Ahh, the holiday season. From cooler weather to beautiful lights and opportunities to give back to our loved ones, the holidays can be the best time of the year! However, it can also be one of the most stressful, especially when it comes to giving the perfect gift. There’s a lot of pressure to pick out something that’s just right and will be useful for your loved ones.
Are you hoping to do some last-minute shopping before the end of the year? Consider giving your loved ones something to help them sleep at night! Sleep is absolutely vital to our well-being and day-to-day happiness, so helping someone get a great night of sleep can even help improve other areas of their life. Here are six of our favorite gift ideas this holiday season that are sure to help your favorite people get that essential shut-eye.
A White Noise Machine
Falling asleep when there’s noise outside is difficult. In fact, one study found that environmental noise significantly impairs sleep and could even have significant consequences on one’s health.
If you know someone who lives on a busy street or in a house with thin walls, a white noise machine would be the perfect gift for them. Not only do some of them have fans that can blow cool air into your face, but they also have adjustable volume and tone settings so anyone can find the right sound that helps them fall asleep. Have a friend who travels a lot? Consider getting them a small and portable one!
A Sunrise Alarm
Exposure to light in the morning can make waking up much easier. This is because light tells the brain to stop melatonin production, causing it to release wake-promoting neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. Along those lines, waking up at the same time every morning can also help you fall asleep at night and get more restful sleep by regulating your circadian rhythm.
If you know someone who has a hard time getting up every day, using a blaring alarm clock probably isn’t doing anything to help. Instead, try giving them an alarm clock that mimics the light of a sunrise. These clocks gradually get brighter about 15 minutes before your alarm is set, helping you wake naturally.
An Essential Oil Diffuser
An aromatherapy diffuser that emits essential oils is a simple gift that can make a big difference to someone’s bedtime routine. Essential oils—oils derived from plants—have been used as medical treatments for hundreds of years. Similarly, research has demonstrated that smell can have a significant impact on sleep. Certain scents can promote relaxation that makes it easier to fall asleep and feel more well-rested the next day. They can produce psychological and physiological responses, as well as become part of an emotional memory, reminding you of certain responses and moments when you encounter the same smell again in the future.
Take fresh sheets as an example. Many people report that both the smell and feeling of newly-washed sheets have helped them sleep more comfortably, as well as feel more excited for bed. Other scents can also have a positive effect on sleep, including the following:
- Clary Sage
- Ylang Ylang
Many of these scents can not only produce a more relaxing aroma but also help clear your sinuses. If you know someone who feels congested when they lay down, gifting them peppermint or eucalyptus oil along with their essential oil diffuser could help them clear their nose as they sleep.
Looking for a different scented gift that can help a loved one relax and get ready for bed? A pillow mist is another great idea that can help! Just one spray of a soothing lavender and chamomile mist on a pillow can help anyone sink deep into sleep.
A Temperature-Controlled Mug with Herbal Tea
What’s more relaxing than a warm cup of tea before bedtime? Now, with a smart mug, anyone can keep their favorite warm beverage at the perfect temperature to enjoy before they hit the hay. Not only can the ingredients in a drink help someone sleep better, but the warmth of the drink can also signal to their brain that it’s time to sleep soon. The sensory aspect of holding something warm can also encourage one’s mind and body to relax and settle into bed.
Along with sound, sight, and smell, taste can also help prepare someone for bed and get great sleep. Herbal tea, for example, contains great ingredients that can serve as natural remedies to reduce anxiety and address insomnia. Teas including herbs like chamomile and lavender or valerian root and lemon balm can serve as sleep inducers and have a calming effect on the body. Gifting someone tea alongside their new mug is the perfect gift to set them up for a calming nighttime routine that they are sure to love!
A Notebook or Interesting Book
Reading and writing can be an instrumental part of relieving stress before bed—especially because it’s something that someone can do that doesn’t involve using their phone or looking at blue light from other technology. A gorgeous journal can encourage someone to ditch their phone and spend time jotting down whatever is on their mind, whether it’s how their day went or what they’re feeling grateful for.
Reading a book can also help someone unwind without looking at blue light and throwing off their circadian rhythm. Reading before bedtime is proven to have significant benefits on top of better sleep, including the following:
- Stress reduction: Immersing yourself in a good book can help take your mind off your current situation, with one study finding that just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent.
- Improved creativity: Books can teach you new things, broaden your mind, and even introduce you to new people and mindsets, allowing you to let your creativity take you to new places.
- Boosted brain power: Because reading allows you to take in new information in an interesting way, it’s bound to make you smarter. Any subject matter—including fantasy—can help expand your vocabulary and keep your mind agile.
Have a loved one who loves words and isn’t getting the sleep they need? A novel or notebook could be the perfect gift for them.
Sleep is a vital aspect of our health and wellness, so give your loved ones the gift of great sleep with one of these six fun ideas! They’ll be able to enjoy these presents for years to come as they get the rest they need.