8 Interesting & Innovative Products That Will Actually Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

It's National Sleep Day, it's so important it has a fixed calendar entry. We're obsessed with sleep: how much we get, the quality of it, how it affects our day... And yet our obsession doesn't seem to result in better sleep satisfaction.

A recent report from the British Sleep Council found that 22% of Britons claim to sleep poorly every night, with almost half of us being kept awake by stresses and worries. Also: smartphones. Or something.

This isn't in our heads. More worrying stats do reveal that we are getting a full hour's less sleep than we were just 70 years ago. Despite living much more hectic lifestyles.

Plenty of places are making big bucks out of this worry about sleep. "Sleep hygiene" (the environment we create for ourselves to sleep in) has never been more closely scrutinised. Look at the rise in trendy affordable mattresses, for instance, adverts for which are heard daily on podcasts between slots for Blue Apron and Squarespace. Go back five years and imagine, if you will, a world in which mattresses were being marketed to twenty-somethings. See what I mean? We're obSESSED.

So which products do actually help with sleep? We looked to experts to find the most interesting, innovative and effective products out there.

ChiliPad

Dr. W. Chris Winter, the guy Arianna Huffington calls "the sleep whisperer" (you can read our interview with him here), recommends the ChiliPad in his book The Sleep Solution. "As God as my witness... this will change the way you sleep forever," he writes.

The ChiliPad is essentially a water-cooled mattress cover which allows two people to sleep at completely different temperatures – anywhere from 12°C to 43°C(!). So if you're forever kicking off the covers while your partner's snuggling down under 10 blankets, this could be an option.

One problem: it doesn't come cheap. For a double with dual temperature controls, you're looking at prices starting at £919.

Chili Technology ChiliPad, from £469 for a single, available at Chili Technology
Alaska Bear® Natural Silk Sleep Mask

Ethan Green is the founder of No Sleepless Nights. He's suffered from insomnia for many years and as a result, now spends his time reviewing products designed to help sleep.

His favourite sleep mask is this Alaska Bear one. He says that it completely blocks out light, no matter how bright, but that "you'll hardly feel it" over your eyes. There's no velcro on the strap either, meaning long hair won't get caught.

Alaska Bear® Natural Silk Sleep Mask, £7.50, available at Amazon
White Noise Free Sleep Sounds App

If you like to use non-invasive background noise to help you drift off to sleep, you might be tempted to fork out on expensive ambient sound machines.

Actually, Consumer Reports in the US tested two expensive white noise machines (one was as much as £130) against the White Noise Free Sleep Sounds app and the myNoise app and found that, while the apps can't match the sounds from the machines exactly, they are "similar".

They also noted that the apps "have many more sounds to choose from... and you have the option of recording your own personalised sounds."

White Noise Free Sleep Sounds App, free, available from the App Store
myNoise App, free, available from the App Store
Simba and Eve Mattresses

As mentioned before, the hipster mattress revolution is in full swing and now, having a conversation about a mattress is a totally acceptable pastime. Simba and Eve are two of the biggest brands, but which one to pick?

Luckily, Derek from Sleepopolis, a website dedicated to trustworthy reviews of the best sleep products out there, has done a handy comparison. He liked both mattresses and recommends either product for those looking for a "medium to firm feel" but the Simba for those looking for something with "more bounce and a response that sleeps cooler" and for "side or back sleepers". Eve, he says, would suit those who want a "firmer feel, with a bit more contour".

Read his full review here. Also, it might interest you to know that the two companies seem to be having a bit of a lols rivalry at the moment. To get £100 off an Eve mattress you can use code MUFASA100. As in, the Mufasa who got Simba out of the way in The Lion King...

Simba Mattress, from £399, available at Simba
Eve Mattress, from £349, available at Eve
The Simba Hybrid®Pillow

You know how the cool side of the pillow is always the best? With this pillow, you've always got a cool side to lay your weary head on.

The pillow is filled with (probably magic) "nanotubes" which are squishy foam rolls you can top up on or take out depending on the height you like your pillow. Apparently they absorb, store and release heat as necessary. It's all very clever indeed.

The Simba Hybrid Pillow, £95. Available at Simba.
Snoreeze Nasal Spray

If your sleep problem is partner-related (as in, your bedfellow is loud and snorey and prevents you from getting a good night's sleep), then consider getting them hooked on Snoreeze Nasal Spray.

Quote from my boyfriend (I'm the snorey one): "This made a lot of difference. It didn't eradicate your snoring completely but it definitely took the edge off and stopped you sounding like an angry trash panda."

Although he did add that a glass of red wine for him, late evening, brought similar respite.

Snoreeze Nasal Spray, £9.99, available at Chemist Direct
Muse

For those who struggle with racing or intrusive thoughts, or the whole concept of relaxation in general when it comes to bedtime, meditation – the practice of calming your mind – could be helpful.

It's back to Dr. Winter again for our next recommendation. Muse is a slightly Black Mirror-esque piece of technology that is worn on the head and identifies your brain waves, converting them to the sound of the ocean, the wind or the rainforest. As a result, Dr. Winter says, you can "hear" your brain's activity level. Slowing it down becomes a tangible process, as you notice the ocean quietening. Enough practice means a calm mind should come quicker at bedtime.

InteraXon Muse, £269, available at Amazon
PeachSkin sheets

Some people struggle with textures, with ill-fitting sheets, with night sweats or night chills. All frustrating things that can keep us from nodding off.

Sheets, like mattresses, are suddenly cool (keep an ear out for Brooklinen and Boll & Branch on a podcast advert break near you now). Looking into it, though, there is a stand-out superstar in the sheets game and that's PeachSkin.

Sleep Like The Dead is the largest unbiased consumer review sleep website and bases its reviews on some 300,000 people. It gave PeachSkin sheets an 85% satisfaction rate. Check out the testimonial pages for more glowing reviews.

PeachSkin Sheets, from £19, available at PeachSkinSheets
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