Here’s three inexpensive gadgets that help me sleep better…
Number one? Earplugs!
I’m a light sleeper and any sound might wake me. My stomach growling, the heat coming on. You name it! If I lived with dogs or a mate, I’d definitely use earplugs daily. As it is, I use them some nights and not others, depending on what’s happening and how I feel.
If I’m particualrly restless, I put them in as I go to bed. If I wake and feel overstimulated, I’ll use them then….
I’ve tried many earplugs over the years, but my favorites are the comfortable foam “Hearos“. (Get it? Hear – Oh)…
You can get these at any drug store for a few dollars. I prefer the plain, color-free Hearo’s since the dyes can make my ears itch. They come with a little plastic case to carry a spare pair in my bag when traveling. (It makes a great pill bottle too). Use them in the daytime if going someplace noisy, like a concert or gym.
If you want to still hear, insert them only one-third way. Roll them up between your fingers and pull gently down on your ear lobe to widen the ear canal. Don’t insert them in too far, but do give them a little tug to make sure they are secure.
I keep a pair under my pillow to reach for when needed. I reuse the same pair several times with no problem. These really help prevent sleep arousal and the chronic fatigue I get from waking too often.
Ready for number two?
Number Two? Sleep Right “Nasal Breathe Aid”
A box of these from the drugstore gives you 3 small plastic gizmos that slip onto the end of your nose and gently flare your nostrils open. I prefer these to the Breathe Right Nasal Strips which irritated my skin and wouldn’t stay on if I had moisturized.
The nostril inserts help you breathe better if you’re sick, have allergies, have small nostrils or a restricted airway disorder. They seem to reduce snoring and sleep apnea too. Keep one under the pillow with the earplugs. It lasts a long time, but replace when it starts feeling limp.
You can wear it in the daytime too if you aren’t around people who’ll give you a double-take!
Number Three? Yellow glasses to block blue light.
Our brains react to Blue Light as if it were the sun and daytime (wake up, be active!). Computer screens, phones, TV’s and most house lights and fluorescents are blue-based, and prevent Melatonin production at night. “Warm” lights are more yellow. “Cool” lights are more blue.
Darkness is the trigger for the melatonin production we need to sleep.
After 8 PM I turn off all lights except two 60 watt lamps on a timer. I slip on a pair of these and start making Melatonin for the night.
If you have to get up at night, don’t turn the lights on or it stops your Melatonin production. If you must have light, put the glasses on first. Or check out this company which sells a handy blue-blocker flashlight and nightlight. I didn’t find their glasses fit me, but they were really helpful during the process.
You can buy blue-blocker Over-Glasses that fit over your glasses if needed. Here’s one. I find these to be quite dark, so they change my view of the TV. They’re OK when reading though.
There are many styles of blue-blockers on the market, so find a pair that is fairly dark yellow and not just faintly yellow like safety glasses from hardware stores. Here’s one pair I use every night.
Less noise. More oxygen. More melatonin. I can feel the sleep already!