What if you could give someone you love better health as a holiday gift? That would be amazing! What if you could reduce someone’s stress with a present? Everybody would appreciate that. You can. Just put the gift of better sleep at the top of your holiday shopping list.
Quality sleep is vital to both physical and mental well-being. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a good night’s sleep helps us avoid weight gain, lowers our risk for serious health problems, improves our mood, and promotes our ability to get along better with others. Yet, few of us get the sleep we need to live our best lives.
The holidays create a perfect opportunity to show someone you care by giving them gifts designed to improve their sleep and, in turn, their health. No matter whom you plan on buying gifts for, our holiday gift guide is packed with great ideas that are sure to please.
A just-right sleeping environment is essential for quality sleep. Gifts that help create a dark and quiet bedroom will help your loved ones fall asleep more easily and sleep more soundly through the night. Consider products like:
- Sound machines. Sounds of gentle rain, relaxing waves and even white noise can help induce a quicker trip to dreamland and block out additional noises that would otherwise wake lighter sleepers during the night.
- Blackout drapes or sleep masks. For quality shut-eye, you need to obstruct all light. At home, special curtains can block out light from windows, while sleep masks ensure darkness for travelers wherever they may lay their head.
- Fragrances like lavender, vanilla and jasmine have proven calming effects. Body oils, linen sprays or diffusers that contain these essential oils make great stocking stuffers.
Comfort is key to avoid the tossing and turning of a restless sleep. Think about gifts such as:
- Sheet sets. Who doesn’t sleep better on fresh sheets? Just be sure to choose natural fabrics (cotton, linen, bamboo) and don’t bother with thread counts above 400. Both synthetic materials and higher thread counts trap heat, resulting in sweaty, uncomfortable sleep.
- Smart/programmable thermostat. Speaking of heat, “The Sleep Doctor,” Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., says the optimal room temperature for sleeping is about 65° A smart thermostat can automatically reach that setting each evening and return to a preferred daytime temperature by morning.
Most of us are guilty of not replacing our worn-out pillows and lumpy mattresses often enough. Gifts that create the right foundation for quality sleep include:
- Sleeping on a soft, supportive pillow is more than a luxury. It’s essential for proper neck and spine alignment. Before you go shopping, get a heads-up on the different types of pillows you’ll find – from feathers to foam. (Don’t forget those travel-style neck pillows for your globetrotting friends, either.)
- Mattress toppers. Whether you choose a foam, gel or fiber design, a mattress topper can work wonders to improve a bed’s comfort and support.
- Okay, this gift may not fit under the tree. And it’s probably way too awkward for your boss or brother-in-law. But consider treating yourself and your bed partner to a new mattress this year. Use our mattress buying guide to find a gift that will keep on giving, night after restful night.
Naughty List Gifts
You probably know someone who might bend the rules or perhaps makes things a bit more difficult. But it’s the season of giving. Everyone deserves to share in the joy, right?!
- Blue-light screen covers. No one should use a phone, tablet or TV in bed. Ever. If you know someone who insists anyway, a product that blocks out the stimulating blue light emitted by those bright screens can help them more easily power down their brain.
- Snoring stoppers. Snorers make it a rough go for their bed partners. Snoring can disrupt sleep for the snorer too. Explore over-the-counter solutions like nasal strips and mouthpieces. But always encourage a chronic snorer to consult a medical professional for proper diagnosis.
You’ll never go wrong when you show someone you care about their well-being. Sleep gifts have universal appeal, so these easy ideas are perfect for everyone on your list. Good luck shopping and warm wishes for a happy, healthy holiday filled with visions of sugarplums dancing in your head.
This blog provides general information about sleep and sleep products. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified heath care professional. This blog should not be construed as medical advice or used to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care professional. This blog is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, and should not be relied upon to make decisions about your health or the health of others. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or elsewhere on bettersleep.org. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.