Can’t sleep? You’re not alone. Not even close. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs 7-9 hours of solid sleep to operate as a fully-functional human being. To perpetually exhausted parents, this sounds like some sort of cruel cosmic joke. A recent study found that new parents don’t get enough sleep for six years, after their child arrives. And yet, there’s no magic formula or spell to show parents how to get more sleep and how to stay asleep.
The keys to getting actual restful shuteye are fairly obvious, if seemingly unattainable when you’re dealing with commutes, packing lunches, grinding out homework and the riffraff of real life. The National Sleep Foundation suggests that parents stick to a schedule, have a bedtime ritual, exercise daily, have comfortable mattresses and pillows, turn off electronics before bed, and be leery of caffeine and booze, which can impact sleep.
See more: The Best Sheets for Your Bed
“You need a wind-down routine. I put the phone in the bathroom before I go to bed. You need peace of mind, so anything you can do to do that will help you. That’s a big issue for parents,” says Allswell’s president Arlyn Davich. “So I watch a lot of mindless television, while drinking tea, without my phone. It gets me more into a mindless state. Gratitude journals have helped me in the past.”
Another major sleep booster: Keeping your environment cool, advises Dr. W. Christopher Winter, a sleep expert and the head of the Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine clinic.
“The room should be 65 degrees. You want to regulate your body temperature with your bedding, not what you wear, so put on breathable, light clothing,” says Winter. “Bundle up with blankets that can move on and off. And make your room as quiet and dark as can be.”
We talked to sleep experts about products that can really help with sleep (like a mask) and things that are more hype than help (like essential oils, which can have some benefits, but nothing definite). Here are some select products the experts, Fatherly editors, and sleep pros stand behind.
These toppers are made from latex harvested from the brand's own tree farms. So you know it's well-sourced.It sits on top of your existing mattress, and are available in two firmness options based on your sleep preferences.
If you sweat while you're asleep, invest in this cooling cover. The shell is made from eucalyptus, which doesn't trap heat. And it's something you can feel good about: The eucalyptus is harvested from regenerative forests in Austria and the Czech Republic..
This luxe yet affordable sleep mask is made from breathable, smooth mulberry silk on both sides. This sleep mask gives you absolute blackout darkness, which is deal for sleep, while the hypoallergenic silk keeps any dry air out. It's easily adjustable and perfect for sleeping on the go, like when you're on a plane.
These soft cotton pajamas keep you warm, without feeling oppressive. Plus, they're just the right amount of stretch.
You'll never get quality sleep if you don't invest in a quality mattress. This one is perfect if you tend to run hot at night, thanks to its gel cooling layers. The memory foam makes you feel like you're floating, and it'll last and last.
This clock lets you fall asleep with the relax breathe function, and wake up naturally with colored sunrise. It plays seven natural sounds, or white noise, and serves as a speaker so you can play your own music. You customize the display to your liking.
This pillow looks weird. It's not. It helps with proper spine alignment, so you don't wake up with aches and pains. And it relieves pressure on your head and neck. It has an indentation for your head, to help keep your airways open, and two indentations for the ears to reduce pressure on the face.
You'll never find more luxe sheets than these. They're super-soft, breathable, and feel like a warm hug.
Keep your bedroom at a steady 65 degrees with this intelligent temperature tracker. It's easy to set up, and it works with your smartphone, plus Alexa and Google Assistant. You get consistent temps, without any annoying fluctuations, because it has specific room sensors.
TThere's no magic scent that will knock you out for a solid eight hours (that we know of, anyway), but the soothing Aera can help you at least wind down enough to be ready for bed. You download the app, pre-set the level of scent you want in your home, and set a schedule. So that way, when you're set to crawl between the sheets, at least your bedroom will smell tranquil and you'll associate that specific odor with sleep.
Every product on Fatherly is independently selected by our editors, writers, and experts. If you click a link on our site and buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.