11 sleep-centric gifts for the insomniac in your life

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For me, sleep is frustratingly elusive. Pretty much every night, I take around an hour to pass out. I reawaken three hours later, feeling a pang of envy toward my partner as he snores peacefully beside me. On my very best night, I’ll clock in six hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you have a loved one who can relate, truly restful sleep is probably the best gift you could give them this holiday. The reality is that it takes intention, time, and the ability to find a little calm to fall and stay asleep. But you can't exactly wrap that up and present it to someone, so here's the next best thing: a list of our favorite sleep gifts for the insomniac in your life, based on what’s helped me.

The lighting

This light bathes your bedroom in a soft, warm glow that allows you to read or indulge in a face mask, then steadily dims, so you can slip into sleep without having to reach over and turn it off. You can even set a wake-up time, when the light gradually brightens, easing you into your day rather than shocking you into consciousness, like the blaring beep of a traditional alarm clock.

The sheets

Saatva has engineered their sheets to lull you to sleep, with a 300-thread count for optimal breathability and long cotton fibers for a soft, luxuriant feel. And Fair Trade certifications can further help you rest easy, with the knowledge that the sheets are as ethical as they are cozy. They come in grey, ivory, and white, and run from twin to California King sizes, with ample-sized pockets that fit mattress ranging from 11 to 15 inches in thickness.

The mask

I’m a huge fan of these eye masks. Within 30 seconds of removing them from their packaging, the oxygen in the air reacts with the iron powder inside of them, warming them to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit (which sounds hot but it's actually a few degrees above our own temperature) and turning them into little heating pads for my eyes.

The heat lasts for roughly 20 minutes, and the ear loops hold the mask snugly against my head, leaving me little choice but to lie down and savor its soothing warmth, which never fails to leave me drowsy.

The soundscape

I tend to doze off more easily in the summer, probably thanks to the gentle whir of my fan, a sound I find especially calming. The Wave Sleep Therapy Sound Machine offers a high-tech alternative, with six white noise settings. You can set a timer to turn off the sound after 15, 30, or 60 minutes, and charge your phone from the USB port in the meantime. Available in black or white, the unit’s sleek look and portability make it easy to integrate into pretty much any space.

The glasses

The lenses in these specs contain a special material that filters out blue light, emitted by cell phones, tablets, and other devices, which can not only cause eye strain, but hamper sleep quality. An anti-reflective coating removes glare for an even gentler screen viewing experience. These glasses can not only help a person maintain proper sleep hygiene, but look good doing it, thanks to an assortment of chic frames.

The pillow

The memory foam in this pillow not only hugs every contour of your head and neck, but is also infused with lavender oil, which studies suggest can improve sleep, and the Queen and King sizes even come with lavender spray. A Tencel mesh cover keeps the surface cool and dry.

The blanket

While the effects that weighted blankets have on insomnia and anxiety are still unclear, but a sleep-deprived soul might want to give one a whirl. This laundry-safe, glass bead-filled blanket, available in three sizes — a 15-pound twin, 20-pound queen, or 25-pound king — might be a good starting point. Soft fleece lines one side, and cooling cotton, perfect for hot sleepers, lines the other.

The soothing scents

Create a chill ambiance with this diffuser by popping open the porcelain lid and adding a few drops of lavender essential oil (Vitruvi has its own line of essential oils, but Garden of Life's are great too) into the water reservoir, or try the “diffuser cocktails” suggested on the brand’s website — like Cozy Home, which contains lavender, bergamot, and frankincense essential oils.

The plug-in unit can diffuse scent for three hours straight or in seven-and-a-half-hour intervals. Available in white, terracotta, charcoal, black, and blush, it’s a design-positive addition to any bedroom.

The Mattress

We all know how crucial a good mattress is. A Tencel cover keeps this one cool, while a copper graphite memory foam conforms to your every curve. The pocketed coils in the mattress are said to lengthen its lifespan, which it guarantees to last 10 years, according to Fast Company.

The grip surface-lined bottom prevents annoying slippage, and the foams don’t contain ozone depleters, heavy metals, or other shady ingredients. Ten inches thick, the mattress comes in twin, twin XL, full, queen, and king sizes.

The wind-down prep

Pre-bedtime rituals really help set my mind and body to relaxation mode. Loaded with lavender-scented goodies, this gift set from LUSH could do the same for a loved one who struggles to get shut-eye. It comes with rich, creamy lotion, sudsy shower gel, a bubble bar, and a fizzy bath bomb. A bonus for ethically-minded shoppers: LUSH doesn’t buy from suppliers who test on animals, nor does the brand test its own finished products on animals.


The wellness world continues to obsess over cannabidiol, or CBD, the non-high-inducing compound in cannabis. While research on the effects of CBD is still developing, it does act on the brain’s endocannabinoid system, believed to help regulate sleep and other functions, and research so far suggests it may have promise for insomnia and other sleep disorders.

This CBD product from Rosebud, extracted from organic hemp, is formulated in coconut oil, also organic; ingesting CBD in an oil allows more of it to get absorbed from your gut into your bloodstream since CBD is fat-soluble. You can also apply a few drops to the skin, according to the brand’s website. The oil comes in two volumes: half a milliliter, which contains 12 milligrams CBD, and one milliliter, which contains 24 milligrams of CBD.