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8 Life-Changing Products That Will Help You Sleep Better Than Ever

Blackout curtains, mattress upgrades, and the $6 earplugs that saved a chronic insomniac.

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1. A foam mattress topper that'll make your cheap bed more comfortable than you ever thought possible.

Sarah Aspler / BuzzFeed, Amazon / Via

I recently moved into a new apartment and needed a mattress ASAP. There were probably better options out there but because of a time crunch, I caved and got one from Ikea. Now don’t get me wrong — it’s not a bad mattress, but it’s not a great one either. A friend of mine told me she got a foam mattress topper and it made a huge difference and was obviously WAY cheaper than getting a new mattress, so I ordered the Lucid 2-Inch Foam Mattress Topper (which also comes with a three-year warranty). I have been sleeping great ever since!

I was a little concerned when it arrived because it wasn't as thick as I imagined, but once it was on the bed, I really could feel a change. The topper came wrapped in plastic, so initially had a weird smell to it but after about two days of being unfolded and aired, it had almost no scent!

But the thing I love most about it is my ~inflatable mattress hack~. I host friends and family every month or so and they’ve never complained about the inflatable mattress I set up in the living room for them, but the last time I had a friend stay, I wanted them to feel super cozy so I took the topper off my bed and put it on the inflatable mattress. My friend said she slept great and it makes me feel slightly less crappy about making them sleep on something that’s typically squeaky or bouncy. —Sarah Aspler

Get it from Amazon for $42.44 (available in sizes Twin–California King).

2. A pack of highly rated ear plugs designed for people who need complete silence to fall asleep.

Michelle No / BuzzFeed

My sleeping issues started when I graduated college, and the stresses of city life and the age of social media made me anxious almost all of the time. The only times I was able to actually seduce my mind into shutting off and catching at least five to six hours of z's were when all the conditions for rest—including an absolutely silent room—were perfectly in place.

Enter these noise-canceling earplugs, which really are the best sleep aid I've found for under $10. They fit snugly, don't fall out (for the most part), and smooth out background noise. As per another fan's recommendation, I use mine by rolling each earplug into a cylinder, pulling my ear upwards, inserting it, and holding it there for 30 seconds as it slowly expands and conforms to my ear canal. In just a few seconds, the buzz of outside street noise, whatever my roommate is watching on Netflix, and my humming A/C fades into nothingness.

The secret to these sleep-savers is in their contoured shape and squishy memory foam, which makes for non-itchy, non-painful earplugs that STAY in there once they're fully expanded. I've tried at least four other brands of earplugs—including super-dense ones meant to block out the loudest of noise (these turned out to be uncomfortable verging on painful) as well as more generic ones without the contour (which would fall out with the least bit of tossing and turning)—and none were as comfortable or worked as effectively as my Flents plugs. And if you can't trust a sleep-deprived writer, then you can at least believe the 145 five-star reviews. —Michelle No

Get a pack of 10 from Amazon for $2.98 or from Jet for $2.98.

3. A satin cap that not only looks cute, but also protects your hair while you're between the sheets.

Grace Eleyae / Via

I’ve slept in a satin bonnet or cap ever since my hairdresser suggested it six years ago. A typical cotton or percale pillowcase leads to friction, which then leads to breakage and dryness. I’ve tried some different ones over the years but never really loved any of them—either because they didn’t stay on all night, didn’t hold all my hair, weren’t my personal style, or all of the above. So when I started getting Instagram ads for the Grace Eleyae satin-lined caps (or ~slaps~), I was very much like, I’m listening.

They come in multiple colors and sizes* (they run big, IMHO) and are just so chic. I have three—one navy, and then a two cream ones (no longer available) which are truly beautiful, and which let me live out my best Olivia Pope life. I also like that I can pull it down over my ears to help me stay warm on cold nights. I wouldn’t hang out all day in the average satin bonnet, but I’m in no rush to take this cap off in the morning. Sometimes I'll cook or clean in the navy one since it covers my hair so fully. I could also see it being a lovely option for people dealing with hair loss or illness.

*FYI, I consider my head to be pretty big and my hair is long, but the large was actually a bit too big for me.

Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Get it from Amazon for $31.99 (available in multiple colors and sizes).

4. A travel pillow, AKA the MVP of your next long-haul flight.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

I live in New York City now, but for the 26 years before this one, I lived in Australia. For this reason, long-haul flights are a big part of my life. My most recent trip home was only 10 days long—which isn't very long when you consider you'll spend more than 20 hours in the air, plus a layover, getting there—so I knew I needed to try my hardest to get as much sleep on the plane as possible.

In the past, I've tried inflatable and bean-filled neck pillows and while both were fine, I knew there just had to be something better out there. After stumbling across the Trtl travel pillow on Amazon and seeing that 65% of its 5,000 reviews were five-star ratings, I added to cart in a heartbeat—and THANK GOD I did.

The pillow low-key looks like a neck brace and, in a way, that's what it is. There is a hard H-shaped piece that's attached to a long piece of scarf-like material. Once you position this H-shape between your head and shoulder, you wrap the scarf section of the pillow around your neck. On a 15-hour leg of my recent flight, I got eight hours of sleep! A miracle! I will say that my boyfriend who is 6'4" tried the pillow and found his neck was too long for it, but I swear by it. —Gyan Yankovich

Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

5. A bottle of gummy supplements that taste great and help shift you into sleep mode.

Amazon / Via

I can maybe count on one hand the number of times I've fallen asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. On good nights, it takes me about 30 minutes to drift off, and on even better nights, I only wake up once in the middle of the night. Random spells of insomnia? Yup, I've had 'em. I'm not a huge pill/drug person, though, so when a friend recommended these drug-free gummy supplements, I figured I might as well give them a try.

