15 Gifts for a Better Night of Sleep
Sherpa blankets, sleepbuds, "moon beam machines" and more
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Visit InsideHook’s Holiday 2020 gifting hub to find gift ideas for every person on your list this year. Also, who are we kidding? Find lots of ideas for yourself there, too.
You can’t buy somebody a bed.
Not because it’s too expensive or logistically challenging, exactly. It’s now easier than ever to get a great bed for under a grand, shipped and at your door a few days later. It’s just such a personal purchase. Unless you’re a parent, or the partner to a super laidback spouse, you probably shouldn’t be picking out the thing another person will spend a third of their life in.
That said, there are gifts out there to help them make the most of that time. Like better bedding. Sleep teas, patches, and creams. And a machine invented by a lifelong insomniac, which “beams” calming projections onto the ceiling until you fall into a deep slumber.
We were all short on sleep this year. Use this guide to make sure there are plenty of zzzs to go around in 2021.
The Good Patch‘s plant-based patches relieve pain from a variety of day-to-day aches (muscle soreness, period cramps, hangovers). Just affix the patch to the inside of your wrist, or any “dry, venous” area of the body, and it’ll work its magic up to 12 hours. The brand also makes patches aimed at calming the body before sleep, like Nite Nite, which includes 15 milligrams of hemp and three milligrams of melatonin. If you’re looking for a cheaper, non-cannabinoid option, meanwhile, Dream contains hops and valerian root — which has been linked with faster sleep since Ancient Greece.
No tea, unless it’s got a couple Ambiens stirred into it, is going to make you fall asleep all on its own. But one of the most effective “sleep teas” I’ve come across is made by Sakara, a holistic wellness company helmed by best friends Whitney Tingle and Danielle Duboise. It includes catnip, which calms the nervous system, and passionflower, which lowers anxiety (and smells amazing).
When you’re gifting better sleep and better skincare, you’re in some rarefied air. This night cream is backed by the The International Dermal Institute and features a cocktail of aromatherapeutic fragrances — like sandalwood, patchouli and French lavender — alongside all-natural plant extracts selected to hydrate and fortify the skin. This is meant to be the absolute final step in a nighttime routine, applied to the face and neck. It melts into the skin as you drift to sleep.
Designed by a Parisian named Alexandre Dujoncquoy, who considers himself a “card-carrying insomniac,” this small plate-sized machine beams a calming light onto the ceiling of a bedroom, encouraging would-be sleepers to breathe along with its steady, pulsing rhythm. The idea is meditation with an obvious visual cue. It only works if tapped (if you tap twice, it’ll offer a longer session), and by the time it shuts off, you’ve been whisked away to snoozeville.
I’ve made an impassioned argument for wearing Mack Weldon’s undershirt as an everyday tee. Quite frankly, for those same exact reasons — the use of modal (a fabric from beech tree pulp, normally used in bed sheets), and its short, unobtrusive sleeves — this is the perfect sleeping shirt. There will be no justifiable reason to wear a scratchy XXL caught from a T-shirt cannon at a college basketball game again.
Lahgo is the men’s offshoot of Lunya, a Santa Monica-based brand that’s extremely popular among women for washable silk sleepwear. Men aren’t supposed to wear tight-fitting garments around the crotch 24/7. It can negatively impact fertility, or at the very least, contribute to surface-level irritation, like ingrown hairs. Consider Lahgo’s washable silk boxers a very elegant, luxurious safeguard against that possibility.
I have a Casper bed. The brand’s foam is supportive, temperature-regulating and amiable to my wackiest sleeping positions. All in all, a nightly delight. If you’re in the market for a small, say, a pillow-sized hunk of that foam, you have my blessing.
Hatch cut its teeth getting infants to fall (and stay) asleep, combining the night light and noise machine into one home sleeping system. After mastering babies, the tech brand has turned its attention to adults. The Hatch Restore, which dropped this past April, is the first sleep aid machine of its kind to include a sound machine, sunrise alarm, smart light, guided meditations and an alarm clock. For those who’d prefer to get the iPhone out of their room — despite its many sleep assistant apps — this port is bluelight free, offering a warm, reading light flow instead.
It’s easy to fumble on the goal line with bedding. When I moved into my latest apartment I amassed a variety of accoutrements aimed a better night’s rest, but bungled the very last layer — the duvet cover. I’d simply picked a pattern I thought might look cool under the prints in my room. It was stiff and made with little care. Brooklinen, surprise surprise, also has patterns that pair well with prints. And those patterns are on 480 thread count, buttery-soft duvet covers, made with intentionally oversized buttons and “long” and “short” side labels.
Deep pressure stimulation (DPS) relaxes the nervous system by applying extra weight against the body. The hug-like sensation has a science-backed capability to reduce pain, ease anxiety, and even catalyze serotonin production in the brain. Which is also a great prescription for falling asleep. Baloo is the name to know in the weighted blanket game, making 100% cotton throws that weigh up to 20 pounds. The brand is the only one using lead-free glass microbeads in its blankets.
It should come as little surprise that Faherty makes a mean statement blanket. The softest item of clothing currently in my closet is the surf-inspired brand’s Legend Sweater Shirt. Between the Sherpa lining and indigenous-inspired weave, this is a showstopper of a gift. It’s built for better sleep, but it’ll make your giftee happy at any point in the day throughout fall and winter. To honor those who originally conceptualized the patterns, a portion of sales are donated to Spirit Horse Nation and Lakota Way Healing Center.
Bose’s first foray into “sleepbuds” was a disaster. The battery was faulty, the connectivity sucked, and they caused discomfort whenever they pressed against the pillow. So Bose went back to the drawing board, fixed everything, and added a few new tricks. We tested the Bose Sleepbuds II during two of the most stressful weeks of the year (leading into the election) and go figure, the buds’ naturescape sounds gave us our best sleep of the year. Check out our full review here, then go win the holidays.
There’s a reason LeBron makes sure his hotel room temperature is set to 68 to 70 degrees whenever he’s on the road. The world’s best athletes know that colder sleep is better sleep. Short of blasting AC year-round, we’re huge fans of this Dyson fan. The brand’s most iconic model, it features 10 airflow settings, and even includes a sleep timer.
Parachute Down Duvet Insert
Short of buying a new mattress, upgrading someone’s comforter is the best way to give them the gift of better sleep. And as far as we’re concerned, it’s tough to beat Parachute’s cumulus-like down duvet insert, which comes with 750-fill European white down, which is at the very fluffiest end of the down-fill spectrum. (Quick explainer: “down fill power” refers to how resilient a lump of down is when a weight is placed on top of it; the higher the number, the better.) Pair with one of Parachute’s duvet covers, which have a nifty hidden-button feature that renders all four sides equally comfy.
Airweave Firm Mattress Topper
OK, maybe we spoke too soon. There is a better way to improve someone’s sleep without replacing their mattress: the Lamborghini of mattress toppers, which comes from Japanese company Airweave. Airweave fills their toppers with a proprietary upcycled material called “airfiber”: it adds a ton of firmness to any mattress while being more breathable (and thus cooler) than memory foam. Side note: this will also make a serious addition to any guestroom if you have out-of-towners coming in for the holidays.
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