress, which means it has layers of foam for comfort and spring coils for added support and durability.
The Saatva Classic Mattress was awarded a seal of approval by the Congress of Chiropractic State Organizations.
It also has an impressive rating of 4.9 stars from almost 2,000 reviews. Many reviewers say the mattress is incredibly comfortable, and they highly recommend it.
Buy the Saatva Classic Mattress online.
UTTU Sandwich Pillow
Contrary to popular belief, pillows are not one-size-fits-all. In fact, some pillows can help you fall and stay asleep better than others.
According to a 2014 study, using an orthopedic pillow — one that properly supports the curvature of your cervical spine — is more comfortable than using a feather or regular memory foam pillow. And it can improve the quality of your sleep.
This pillow from UTTU is a memory foam orthopedic pillow designed for all sleeping positions. It’s contoured, which means it’s taller under your neck and dips where your head rests.
It’s also adjustable, so you can choose to have either a low or high contour, depending on what’s most comfortable for you.
The UTTU Sandwich Pillow’s foam is CertiPUR-US certified, which means the foam is made without harmful chemicals. The outer cover is also made of bamboo fabric, which is breathable, cool, and washable.
Reviewers are overwhelmingly pleased with this pillow. Many say it’s extremely comfortable and supportive, even for side sleepers. People also say it makes a major difference in their sleep quality.
Buy the UTTU Sandwich Pillow online.
Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set
A 2018 review suggests that overheating at night can have negative effects on sleep. The right sheets, like the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set, can help support an ideal temperature.
This sheet set is made from cotton, which is known for its breathability. It’s also made with a percale weave, which means it’s super lightweight and crisp.
Reviewers say these sheets are soft and feel cool and silky. Some say they’re great for the summer.
Self-reported hot sleepers say these sheets help them stay asleep at night without overheating.
Buy the Brooklinen Classic Core Sheet Set online.
When it’s time to fall asleep, a racing mind can be a frustrating experience for someone with insomnia. If this sounds familiar, it might be worth trying meditation.
Meditation can be an amazing antidote to an overactive mind and body, and it is an excellent way to relax for sleep. A 2018 study found that practicing mindfulness meditation can improve overall sleep quality.
But meditating alone can be difficult for some people. Meditation apps, like the Calm App, can be a great resource for guided meditations, sleep stories, and relaxation exercises.
The Calm App averages 4.8 stars on the Apple App Store with 1.2 million ratings.
The app has a free 7-day trial, so you can try out the meditations for yourself. After the trial ends, membership costs $69.99 annually.
Download the Calm App online.
Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Melatonin Sleep Soak
An Epsom salt bath is one of the most time-tested and inexpensive remedies for insomnia.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, which has a calming effect on the body, and it’s shown to reduce the effects of inflammatory diseases and relieve muscle tension.
Warm baths taken 1–2 hours before bed have also shown to reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Melatonin Sleep Soak combines the relaxing effects of Epsom salts with the sleep promoting benefits of melatonin.
With a low price tag, this product is one of the best deals when it comes to products for insomnia.
Even better, the salt is mixed with essential oils to soothe the senses through aromatherapy. This can also help improve sleep quality.
Reviewers say they love the smell of this bath soak and that it helps them relax before bed.
Buy the Dr. Teal’s Pure Epsom Salt Melatonin Sleep Soak online.
Casper Glow Light
Light is one of the primary offenders at preventing sleep these days. From too much screen time to the over saturation of light in our homes, the excess light we expose ourselves to tricks our brain into thinking it’s still time to be awake.
Artificial light can have a serious negative effect on our bodies and cause circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, which can alter our body’s internal clock and cause insomnia.
One of the easiest lifestyle changes we can make is limiting our exposure to bright light at night. That’s why we chose the Casper Glow Light, which was designed to help people fall asleep easier.
The light has a soft, warm glow that promotes relaxation, and the light gradually dims to help you drift off to sleep without disturbance.
The Glow Light also functions as an alarm in the morning, lighting up with a soft glow when it’s time to wake up. The light sits on a charger and can be carried around as a night light.
The Glow Light is also well-reviewed on Casper’s website with an impressive 5-star average rating.
Buy the Casper Glow Light online.
Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask
Sleep masks are a classic nighttime accessory, and for a good reason. They help block out light that might keep you from falling asleep or wake you up too early.
In fact, multiple studies from 2017 and 2019 show that wearing sleep masks and earplugs help improve the sleep quality of ICU patients who can’t sleep due to light and noise exposure.
We love the Lunya Washable Silk Mask, because it’s designed to not only cover the top half of your face, but also to cover your ears to block out noise. Another bonus: it can also double as a headband for your nighttime skin care routine.
While you can purchase a sleep mask at most drugstores, reviewers say this one from Lunya is well worth the splurge. The silk material is gentle on your delicate facial skin and hair, and it’s available in six different color options.
Reviewers are very happy with this product, saying it’s very comfortable and cozy, and that it effectively blocks out light.
Buy the Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask online.
