The 4 Types of Sleep Essentials You Need, According to a Sleep Doctor

The 4 Types of Sleep Essentials You Need, According to a Sleep Doctor

IIf you’ve had trouble falling asleep (and staying asleep), you’re not alone. Some of the most popular articles here on Well+Good are about sleep, and specifically how to get the most restful sleep. Whether it’s from stress, anxiety, insomnia, or a really good show we can’t stop watching, many of us struggle to get proper rest. While there is so many factors are in play, there are concrete steps you can take, such as creating the best possible environment to allow your brain to finally relax. It’s true: you can buy a few items that will at least encourage better sleeping habits.

sleep doctor Alex Dimitriu, MDdual board certified in psychiatry and sleep medicine (and founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine) has four must-haves for a good night’s sleep that he shared with us.

Dimmable lights

Philips Hue Dimmable Smart Wireless Lighting Starter Kit – $37.00

Originally $44, now $37

Smart light bulbs in the bedroom could do more than create mood lighting. “I think reducing overhead light, as well as screen time, is important to ensure good sleep at night,” says Dr. Dimitriu. “Think of [using] warm dimmable LED lights, to ensure the light is a warm tone when you dim the brightness. Dimmer lights help the natural melatonin spike that occurs in the evening after the sun goes down.

The good reader (or pocket book!)

light up


A good book is a great sleep aid for many reasons. “A book or Kindle with inverted colors [can help with] go to bed earlier,” says Dr. Dimitriu, “To read, not to scroll” (very important!). “They can also help tremendously with sleep.” Additionally, he says, “When people can’t get back to sleep, I recommend meditating for about 15 minutes, then getting out of bed and reading something relaxing, in a dimly lit room. E-readers are great, as long as you can invert the screen colors to get white text on a black screen. The overall goal is to make your reading experience as dark as possible.

Blackout blinds or curtains


NICETOWN Blackout Blackout Curtain Shades – $19.00

Speaking of “as dark as possible,” Dr. Dimitriu says blackout blinds really work and highly recommends getting some for your bedroom. You might also get lucky with a sleep mask, if you’re not ready to revise your design vibe just yet (we’ll get to that in a second).

to glide

Slip Silk Sleep Mask — $50.00

The Slip sleep mask is so loved for its softness (it’s made of pure mulberry silk!) when worn, as well as its perfect fit (it’s never too tight or too pressing against your eyes). The best of all? It blocks out all light.

Natural Sheets

avocado leaves

Avocado Organic Cotton Sheets — $98.00

Sheets made of natural fibers, such as cotton, are ideal. “Avoid artificial materials, especially prints on polyester sheets, as you can easily overheat on them,” says Dr. Dimitriu. “The goal is to stay cool all night.” We love Avocado’s organic cotton sheets because they’re ridiculously soft (like you never want to get out of bed), have a luxurious satin finish, and are made from 100% GOTS-certified organic cotton from India. They are also wrinkle resistant! (And bonus: they’re currently on sale.)

Take note: your sleep-focused shopping spree is only the tip of this heavy-lidded iceberg. There are certain cardinal rules for getting strong Zzzs that take precedence. “The most helpful advice is to exercise during the day, take time to relax at night, and stick to regular bedtimes and wake-up times, including weekends!” We know that’s easier said than done (and life certainly has its way of, well, getting in the way), but the more you can incorporate these suggestions, the more likely you are to finally get good quality sleep. (Editor’s note: If you are struggling with serious sleep issues, it is suggested that you also discuss this with your health care provider.)

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