You exercise a few times a week, mixing solid strength sessions with sweaty cardio ones. You’ve cleaned up your diet and meal prep like a pro. Question is: Do you pay just as much attention to the time you spend doing nothing? Yes, we’re talking about sleep.
Letting your body recover is just as important as moving and fueling it. And we’re not just talking about next-level foam rolling or learning proper stretching techniques. Science shows that your muscles and central nervous system need quality zzz’s to rebuild and repair, and get ready for more action. One study even found that lack of sleep can lead to loss of muscle mass.
Thankfully, many brands recognize the importance of quality shut-eye. And they’ve created products to help you get the best rest you can. So while you pick up heavier weights and make nutrient-dense meals, also prioritize putting your head to a pillow — with a little help from these finds.
6 Products to Help You Get Better Sleep
Of course the number-one requirement for getting good sleep: comfort. And that starts with a good mattress. In fact, 93 percent of Americans believe a cozy bed is key to a solid night of sleep.
You probably only need to replace your mattress every five to 10 years, but if you’re tossing and turning all night it might be time to purchase. Enter: Mattress Firm’s new bed in a box, called Tulo, which makes getting a new one super convenient.
Choose between three foam options: soft (which they suggest for side sleepers), medium (proposed for those who sleep in multiple positions) and firm (for back sleepers). Each one offers a four-layer system meant to keep you cool throughout the night thanks to titanium metal mixed into the fabric that pulls heat from your body. The best part: You can get the bed delivered in 48 hours — with the option for “red carpet” treatment, meaning they set it up and take your old mattress. You also have 120 days to test it out, including free returns. Prefer to try it in person first? You have the choice to do that in stores, too.
When was the last time you picked up a fluffy new head rest? According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should to swap out your pillow every 18 months. While you can find tons of cushy options out there, one of our favorite new releases is the Leesa Pillow. Two years in the making, the mattress company designed this pillow for every sleeping position. Featuring a foam core and an uber breathable cover to keep your temperature down, this pillow almost feels like you’re sleeping on a puffed up sweatshirt (but with more structure). You get 100 days to see if it’s just the right place to put your head.
If you want a tech upgrade and more assistance in catching zzz’s, you’ll want to check out the Dreampad pillow. Previously used in a clinical setting, the new-age pillow syncs with an app in which you choose music — created specifically to help you fall (and stay!) asleep. But don’t worry, it won’t bug your partner. The app converts the music to vibrations that only you experience.
It’s hard to talk about sleep improvements without mentioning trackers. While some fitness tracking brands, like FitBit, made updates to enhance their sleep analysis this year, other brands have released high-tech, non-wearable devices, including the doctor-approved SleepScore Max. This gadget goes on your nightstand and using bio-sensors, analyzes your breathing and movement throughout the night. It then pairs with an app, which scores your sleep from 0 to 100, based on age, gender and the science behind quality zzz’s (and four million nights of sleep data). It also provides graphs over time to tell you how you’re sleeping, plus it will provide advice on better-for-you adjustments, including lighting, pillow suggestions, sleep therapies and more.
To turn your bed into a tracker all its own, comes the Beautyrest Sleeptracker Monitor. This device — which includes sleep pads for under your mattress, a monitor that goes next to your bed and a corresponding app — measures heart rate and respiratory rate throughout the night to give you a better picture of your rest. (It can also track two people simultaneously.) The more it gets to know you, the more personalized tips it’ll provide on how you can get better quality shut-eye. This device also links up with Amazon Echo so you can easily set and adjust room temperature, lights, music and more.
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A final update to solidifying a sound night of sleep: pajamas — and Under Armour offers help in that area. Besides upgrading the UA Record system with more guidance into getting better sleep and ideal bed and wake times, this year the brand also released the UA Athlete Recovery Sleepwear line, which includes tanks, tees, long sleeve shirts, shorts and pants for both men and women. Created in collaboration with Tom Brady and made with bioceramic technology incorporated into the inside of the fabric, these garments are made to absorb infrared wavelengths and reflect them back into the body for more energy return. The science is still out on whether it can guarantee results, but the soft, lightweight and cool material make it worth a try.