You've probably heard over and over that you should be getting seven to nine hours of shuteye a night. But the reason experts like Dr. Chris Winter and Matthew Walker keep harping on about this is that over two thirds of us are chronically sleep deprived and many millions need prescription pills to fall and stay asleep. In this article, we'll share four cutting-edge tools designed to help you finally do what you know you need to in order to recover quicker, think clearer, and perform to your full potential: get better sleep!
- Manta Sleep Mask Pro
There are hundreds of sleep masks out there for one reason: minimizing light exposure helps improve sleep duration and quality. After trying many different options in the past few years, there’s a clear leader of the pack: the Manta Sleep Mask Pro. A lot of the other options on the market put too much pressure on your eyes, which is counterproductive and can actually keep you awake longer. In contrast, the latest addition to Manta’s line of masks keeps both eyes covered without pushing on them.
My other main boggle with sleep masks is that they often leave a line of sweat because of heat buildup, which just feels gross. Thankfully, the Manta Pro is ventilated with a lot of holes so warmth can escape, without light seeping in. Like high-end hiking pants, this mask also has silicon grippers placed strategically around the inside of its headband, which helps prevent the slippage that undermines the effectiveness of so many sleep masks.
- Sleeep Pro Earplugs
If light is the number one sleep disruptor for most people, sound is surely a close second. Whether it’s barking dogs, incessant road noise, or night owl neighbors, both sudden and persistent interruptions can easily prevent you from getting the restorative slumber you crave (not to mention being highly irritating). Enter the Sleeep Pro earplugs. Created by British company Flare Audio, these feature a unique double-barreled design that allows for deep yet safe insertion in your ear canals.
The only comparable noise canceling I’ve experienced is with my pair of Etymotic earphones, which are known for their category-leading isolation. Once you slip the Sleeep Pros into place, you will hear nothing. This not only makes them perfect for nightly home use, but also for drowning out the clamor of a plane cabin. And as they’re precisely machined from titanium, they’re pretty much bulletproof too.
- Eberjey William Long PJ Set
If you run hot like I do, you’ve probably avoided pajamas because they make you overheat within minutes. But some new fabric innovations might make you consider giving PJs another chance. The William line from Eberjeyutilizes Tencel modal, which is made from wood pulp. This has amazing sweat-wicking properties and unlike the cotton flannel your parents and grandparents preferred for their nightwear, feels cool to the touch even if you’ve got the covers pulled all the way up.
Another plus to Eberjey’s pajamas is that the fabric is certified by OEKO-TEX, which uses rigorous third-party testing to ensure there are no harmful chemicals in clothing. These PJs are also more tailored than typical sleepwear, so you’ll look more like you’re stepping onto a movie set in the morning than stumbling around in slouchy, oversized sleepwear.
- zDen Sleep Tent
Did your parents ever create a fun sleepover experience with your family or friends whereby they’d set up tents for indoor overnight camping? If so, then you’re going to rekindle some fond childhood memories with the zDen. While the Manta Sleep Mask Pro mentioned above will likely provide sufficient darkness, if your street is lined with streetlights or your home is directly in the beams of passing cars, you might need an extra layer of light blocking. Which is where the zDen sleep tent comes in.
Another benefit to this unique product is that it recreates the feeling of calm you get in a float tank (minus the warm water – that’d be weird in bed). zDen blocks out 99 percent of light, so if you combine it with the Manta, you should be able to sleep in complete darkness. It’s also roomy enough to not make you feel claustrophobic, and if you need more ventilation, just open the flaps of this clever mini tent to let air flow in and cool you down.