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Top Gifts For Better Sleep

Updated: Jan 11

Are you struggling to find the perfect gift for someone whose sleep feels more elusive than a Christmas miracle?

A pair of hands selecting a present from a selection of colourful presents

As someone who has weathered the relentless storm of insomnia, and now works as a therapist specializing in sleep disorders, I wish I knew then what I know now. I've learned a lot over the years on what the science says is important for a good night’s sleep.


Many people are surprised to hear that the research shows sleep hygiene alone often isn’t enough to solve the problem of fragile sleep. However, gifts to help provide a cool and quiet bedroom environment will likely be very much appreciated.


Crucial for recovering from insomnia is a healthy circadian rhythm. This requires consistent sleep and wake times, with lots of light during the day and darkness at night. Easier said than done, of course, when living with chronic insomnia. But there are things we can do and some products that can help strengthen the circadian rhythm.


Sure, the ultimate dream gift for someone battling insomnia would be, well, sleep itself. But since we can't exactly wrap that up and put a bow on it, here are some thoughtful gift ideas that might just bring some comfort, relaxation and even improved sleep to your loved ones wrestling with insomnia.


Read on for a full list of Top Gifts for Better Sleep.


(Disclaimer: Please note these product suggestions come from a combination of my colleagues, clients, and some I’ve tried personally myself. I do not receive benefit, financial or otherwise, from mentioning any of these products).


Top Gifts For Better Sleep:


Grey blinds on a wooden table

1. Portable Black Out Blinds

When the world seems too bright and sleep just won’t come, portable blackout blinds can be a saving grace and help maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, with regular timing of morning light and avoiding light at night. Whether for travel, a baby's room, or those pesky early summer sunrises, these blinds create the perfect darkness sanctuary. West Coast Kids offers one example of a convenient option that maybe easier on the wallet than full blackout blinds.



2. ZDen: Portable Blackout Sleep Den

Create your own cozy nest with this portable blackout sleep den that sits on top of your bed. Escape from sleep-disruptive light and cocoon yourself in darkness, fostering a dark environment for a restful night's sleep. Great idea for the shift worker in your life.



3. YFONG 3D Weighted Light Blocking Sleep Mask

Blocking out intrusive light, this weighted sleep mask creates a gentle pressure that can promote relaxation and encourage sleep. An ideal gift for those sensitive to light disruptions.



Woman sleeping in a black tshirt and black eyemask on a bed with white linen


4. Smart lighting

Maximizing bright white light exposure during the day, especially in the mornings, and dimming the lights to a warm colour in the evenings is a great way to help strengthen the circadian rhythm – so important for good sleep. Smart bulbs and tunable lighting, for example Philips Hue line of products, can help mimic natural light changes, such as sunrise and sunset, and everything in between. Here’s one review on some of the many options to choose from: Smart switches or smart bulbs? How to choose the right smart lighting for your home.


5. Clocky Alarm Clock on Wheels

Rise and shine! Or maybe, rise and chase after your runaway alarm clock! Clocky hops off your nightstand and zooms around, making sure you’re up and about before it lets you hit snooze a second time. Turning on Clocky is a decision made in advance, for obvious reasons.



Blue alarm clock on a miniature wooden sleigh on top of snow


6. Mathe Alarm Clock

Solving math problems before the crack of dawn may not sound like the coziest wake-up call, but this alarm clock app might just jolt your brain awake in a fun, stimulating way. Ok, this might not be your idea of fun at that time of the morning, but trust me, your sleep and circadian rhythm will thank you for sticking to a regular wake-up schedule.


7. White Noise Machine

Blocking out disruptive noises can be a game-changer for sleep. But beware: some sounds are shown to be more disruptive to sleep than others, as our brains tend to process potentially dangerous noises, such as human language and even nature sounds. Consider a white noise machine or apps that provide constant, neutral sounds.


8. Audio Book Subscription or Gift Certificate

Often, trying too hard to sleep leads to even worse restlessness. An enjoyable, relaxing distraction can be a great alternative to tossing and turning in bed. An audiobook is a much better use of those restless nighttime hours. For more tips on this topic, if you haven’t already, sign up for my newsletter to receive a free copy of Why Relaxation Strategies for Insomnia can Backfire – and what to do instead.


9. Cooling Pads by Sleep.Me

Formerly known as Chilisleep, this company has been taken over by sleep.me. Truthfully, I’m not familiar with this new company, but I can tell you that I still love my cooling pad. It helps maintain a comfortable sleep temperature, making them a relief during summer heat waves and a cozy warm nest to save on heating in the winter.


10. Online Insomnia Recovery Programs

Consider gifting access to online insomnia recovery programs, such as Noctem Health’s COAST 6-week therapist-guided digital CBT-I program or Insomnia Help Canada’s self-guided online program offer invaluable guidance in the journey to better sleep. Ok, I admit I’m biased because I offer both these services. But that’s because my clients and I know how helpful they can be!


11. Free or Low-Cost Gift or Stocking Stuffer Ideas


Red stocking stuffer hanging on a wall right below some christmas tree branches
  • Create an upbeat playlist to help with morning awakening and share on Spotify (Here’s one tune that’s almost guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. WARNING: Many swear words. Listener beware).

  • Have some fun with the Sleep Cycle app that records sleep talking, among other things.

  • Wrap up some lavender or magnesium bath salts.

  • Ear plugs for anyone living with a snoring partner or in a noisy environment. For those who find them just too irritating, silicon or wax ear plugs can be helpful in addition to white noise.


Remember, the greatest gift you can give someone wrestling with insomnia is understanding and support. Insomnia is a lonely experience. These thoughtful gifts not only aim to create an atmosphere conducive to sleep, they can also go a long way in showing you “get it”.


Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, offering the promise of better sleep is a gesture that transcends any holiday. Because when it comes to insomnia, any time is the perfect time for better sleep.



Wishing you and your loved ones a joyous and peaceful holiday, filled with the comfort of sweet dreams and deep sleep – the best gift of all.

 

Looking for more help to get your sleep back on track? Send me a message to join the waitlist for one-on-one CBT-I or our therapist-guided digital CBT-I program. Or get started right away by signing up for my online self-paced program on Effective Natural Strategies for Chronic Insomnia.

 

Share the love – and the sleep ❤️


White envelope with red paper heart hanging from gold string

Would your loved ones like a bit of help with their Santa list?


Feel free to drop a hint and share this article.



 

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