Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for our health, but according to the American Sleep Association, 50 to 70 million U.S. adults suffer from a sleep disorder — and the C.D.C. reported that one in three adults aren’t getting enough. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.
Establishing a recurring bedtime routine can help you sleep better, since it lets you wind down after your day. That routine can include turning off all of your screens, and can incorporate some relaxing rituals to give signals to your body that it’s time for bed. In Thrive Founder and CEO Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution, she discusses the importance of good sleep, and outlines her own routine. The first thing she does is escort her phone out of the bedroom and put it to sleep in her phone bed.
This holiday season, give the gift of better sleep to your own loved ones. Here are some great items to help them form their own wind-down routine.
Unwind with laughter by playing games with your family
Numerous studies have shown that children from families who have strong lines of communication are linked to resilience, higher self-esteem, better social skills, and lower rates of depression. Plus, they are a fun, tech-free way to spend an evening — getting you off your screens that much earlier before bed. Poobah is a game all about opening up dialogue. The game includes 250 cards across five categories, including emotions, share stories, making decisions, debate, and creativity.
Enjoy your bath with a pillow
Taking a warm shower or bath before bedtime is known to improve sleep. A warm bath one to two hours before bedtime can accelerate the speed of falling asleep by about 36 percent, according to a recent study. A bath pillow can turn your tub time into a luxurious experience. We like this one from ZenTyme, which has elevated sides to keep your head up and help your muscles relax.
ZenTyme Luxury Bath Pillow, $24.99 (You can score a $5 discount if you’re an Amazon Prime member.)
Turn your evening shower into a calming, mindful moment
If you’re not a bath person, you can still have a calming experience by turning your shower into a mindful moment. Take an exfoliating sugar cube, and scrub away the day. As you lather up, be mindful in the moment by breathing in the steam and concentrating only on what you’re doing right now. Let your mind focus on that, and allow the calm to take away any stressors of the day.
Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes Discovery Set, $12
Pamper yourself with an evening skin care routine
We all brush our teeth and wash our face before bed, but bedtime becomes something to look forward to if you make washing up a special experience. Rose oil has been used to help with grief, stress, and tension. Studies show that it also relaxes the body and eases pain, which can make it a powerful tool to use right before sleep. This skincare kit features a rose quartz face roller, rose body oil, and a rose-scented body scrub. Apply both before bed, and use the bonus roller for a relaxing facial massage.
Asutra Share the Love Exfoliator & Oil Kit, available at Macy’s, $60
Ease into sleep with an aromatherapy sound machine
Set up your space to be a phone-free, calming space with the HoMedics® SoundSpa® Slumber Scents. This machine is a sleepy trifecta — a sound machine, diffuser, and alarm clock in one. The alarm clock function will keep you from needing your phone in the bedroom, and it comes preloaded with six different relaxation and nature sounds to help with any outside noises that could keep you from those much deserved zzz’s.
Give thanks with a gratitude journal
Writing in a gratitude journal before bed does improves sleep, according to a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Before bed, try writing down at least one thing you are grateful for from that day — even a few minutes of writing can make a big difference. We love the Erin Condren Gratitude Journal because it has different quotes and prompts to inspire reflection.
Plus: Check out our other Gifts to Thrive By guides:
Stay up to date or catch-up on all our podcasts with Arianna Huffington here.