Sleep Better with these 6 Sleep Aids

Again, your best efforts to get a good night sleep may fall short.  You may need to invest in some sleep products to help get you to that deep REM that you seek

  1. eye mask ($1): Light is a strong indicator to your body that it is time to get up.  I mentioned earlier how important it is to completely block out light from the room you sleep in.  This is not always possible nor do you always have control over the environment where you sleep.  When sleeping in a hotel while traveling, you are at the mercy of the accommodations in the room.  I have found eye masks to be essential in these situations.  My favorite place to use them is while camping.  The sun can come up very early and I usually need a few hours of sleep after that event.  Slipping on an eye mask gets me that extra sleep.  I have found these little masks at dollar stores and have them tucked away in all my suitcases.  The money spent on them is money well spent.
  2. ear plugs (price varies greatly): This item continues with the theme of limiting your sensory input.  Noise is an enemy of good sleep and like light cannot always be controlled.  If you cannot control the noise level in your environment, you may need to control it at your ears.  The price of ear plugs can vary greatly as the different kinds of plugs span the spectrum from cheap foam plugs that cost a few bucks to custom ear plugs that can run several hundred dollars.  My favorites are Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs and are silicon based.  They are sold in a box of six pair for a few bucks.  I was never too fond of the foam ones.  They are all too small and rattle around in my ear canal.  If they made them fatter, they would be more functional.
  3. white noise generator (less than $50):  If you can’t stand poking something in your ear, you may wish to mask out the noise with a white noise generator.  These are portable and easy to use.  When on the road in a noise hotel and no way to control the noise, I have found that I can emulate a white noise generator by turning on the fan in the bathroom.
  4. Sleep CDs and MP3s (price varies): These are the opposite of eliminating noise.  These CDs provide music and sound to promote sleep.  This requires that you have a CD or MP3 player close by your bed.  If you are having trouble finding these, go to Amazon and search for “sleep” in the music store.
  5. Zeo Personal Sleep Coach ($199): I learned about these last two devices from Timothy Ferris’s book The Four Hour Body.  The Zeo personal sleep coach is a device that monitors your sleep patterns.  You wear a special headband to bed and it will record your REM sleep and other things sleep related.  Later, you can analyze the data on your computer.  Zeo will provide you with suggestions on how to improve your sleep.
  6. Nightwave Sleep Assistant ($49).  This portable device projects soft blue light into the room in cycles.  You try to synchronize your breathing with the light. After a while, the light shuts and in you go to sleep.

Through trial and error, you should be able to improve you sleep with some of these devices.