Yogasleep Dohm Classic Natural Sound Machine
For some, absolute silence is necessary to fall asleep. But for others, white noise machines can be useful for distracting from background noises that keep you lying awake all night.
In fact, a 2016 study showed that white noise machines effectively mask background noises, and they can help people in noisy places stay asleep and improve sleep quality.
This classic sound machine from Yogasleep is great for anyone who wants to mask background noise. It’s definitely a no-frills option and only plays a classic fan-based white noise sound (no thunderstorms here). But it has two speed options and adjustable tone and volume.
Customers rate this white noise machine highly, saying it creates a soothing sound and blocks out noise. Others say it helps them fall asleep, even when traveling.
Buy the Yogasleep Dohm Classic Natural Sound Machine online.
NOW Liquid Melatonin
Melatonin is a popular natural sleep aid that is safe for most people to take and has few side effects. It’s a hormone naturally secreted by the pineal gland that controls the sleep-wake cycle.
Studies have shown that taking melatonin supplements can help reduce sleep onset latency (otherwise known as the amount of time it takes to fall asleep) in people with insomnia.
Liquid melatonin absorbs more quickly into the bloodstream than pill form, which is why this option from NOW is our pick for people with insomnia.
This supplement is also free from wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, and shellfish.
One serving provides 3 mg of melatonin. Because this liquid formula does not come with a dropper, you will need to measure it yourself with a measuring spoon or cup.
Check out some other top picks for melatonin supplements here.
For the best results, experts recommend taking melatonin about 2 hours before bedtime.
Buy the NOW Liquid Melatonin online.
Charlotte’s Web CBD Gummies: Sleep
Cannabidiol, or CBD, has quickly risen in popularity over the past few years, and there are now products specifically formulated to help with sleep. CBD has a relaxing effect on the body, and combining it with melatonin can be an awesome natural sleep aid for some people.
- Research from 2019 found that CBD helped improve anxiety in adults, which can be a barrier to getting good sleep. It also helped improve sleep in 66.7 percent of participants, though there was some fluctuation in sleep quality after the first month of use.
- A 2019 review suggests that CBD may help reduce stress, which can also interfere with good sleep.
- A 2018 review of studies published between 1975 and 2018 found that CBD can effectively manage pain, namely cancer pain, fibromyalgia pain, and neuropathic pain. Research shows that poor sleep and pain are interconnected: Pain interferes with sleep, and poor sleep can lead to pain.
Even more, many CBD products for sleep also contain melatonin to add to their effects.
Charlotte’s Web is a reputable company known for their quality CBD products and transparent business practices. These CBD gummies are an easy, pre-dosed way to dive into the world of CBD. (Psst: Find out more about how we select CBD products here.)
DAVIDsTEA Organic Mother’s Little Helper
DAVIDsTEA Organic Mother’s Little Helper is a caffeine-free blend containing valerian, an herb touted for its relaxation properties. Valerian is typically used for its root, and research shows that it can improve sleep quality without causing side effects.
This tea blend also contains organic peppermint, lemongrass, hibiscus, rosehips, and chamomile, all of which can also help promote relaxation. Peppermint is also shown to relieve digestion problems.
This tea is best served hot and can be brewed a few hours before bed to help you wind down for the night. The majority of reviewers say that this tea helps them relax and sleep easier. Many also say it has a refreshing, floral taste.
Buy the DAVIDsTEA Organic Mother’s Little Helper online.
R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Just Tart Cherry Juice
Cherry juice is one of the most overlooked and simplest sleep remedies available. While warm milk usually gets all the credit for being the bedtime drink of choice, tart cherry juice is actually a powerhouse that is shown to increase melatonin production and improve sleeep duration and quality.
Even better, most containers of tart cherry juice go for less than $10 and can be purchased at most major grocery stores.
Buy the R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Just Tart Cherry Juice online.
Temporary sleep loss and diagnosed insomnia require different courses of action.
According to the National Institutes of Health, people with insomnia can find relief by improving their sleep hygiene, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, managing stress, limiting daytime naps, getting regular exercise, and avoiding certain medications.
But, if you’re struggling to sleep 3 or more nights a week for more than 3 months, you may need further treatment. This could include medication or cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you consistently have trouble falling and staying asleep, reach out to a doctor to discuss potential treatment options.
Chronic insomnia has repercussions that ripple into the day and can lead to fatigue, exhaustion, trouble concentrating, and other health problems.
We live in an overstimulating world where factors, like overexposure to light and stimulants, can disrupt the body’s circadian rhythm and make falling asleep or staying asleep difficult.
Luckily, there are products on the market that can help you settle your body and mind down and help you fall asleep easier.
Remember to always talk with your doctor before trying any at-home remedies.
Lucia Whalen is a Chicago-based writer and multimedia journalist specializing in the intersection of health, science, and environment; she is also a cofounder of Trashy Magazine. Her writing has been featured in Atlas Obscura, South Side Weekly, MindBodyGreen, and other publications. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.