Your body is begging for rest, but your mind is doing acrobatics. You’re sweaty under the comforter, but too chilled to go cover-less. The streetlight outside is beaming at just the wrong angle, and you suddenly notice how irritating the hum of your AC unit is. Sound like the typical can’t-sleep lament?
If slumber is a nightly struggle, you’ve probably experienced how your environment affects the quality of your sleep and, in turn, how your quality of sleep affects your physical and emotional well-being. “Sleep helps the heart, gives us energy for the day, and recharges our muscles and cognitive functions,” sleep and health psychologist Joshua Tal, PhD told Well+Good in an explanation of the building blocks of sleep.
There’s a whole host of reasons why you might be struggling to get good zzzs, and there’s no singular solution for restlessness. “Everyone is different,” Dr. Tal said. “For some it can be too much light before bed or during the night, others it could be waiting on a new mattress or pillow, and others too much outside noise.”
One thing’s consistent, though: Your sleep set-up is critical—and you can boost its comfort quotient with classic, breathable, and super-soft cotton. No matter your hangup, there’s a sleep solution (and a handful of cozy products) that’ll pave the way for deeper relaxation and sweeter dreams.
Take the quiz to discover the sleep solution that’s right for you.
The Perfect Temp
You’re well-acquainted with a case of the night sweats, no matter the season, but snoozing without your fluffy duvet is simply not an option. Instead of casting off your covers, start by plugging in a retro fan for increased airflow and (bonus!) a bit of white noise. Swap your standard pillowcases for naturally breathable, super-soft jersey pillowcases, and pull on some cotton socks. Pro tip: wearing lightweight socks to bed helps your body thermoregulate, which ultimately cools your core temperature down, according to a 2018 study.
Shop Cool-Temp Essentials
Dr. Tal recommends sleeping in complete darkness for optimal shuteye, and you concur—you’d sleep under a king-size pillow if it didn’t make you sweaty (and a little claustrophobic). Upgrade your sleep space with a breathable cotton eye mask and textured blackout curtains, and stick a warm-hued nightlight in your bathroom for minimal disruption during midnight trips to the toilet.
It’s 3 a.m., and you’re reliving that awkward moment in your high school cafeteria and contemplating NASA’s latest space photos… again. If only you could slow your mind down, you might be able to fall—and actually stay—asleep. A snuggly weighted blanket can help soothe your nervous system to alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety. Pair it with the breeziest cotton pajamas and a few drops of eucalyptus oil on your pillow, wrists, and forehead.
You’re in awe (and a bit suspicious) of people who can fall asleep mid-conversation, with the TV on, or listening to music. Your sleep solution? Simply silence. Pop in earplugs, choose from a handful of soothing sounds on a white noise machine, and slide into crisp cotton sheets. All you’ll hear is the Land of Nod calling.
Top photo: Stocksy/Alina Hvostikova