While I'd love to tell you that these have transformed me into a instant sleeper, the truth is that these aren't that type of magic. I only take one instead of the recommended two—I'm very wary of these kinds of things—so maybe I'm missing out on their full potency, but they've still made my life better. My mind doesn't race nearly as much before I fall asleep, I wake up way less often in the middle of the night, and as long as I get seven or more hours of sleep a night, I don't even wake up feeling groggy. The best thing they've done for me, though, is gotten me on a more regular sleep schedule. The bottle recommends chewing the—incredibly delicious, I should add—gummies around 30 minutes before bedtime. Having that timetable has made me so much better about getting my butt in bed at a decent and consistent hour every night. Sleeping well, at least for me, is a lifestyle, and the OLLY gummies have honestly been an MVP in helping me achieve restfulness. —Terri Pous

Get a bottle of 50 from Amazon for $12.34.

6. A stock of fresh lavender to whip out whenever you need something to help calm you down.

Anjali Patel / BuzzFeed, Nikki Skyes / Via

It may sound odd to keep a bag of lavender flowers around, but HEAR ME OUT because you can do so much with them! You can brew yourself a cup of tea, you can simmer them on the stove to make your home smell nice, you can use them in desserts, in homemade potpourri, your bath, lemonade, infused honey—honestly, the possibilities are really endless here because lavender is aromatic AND edible. When I have extra herbs I don’t know what to do with (like rosemary or even ginger root), sometimes I just brew them in a pot with lavender and lemon and drink it before I go to bed.

Lavender is a calming scent to keep on hand if you’re feeling stressed or a little on edge. I’m not saying you should take a handful of dried lavender flowers from this bag and eat them straight, but I'm am saying the scent and taste of lavender is a soothing addition to my nighttime routine. —Anjali Patel

Get an four-ounce bag from Amazon for $6.99.

7. A cozy linen duvet to make your bedroom feel extra welcoming.

Tom Vellner / BuzzFeed, West Elm / Via

Look, this linen duvet cover from West Elm may be on the pricier side at $199, but you deserve nice things in your life, especially when it comes to your bed, where you spend a third of your entire life. Buying this cozy cover was one of the best splurges I've ever made—I mean, just look how ~weathered and heathered~ it is! It makes my bedroom seem crisp, clean, and more grown-up. Plus, if you're splitting the cost with your partner, it basically costs the same as eating a few bougie brunches that, unlike this duvet cover, don't gently caress your face every night.

As if I didn't already want to dive into my bed at all times, this thing is soft and homey, drawing me in even more and making me feel super-snuggly. It closes with buttons, too, which I find cozier than a zipper that'll inevitably get caught on the fabric and tear it, and it's linen, so the fabric is breathable and doesn't make me feel like I've set myself on fire in the summer. The one downside about linen is that it wrinkles easily (though, that does make it look more relaxed and lived-in), but if you want to get rid of those pesky lines, it's safe to steam or iron. You deserve this. —Tom Vellner

Get the queen/full-sized duvet cover for $33-$189 or a king-sized cover for $189 from West Elm.

8. A set of $20 blackout curtains, that'll help you get a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep well after the sun has risen.

Emmy Favilla / BuzzFeed

If you're a light sleeper, you know how frustrating it is to be jolted awake by beams of bright sunlight when your alarm isn't set to go off for at least another hour or two. When I moved into a light-drenched apartment (yay!), I realized that meant I'd also have a light-drenched bedroom at hours when I'd rather be fast asleep (boo!). So I bought these these Deconovo curtains, swayed by an inviting price tag ($17.99+ a pair) and more than 1,500 glowing, 4.5-star-average reviews. When they arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by their high-quality, heavy, soft fabric—they looked more expensive than their price suggests—as well as immediately impressed by their ability to deliver. (Hot tip: If you're in the market for just a single curtain panel, rather than a pair, the same brand also sells a nearly identical version starting at $8.99.)

The photos show a before-and-after of what my bedroom looks like when I close the curtains on a really sunny day. ::cue solar eclipse flashbacks:: Seriously, thank god I'm not afraid of the dark! These curtains truly come through for this member of the Light Sleeper Club, and they're also available in 26 colors and three lengths: 63", 84", and 95". While I could have gone for even more sun-blocking power with a longer length (the ones I have are 63"), I didn't want to cover the air conditioner just below the window, and these work perfectly as is. (Also: I have the curtains in light grey, and I noticed there are reviews suggesting that some lighter-colored options may not provide as much blackout coverage, so that might be something to keep in mind if you're a fan of ~extreme~ darkness.) I'm consistently able to sleep soundly well until my wake-up time, no matter how sunny it is outside, and for $20 a pair, that's pretty damn impressive. —Emmy Favilla

Get a set of two from Amazon for $21.99.

Slumber Party is a series of content about the products and rituals that help us get the rest we deserve. You can find more posts like this one here.

Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed