Best Pillows 2019 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide


Shopping for pillow cases seems easy on the surface. But not all pillow cases are made the same. Good quality pillow cases don’t irritate your skin, or rub off color on your bedsheet. They are super comfortable, soft and crisp and you feel fresh when you put your head on the pillow every night. You don’t have to worry about microbes and allergens sticking to your pillow case and causing any irritation or allergies.

​What to Look For in Pillow Cases?


Material is the first thing you should look for in a pillow case. There are many varieties of material pillow cases come in - cotton, silk, polyester, microfiber, linen and blends of materials. Choose the material based on your preferences and whether you are allergic to any of them. Here is what you should know about these different kind of materials:

  • Cotton - People buy cotton because it is soft and cool to sleep on. It is absorbent so your face won’t sweat during sleep. The drawback is that it will shrink after washing and wrinkle easily. Cotton also comes in various types but Egyptian Cotton is of the highest quality among all types. It is also the softest. Because of its quality, Egyptian cotton is costlier than other types of cotton.
  • Silk - Silk is a protein fibre that looks and feels premium and sensual. If you buy a silk pillowcase, you will need to get it hand-washed because of its delicate nature. The weight unit that is used to measure silk quality is called momme and good silk is 19 to 25 mm in momme weight.
  • Polyester - Polyester is a popular material used to make bedsheets and pillow cases. But it is not absorbent like cotton, so manufacturers mix it with cotton to make it work for customers.
  • Microfiber - A fibre is called microfiber when its diameter is less than one denier. Microfibres are made from wood pulp, polyesters or nylon polymers.

Thread Count  

Thread count is often used as an indicator of fabric quality, but it is not a true indicator. Thread count is the total number of threads per square inch in a fabric. Most people say that the higher the thread count, the better. But industry experts suggest that to achieve a higher thread count, manufacturers use lower grade cotton too.

As a rule of thumb, experts recommend that you should always prefer cotton over other fabrics because it is breathable.


Size isn’t a big problem, but can be overlooked when buying pillow cases. Make sure your pillow inserts go with the size of the bed. So on a standard bed with 38 inches in size, you can put two pillows  of 24 to 26 inches.

Health Concerns

Base your choice on whether you have an allergy that could be triggered by the fabric. There are many hypoallergenic pillow cases in our list. So go through this guide carefully and consider all factors. For instance, people with psoriasis should avoid certain fabrics or they will face flare ups.


How the pillows look on your bedding matters. A poor match can make your bedding look hideous and feels bad when you come back to your bed after a long day. Pick what suits your taste and matches the rest of your bedding - solid colors or designs - whatever catches your fancy.

Care Options

Some fabrics like silk have to be hand-washed while others can be machine-washed. Some pillow cases are wrinkle resistant and don’t need ironing, while others have to be ironed after wash. So based on your preferences, choose the right option.

​10 Best PillowCase in 2019 ​ - Ultimate Guide

​1) Celestial Silk Pillowcase for Hair Zippered Luxury

100% Silk Pillowcase for Hair Zippered Luxury 25 Momme Mulberry Silk Charmeuse Silk on Both Sides of Cover -Gift Wrapped- (Queen, Natural Undyed White)

For those of you who want to spend thrice the usual amount on pillowcases for added comfort, smoothness and luxury, celestial silk pillowcases will suit the best. They are made form 100 percent mulberry silk and that too, the highest quality one. The 25 Momme mulberry silk has a very high amount of silk per square inch. Silk is a natural anti-aging fabric and keeps your skin healthy, smooth and moisturized. These are hypoallergenic so if you have any allergies or breathing issues you don’t have to worry about them.

The best part is that the Celestial pillowcases are machine washable which is not what you usually expect with silk. The fabric is Oeko-Tex certified for having no chemicals inside it. It is pure silk. The pillowcase comes in a high quality box with a signature of the person who wrapped up the pillowcase - nice personal touch. It also protects your hair from drying out or looking messy in the morning. You won’t have any hair loss either.


  • Silk is premium quality and super comfortable

  • Doesn’t mess up your hair

  • Protects your skin

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Machine washable which is a blessing as most silks are hand washed

  • Certified for not having any chemicals, pure silk


  • Some customers report that quality comes down after washing

                2) Bedsure Two-Pack Satin Pillowcases Set

Bedsure Two-Pack Satin Pillowcases Set for Hair Cool and Easy to WASH Queen Size 20x30 Silver Grey with Envelope Closure

Bedsure two pack satin pillowcase set is made of 100% polyester satin. Satin is the weave of the fabric and not the fabric itself. The fabric is non absorbent and the satin pillowcases minimize the amount of hair damage or loss. Polyester doesn’t get wrinkles, so you don’t have to worry about ironing this one. The satin keeps your body cool in hot weather and warm in cold weather. But a slight caution - do not bring ear rings, rings or hang nails near these pillow cases or they will snag.

The standard size of Bedsure Satin Pillowcases is actually standard size unlike other brand pillow cases. They will fit your pillows perfectly. They don’t give you a sweaty feeling and are cool to touch. Wash them in cold water and they will dry up completely wrinkle free. There is no zipper closure at the end, instead the company has provided an envelope closure which looks good and feels super comfortable.

Overall, the Bedsure pillowcases are good value for money. But as customers report, after repeated washes, the thickness and silkiness gets reduced. However, their overall reviews indicate that the Bedsure Pillow cases are worth it.


  • No hair fizz. Smooth satin keeps your hair untangled.

  • Wrinkle free

  • Sizing is accurate and three sizes available - king, queen, standard.

  • Envelope closure is comfortable and aesthetic

  • A variety of color options available


  • Non absorbent unlike cotton

  • Durability is uncertain

                ​3) ​Pinzon Signature 190-Gram Cotton Pillowcases

Pinzon Signature 190-Gram Cotton Heavyweight Velvet Flannel Pillowcases - Standard, Aubergine

Pinzon Signature Pillowcases are made with 100% cotton, which means they are absorbent and your face won’t get sweaty in the morning when you wake up. The fabric is woven with a double napped finish on either side. Hence, both sides feel soft. You can wash and dry the Pinzon pillow cases in your washing machine, so it won’t take extra effort in maintenance.

They will last a long time as the flannel is made from 100% combed cotton. The combing process of the flannel ensures that all the uneven fibres are cut off from the weave and only the stronger ones and longer ones make the weave. There is also a one year warranty on these so you don’t have to worry about them tearing up out of nowhere after a couple washes. Do check the warranty terms though as it is limited warranty. You can choose either a king or a standard size in the Pinzon pillowcases. There are six colors to choose from, so you can pick the one that suits the rest of your bedding.

The breathable fabric ensures that you sleep at the right temperature throughout the night. The standard size comes as a set of 2 and includes two pieces of 20-by-31-inch pillowcases.


  • Flannel made from combed cotton makes it durable

  • One year warranty

  • Breathable

  • Double napped finish so soft and smooth on either side

  • 100% cotton material and machine washable


  • Queen size not available

 ​4) ​Mellanni Luxury Pillowcase Set Brushed Microfiber 1800

Mellanni Luxury Pillowcase Set Brushed Microfiber 1800 Bedding - Wrinkle, Fade, Stain Resistant - Hypoallergenic (Set of 2 King Size, White)

 ​5) ​MIULEE Pack of 2, Velvet Soft Solid Decorative Square Throw Pillow Covers

MIULEE Pack of 2, Velvet Soft Soild Decorative Square Throw Pillow Covers Set Cushion Cases Pillowcases for Sofa Bedroom Car18 x 18 Inch 45 x 45 cm

Miulee Pillow Covers are made from 100% Grade A velvet. The material is soft and comfortable. It is abosrbent so you won’t feel sweaty during the night. There is no hair loss with this fabric also. The material is such that it doesn’t stimulate the skin. So it is not harmful to children or your pets.

When it comes to aesthetics, Miuelee has done a good job. The zipper is invisible and comes in the same color as the pillowcase. There is a lot of options when buying the Miuelee Pillowcase. You can choose from 24 colors and 5 size options. The colors are a tad shiny but that is what you expedct from velvet. A little glitch is that the zipper is almost half the size of the side of the pillowcase, so it is hard to push thick cushions inside. The colors are also accurate, so what you see on the website is what you get.


  • Soft and Comfortable

  • Zipper is aesthetic

  • No hair loss

  • No skin stimulation - good for children and pets

  • Many color and size options


  • Zipper size is small

​6) American Pillowcase Standard Pillow Cases

Standard Pillow Cases Set of 2, 300 Thread Count 100% Long Staple Cotton, Luxury Hotel Quality

American Pillowcase has made high quality pillowcases using 100% Egyptian Cotton. The material is hypoallergenic, and consists of long staple yarns woven in a sateen fashion. This is the reason they feel so soft and expensive. The pillowcases are machine washable so there is no extra effort needed to wash them. Use cold or medium water to wash. The thread count is 300 which is good, but we have explained earlier in this guide how thread count can be a false indicator of quality.

Your money is secured as the company provides 100% money back guarantee with no questions asked. The 4 inches hems on these pillowcases make them look beautiful. They are also durable as the material is high quality and it comes with double stitching as well. The pillowcases are big in size and there will be spare room after you put the inserts. The blue color, however, is a little paler than what is shown in the photo. So keep this color discrepancy in mind while you buy them. They are highly durable, highly comfortable and require little maintenance.


  • Comfortable
  • Durable with double stitching
  • Machine Washable
  • Money back guarantee
  • Big in size


  • Colors not accurate

​7) California Design Den 400 Thread Count 100% Cotton Pillow Cases

California Design Den 400 Thread Count 100% Cotton Pillow Cases,Vanilla Yellow Standard Pillowcase Set of 2, Long - Staple Combed Pure Natural Cotton Pillowcase, Soft & Silky Sateen Weave

California Design Pillowcases are made from 100% Long Staple Pure Cotton. The thread count is 400, which is good but as we explained earlier thread count is not a good indicator of quality, specially if it is too high - like 800 or 1200. The yarns for these pillowcases are made with pure cotton and woven in a staeen weave to preserve the softness and make them durable. The material is fade resistant, so you won’t see the color change after washing. Oeko-Tex has certified the material to be free of any harmful circumstances. The fabric also performs good in terms of pilling, shrinking, color fastness, thread count, and tear strength. One drawback as reported by some customers is that these pillowcases may get wrinkles after washing, so you might need to iron them often. But if you don’t dry your cotton on high heat, it won’t be damaged or get wrinkles. The colors are very accurate so what you see on the website is what you get.


  • High quality fabric - long staple pure cotton
  • High thread count
  • Fade resistant, shrink resistant
  • Certified for having no harmful substances
  • Good tear strength


  • Might be wrinkly

​8) ​White Classic White Cotton Standard Pillowcases

White Cotton Standard Pillowcases Set of 2-200TC Heavy Weight Quality, Elegant Double Stitched Tailoring, Reduces Allergies and Respiratory Irritation

White Classic makes one of the highest quality cotton pillowcases. But keep in mind that in this product, the material is 60 percent cotton and 40 percent polyester. The company gives a set of 2. The fabric is still good and protects your skin against allergies, acne or breakouts as it is hypoallergenic. The pillowcases are machine washable and don’t lose color or quality after washing.

The product comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you don’t have to worry about quality. These are 2 inch hems, not bigger - which is not clear in the picture you see on the website. The stitching is good quality and they easily fit thick inserts. There is a little starchy feel to them and they may shrink a bit after washing, but there are no major complaints.

The color is true white and the quality seems good so much that they will last a very long time. These are really really white, so wash them with care.


  • Affordable

  • True white color

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Machine washable

  • 30-day money back guarantee


  • May shrink a little

  • 2 inch hems, look bigger in photos

  • Little starchy feel out of the box

​9) ​Pizuna 400 Thread Count Queen Pillowcases

Pizuna 400 Thread Count Queen Pillowcases, 100% Long Staple Cotton Satin White Pillowcases Set of 2, Standard Pillow Cases with Stylish 4” Hem (100% Cotton Pillow Covers Queen White)

If you don’t like mixing polyester in your pillowcase fabric, the Pizuna 100% Cotton pillowcase will do the job for you. The hem is 4 inches. These are machine washable and fade resistant. So you don’t have to worry about the color changing or fading after washing. The thread count is 400, but again we explain earlier how thread count can be manipulated and is not a true indicator of quality. These are made from 100 percent long staple cotton and woven in satin. Of course it is 100 percent cotton, so the material feels soft and breathable. Cotton is also absorbent so you won’t feel sweaty during the night.

Your purchase is risk free as the company offers full refund if you are not satisfied. The colors are not accurate to the ones shown in the photos, so be careful there. They can get wrinkles after wash, so you may need to iron them to keep them wrinkle free. There is no struggle in putting them on a thick pillow. You will forget the wrinkles though once you realize how comfortable they are at the price. The best part is that they can go through multiple washes and still look brand new.


  • Look brand new after multiple washes

  • 100 percent cotton is breathable

  • 4 inch hem

  • Money back if you are not satisfied


  • A little wrinkly

​10) ​​Magnolia Organics Estate Collection

Magnolia Organics Estate Collection Pillowcase Pair - King, Natural

Magnolia Organics Estate Collection makes one of the better pillowcases in the market. THe fabric is 100 % organic cotton. The cotton is high quality and made in a sateen weave. So it is absorbent and won’t make you sweaty at night. It is also breathable and will feel good on your skin and won’t cause any irritation or allergies. The pillowcases are machine washable so you won’t need to waste time washing them by hands. Wash them in warm water and tumble dry with low heat and they come out brand new after each wash. Thread count is 550 but don’t keep it as a measure of quality since thread counts can be manipulated.

Customers report that the Magnolia pillowcases feel exactly like the expensive 800 tc 100% cotton pillowcases that come at a $200 price. They are very soft but obviously don’t feel a silky feel as they are thick. If your body tends to get hot easily, you won’t feel any problem on these as they are highly breathable. The thickness and quality is such that they will last a very long time. They are made through a process which is completely chemical free, so you won’t get any allergies or inflammations from this fabric.

The only improvement that the company could make is that they could provide a money back guarantee on the purchase. Overall, the magnolia pillowcases don’t have any faults that will prevent you from buying them and these are one of our favorites on the list.


  • High quality 100% cotton which is organic

  • Breathable, absorbent, allergy-free material.

  • Machine washable

  • Feels like a very expensive fabric

  • Good thickness and quality


  • No money back guarantee

Noise cancelling headphones for sleeping 2019

The Best Headphones for Sleeping and Noise Cancelling

Are you seeking an all-natural sleep aid that can help you fall asleep quickly, stay asleep for longer and wake up feeling refreshed? Then why not try losing yourself in music? Listening to music in bed can help you to relax and unwind at the end of the hard day, helping you to get a better night’s sleep.

If your partner prefers complete silence at night, then it’s a good idea to invest in a quality pair of headphones. This will ensure that you’re able to enjoy your playlist as you drift off to sleep, but without disturbing your partner. Headphones are also an effective way to block out noise that may be keeping you awake at night, such as loud neighbours, outside traffic or a snoring partner.

Unfortunately, most headphones are not designed for use in bed. They tend to be very uncomfortable to wear, particularly if you’re a side sleeper. Additionally, there’s also the possibility of headphones breaking during the night. The good news is, there are headphones out there that are well suited to sleeping and noise cancelling, making them ideal to wear in bed as you’re drifting off to sleep.

Read on to find out which headphones are the best for sleeping and noise cancelling. Hopefully you’ll find a pair which meets your requirements, as well as your budget, and that helps you to sleep more soundly at night.

​Benefits of Using a Noise Cancelling Headphone

1. Reduce Stress - We live in an environment with constant buzzing of cellphones and noise from television, traffic and whatnot. This noise is not just unpleasant but can lead to stress. It is a fact that people who are exposed to high levels of noise are more prone to suffer from diseases like heart attacks. Therefore, if you start using noise cancelling headphones, it would decrease your exposure to noise and in turn reduce the stress from your life. As a result, you will feel happier and more at ease with yourself. The most important thing is that your health will improve.

2. Richer Sound - The music you hear feels more vibrant when there is no noise in the background. It can help you enjoy your leisure time as you can put on some relaxing music and feel the higher level of pleasure that one gets with clear, crisp and vibrant sound. Also you won’t need to listen to the music at high volume to hear the variations and richness of sounds. Just turn on the music at normal volume and feel the vibrant sound in your ears.

3. Full Concentration While Studying - Noise cancellation headphones are not for just fun and rejuvenation. They can allow you or your children to concentrate while studying. The external noise of people talking, cars moving in traffic or other sounds distract us from fully concentrating on the task at hand. Therefore, it helps tremendously to cut out all the external noise through noise-cancelling headphones. This is especially helpful for kids as they find it harder to remain disciplined.

4. Sleep Better - Noise cancellation headphones can help you doze off at night. How? Listen to some mellow music and block out the external noise. It is obvious that listening to music reduces stress levels and improves happiness and mental balance. But picking any headphones that are marketed as “noise cancelling” won’t work. Go through this quick guide to know which ones can actually help you sleep better.

5. Relief from Noisy Neighbors and Snoring Spouse - Noise cancelling headphones not only help you sleep better, they also help you avoid noisy neighbors. You no longer have to tolerate their annoying noise at 2 am in the night. Just put the noise-cancelling headphones on, play a mellow track and zoom -- doze off to sleep. And if your spouse happen to be a snorer, noise cancelling headphones can allow you to sleep with them without getting annoyed or having your sleep disturbed. Imagine going to bed and not being able to sleep because someone else is snoring or making noises in a neighboring house. You would be furious, right? Well, noise-cancelling headphones can settle the matter for you without any collateral damage.

6. Get things done - No matter whether it is studying, mowing the lawn, or cleaning your home - you can get anything done with some music in your ears. And it is all the better when when there is no external noise of traffic or people talking. Just hit play and get in the zone.

Fabric or noise cancelling headphones?

In a world where technology is continuously evolving, it’s no surprise that there’s such a wide range of styles and designs of headphones available on the market. Generally, there are two types that work best in bed. These are padded fabric headphones, which are designed specifically for sleeping, and noise cancelling headphones.

There are a few differences between these two types of headphones: their ability to block out external sound, sound quality and price. Fabric headphones aren’t great at blocking out loud sounds, such as snoring for example, but are comfortable to wear and are inexpensive too.

Noise cancelling headphones not only block out most unwanted external noise, but they also have a superior sound quality. However, the downside is that they are usually a lot more expensive.

​Top Noise Cancellation headphones in  2019

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic

The AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic have been cleverly designed with comfort and sound quality in mind, making them one of the best sleep headphones on the market. Traditionally, headphones for sleeping have been very dependent on head shape and size, and this can cause issues not just with comfort, but sound quality too. The SleepPhones have eliminated these problems thanks to their fabric headband, providing a great fit for all wearers.

These headphones use a standard 3.5mm audio jack, allowing you to connect to your chosen audio source, and don’t require any batteries. The wireless version of the SleepPhones requires a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or tablet. One downside to these headphones is that the cable tends to tangle during the night.

Overall, the AcousticSheep SleepPhones Classic Sleep Headphones are one of the best sleeping aids out there. As well as being very comfortable and providing excellent sound quality, they’re also made using eco-friendly manufacturing and materials.

Bose Quiet Comfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

The Bose Quiet Comfort 20 headphones are ideal if you want to block out external noise, such as snoring, traffic or loud neighbours. Whatever sounds are keeping you awake at night, these headphones can be relied upon to block them.

The noise cancelling feature works in three different ways. Firstly, the earbud effectively seals your ear, physically blocking some amount of sound. Secondly, the active noise cancelling technology removes low frequency sound waves. Thirdly, when you play music, a complete barrier is made to block whatever noise was previously keeping you awake.

Bose Quiet Comfort 20 headphones come with a handy feature called ‘aware’, which allows you to still hear some amount of noise. This may be required if you need to be able to hear your children, or listen out for an alarm. If you don’t want to totally shut out the outside world, you’re likely to want to use this feature a lot.

The tips of these headphones are rubbery and soft, and once you insert them into your ears, you’ll barely feel them. Plus, because there are three sizes to choose from, it’s easy to find the right size tips for your ear canals.

The sound quality is excellent, but then you’d expect nothing less from Bose. This allows you to listen to the full range of sound, improving your listening experience as you drift off to sleep.

Unfortunately, these headphones are expensive, as tends to be the case with high-end noise cancelling headphones. There are lower cost alternatives on the market which are simpler in terms of design and function. If cost is an issue, you may want to consider these.

Overall, if you require superior noise cancelling headphones, these come highly recommended. They strike the perfect balance between blocking external sound, comfort and exceptional sound quality.

CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

CozyPhones Sleep Headphones

The CozyPhones are an excellent choice if you’re looking to buy a pair of fabric headphones. There are two reasons that they stand out from their competitors. Firstly, the speakers are flat and thin, which means they don’t put too much pressure on your ears, even if you’re a side sleeper. Secondly, they’re made from lycra, which is cool on the skin, ensuring that overheating isn’t an issue.

These headphones offer good sound quality, which is somewhat surprising for the price. Sound is clear and crisp enough to enjoy listening to as you relax in bed. Whilst DJs and audiophiles will most likely look elsewhere, the sound produced is good enough for people who simply want to listen to music at low volume while trying to fall asleep. The sound isn’t amazing, but it’s definitely up to the task.

The CozyPhones are wired and fit any mobile phone or standard audio device. The wire 1.5m long wire is robust and has a tangle-free design, making these headphones ideal for nightly use. One negative point is that you need to adjust the positioning of the speakers within the material. However, this issue isn’t unique to this model, and it does mean that you can position them evenly for your head size.

Overall, the Cozyphones headphones are comfortable enough for sleeping, with excellent sound quality, and they’re constructed from a material which doesn’t overheat. If you want to try this style of headphones, these are one of the best on the market.

  Tooks Sportec Band


The Tooks Sportek Band is designed with both sleep and sport in mind. It is available in either soft micro-fleece or a dryfit material, allowing you to choose the right fabric for you. Both materials feel comfortable on the skin, whether exercising or relaxing in bed. However, if your bedroom is hot at night, it’s a good idea to choose the dry fit material as overheating could be a problem.

You’d be forgiven for thinking the low price of these headphones equates to poor sound quality, but this isn’t the case. The sound produced by the Sportec band is pretty good, and they block out most noises well, particularly traffic and light snoring. Plus, if you’re listening to ambient music through these headphones, you can expect to hear the full spectrum of sounds on a track, enhancing your listening experience.

The wire features inline control, which allows you to change the volume in the night if required. It also lets you change tracks, and there’s a microphone which can be used for voice commands if it’s connected to your mobile phone.

The downside to the Tooks Sportec Band is the speakers. They’re positioned outside the headband, and this means that you need to insert them yourself to get them into the correct position. They’re also big, and so if they do shift out of position during the night, they can feel somewhat uncomfortable.

Overall, these headphones are comfortable enough for sleeping, and provide good sound quality, as well as a choice of fabrics to suit your needs. However, you do need to be prepared to adjust them to achieve the correct positioning of the speakers.

Hennison Wireless Bluetooth Velvet Eye Patch Headphones

HENNISON Bluetooth Wireless Velvet Eye Patch

The Hennison Wireless Bluetooth Velvet Eye Patch is the perfect sleep aid for travellers.

A high-tech sleep mask, it has built-in speakers and a microphone, allowing you to listen to music as well as answer phone calls without needing to take it off.

The mask is made from soft velvet material and the inside is fitted with memory foam, which conforms to the shape of your head. It does feel a bit bulky due to the amount of padding, however it is comfortable. It’s ideal for use on long flights as it covers the entire eye area whilst protecting you from annoying noises such as loud passengers and crying babies.

In terms of sound quality, the Hennison Wireless Bluetooth Velvet Eye Patch sounds pretty good. As you’d expect, it’s not akin to the sound quality produced by high-end headphones, but it does a good job, particularly when it comes to delivering onboard entertainment during travel.

Overall, this innovative sleep mask delivers sound quality similar to some better budget headphones that are currently available on the market.

​Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II)  

If you can spend a couple hundred bucks, the Bose Quietcomfort 35 is a great option with technology that offers three levels of noise cancellation. It is very comfortable to wear although it doesn’t offer as many features as its counterpart - Sony WH-1000XM2.

Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II is just like its predecessor in terms of looks and sound quality. However, there is one visible difference - the company has made an ‘Action Button’ on the left ear cup so that you can connect to your Google Assistant without needing to take your phone out. In fact, this feature makes the QC35 II the first headphone to have direct support for Google Assistant. So you can use Google Assistant to make calls, hear the latest news or find the best restaurants nearby -- all without ever taking your phone out.

But when your goal is to block the outside noise, this button doesn’t do much for you, does it? Yes, it does! You can program the Action button to be used to toggle between noise cancellation levels - low, medium and high. Just press the button and toggle between noise cancellation levels. But there is more. You can adjust the noise cancellation settings in the app. This is especially helpful if you are very sensitive to the light pressure that is a by-product of active noise cancellation.

Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling, with Alexa voice control - Black

QuietComfort 35 has a fantastic battery life of up to 20 hours when you use it in the wireless mode with noise cancelling on. Even when the battery runs out, the headphone can be used in passive mode, but the sound is not as good as it is when you turn on active noise cancellation.

The Bose QC35 II can play any kind of music into a pleasant experience with balanced sounds and a powerful bass profile. However, if you are an audiophile, you may want to check out Sony WH-1000XM2  which has more clarity and openness to its sound. However, sound quality also depends on the recording quality of the music you play. So keep all factors in mind while making a choice.

Overall, it is a well rounded device with balanced sound levels and a handy button to toggle between noise cancellation levels.

  • Comfortable

  • Top-notch technology for noise cancellation

  • Handy Google assistant button also lets you toggle between noise cancellation levels

  • Balanced sound profile with a punchy bass that makes any kind of music a pleasure to listen to

  • Comparable Sony WH-1000XM2 has slightly better sound quality

How do I Choose the Best Noise Cancelling Headphones?

LifeHacker once received a customer query that read:

I work in a noisy office, and would love some noise cancelling headphones. What's the difference between noise cancelling and noise isolation? How do I choose the best ones for me? Should I just buy a pair of Bose QuietComforts, or are there specific ones you'd recommend?

When it comes to technology, the options are endless. Therefore, you need to know the right things to look for in any technological product -- such as noise cancelling headphones.

Noise Isolation vs Noise Cancelling

Noise isolation is simple. It means removing the extra sound that gets in your ear to the highest extent. But noise cancellation is a technology in itself. Let us look at the differences between these two terms in detail. Then you can look at the different headphones in our list and choose the one that suits you the best.

What Noise Isolation Actually Means

Noise isolating headphones block out external noise through physical means. It is not a technology like it is in noise cancellation. Noise isolation is also sometimes called “passive noise cancellation”.

What Noise Cancellation Means

Noise cancelling headphones generally have a microphone built-in that catches the external noise and creates a sound wave to actively block the noise. Noise isolation headphones just have a seal or padding around your ears to block the noise out.

There are a few thumb rules you should remember when selecting noise cancellation or noise isolation headphones:

  • Price often reflects quality. The more you pay, the more value you get. Sometimes the technology is better and other times, additional perks like detachable cable and lifetime warranty come on offer.

  • If you are going to use the headphones just for music, and not for watching movies and such, noise isolation headphones can work well for you. You can play the music at low volume and still enjoy the music.

  • Quality can be subjective. Some people love Bose while others like basic Shures.

FAQ ( Frequently Asked Question )

What type of headphones should I buy?

Some types are much more suitable for sleeping than others. For example, over-the-ear-headphones have earcups big enough to fit the whole ear, providing excellent sound quality, but they’re not comfortable to wear in bed.

On-ear headphones are slightly smaller and sit on the ears rather than on the head itself. However, they can still result in discomfort if worn in bed. In-ear headphones (earbuds) are a good choice for sleeping headphones as they’re small and lightweight. Bedphones – which are marketed as the thinnest headphones on earth - come highly recommended.

Special sleeping headphones which are designed especially for sleeping, including the popular SleepPhones, perform best. However, you should be prepared to pay more for these custom-designed solutions.

How much should I spend on headphones for sleeping?

If you’re buying headphones to help you fall asleep, it makes sense to buy the best pair you can afford. It’s essentially an investment into your health, and one that your body and mind will thank you for making. Low cost models will be more likely to break, sound bad and feel uncomfortable.

Should I choose wired or wireless headphones?

This is really a personal choice, but there are some considerations to make. If you hate cables, you may prefer to go wireless. However, with wireless headphones, battery life can be affected. Whilst modern Bluetooth devices are constantly improving, you may want to find out how many hours of playback a pair of headphones will give you in wireless mode. There are some safety risks to sleeping with a cable around your head, particularly if you’re a restless sleeper.


The world of sleeping and noise cancelling headphones can be confusing, especially with so many products to choose from. There are several considerations to keep in mind when choosing headphones to wear in bed, including sound quality, comfort, battery life and noise cancellation, to name a few. Hopefully this article has given you some insight into the various options available to you and will help you to select the right headphones to meet your needs and budget. With the right sleep or noise cancelling headphones, you can block out those external noises that are keeping you awake or relax your mind by listening to your favourite music, an audiobook, gentle soundscapes as you drift off to sleep.

​updated 12th March 2019

What is a Power Nap? Know Everything About Nap and Power Nap


A power nap is a nap that recharges your body for the day, but doesn’t make you so energized that you are unable to sleep at night. Naps are not just for babies or children. They can restore your energy in a matter of 30-40 minutes and make you feel rested and relaxed. Naps can do wonders for people who often feel sleep deprived due to their irregular schedule or because they have irregular sleep patterns. This is especially helpful for people that often feel tired during the day. 

From a neurological perspective, naps can help you reset your physiology and increase motor performance. You get a much needed dose of alertness and have a smooth sail through the day. On the other hand when you are sleep deprived, you get easily irritated and it affects your work, relationships and most importantly, your own health.

But napping is not just to make up for lost sleep. They also improve our cognitive abilities, reaction time, short-term memory and our mood.

1. ​How long to Nap?

Quick Power Naps

How long you nap determines how alert you feel. If you want to take a quick nap, nap for 10-20 minutes. It will give you a rapid dose of alertness and help you tackle activities, like typing or playing the piano, that require motor skills. Short naps of even 10-15 minutes can help you feel alert, mentally sharp and in a better mood right after you wake up. The best part? The benefits of 10-15 minutes of napping stay for a few hours. And you don’t feel sluggish as you may do after taking a longer nap. This is because you don’t enter the deep sleep state during a quick power nap.

Long Naps

If you want a longer nap, it is best to schedule this after lunch when your physiology changes naturally, your blood sugar goes low and your energy is low as well. If you want to take longer naps, set the timer to 1.5 hours as it is a full sleep cycle. You will have deep sleep for 1 hour and light sleep for the next half an hour. If you nap for lesser time, say 1 hour, it will leave you groggy as you will wake up without completing one full cycle of sleep. The idea is to wake up during your light sleep, not deep sleep.

REM sleep or deep sleep helps you make new neural connections and boosts your creative abilities. So if you have a project that requires significant mental power, it is best to take a long nap of about 90 minutes.

2. ​What Time is the Best to Take a Nap?

sleeping women image

You can take a power nap at any time during the day. But according to research, early to mid-afternoon is the best time to take a nap.

Why? It brings in the most amount of ‘energy recharge’ as compared to other times of the day. It is also important to not nap late in the day because it will disturb your natural sleep cycle.  Try taking a nap between 1 pm to 3 pm because this is the time when rejuvenation happens to the highest levels.

3. Naps or Coffee?


​                            Coffee                                               or

best time to sleep


A nap helps you in a similar way as a coffee does - making you alert and giving you instant energy. But both are different in a lot of ways. With coffee your energy rises for a while, then falls down. With a nap, your energy rises, but doesn’t fade away abruptly. Coffee also creates dependency and can affect your sleep at night.

When you feel sleep deprived and exhausted, what should you go for - a cup of coffee or your pillow?

Well, if you time it right, a quick power nap can be better than a cup of coffee. This is because coffee comes with a crash that you feel sometime after consuming it.

So how to time your naps? If you can find the time, take a full 90-minute nap that puts you to deep sleep. But more often than not, you won’t find that much time. So it is best to time your naps to less than 30 minutes. Research shows that if it goes over 30 minutes, you enter deep sleep and then when you wake up, it leaves you groggy due to sleep inertia.

4. ​How about a Coffee Nap?

If you really love coffee, why not do both? In fact, many studies conducted at Loughborough University, UK suggest that a 15-minute coffee nap is better than an ordinary brief nap. Now you may be thinking, “what if the coffee doesn’t let me sleep for those 15-20 minutes?”. The good news is that, coffee naps seem to work better even when you stay half asleep during your power nap.

However, we don’t advise coffee naps to people with serious insomnia or mental health issues. 

How to Take a Coffee Nap

1. Don’t consume any type of caffeine. Drink coffee. You can also drink tea but it contains less caffeine. Don’t savour every sip. Drink it fairly quickly so that there is enough time for the coffee to go through your gastrointestinal tract and go inside your bloodstream.

2. Now when you are done with the coffee, set a timer for 20 minutes and go to sleep right away. Don’t try to adjust your room or create a perfect environment. If you can make the room dark, kudos! But you should get to sleep immediately after.

3. If you can’t sleep, it is completely normal. Stay in that half-asleep stage because it is very rejuvenating too.

4. When the timer starts buzzing, wake up. Feel the new burst of energy and calm in your body. And thank that mug of coffee for keeping you warm!


Keep it Dark

It is important that you sleep in a dark room when napping. If you are napping while travelling, wearing an eye mask can help tremendously. Keep a blanket over you because your body temperature falls when you nap.


It is good if your surroundings are quiet but eventually the outside noise, or lack thereof, is meant to relax you. For example, some people love the ambient sounds of a coffee shop. Some people also find listening to white noise helps them relax and take better naps.

Now that you know how to nap right, get to it. No more sluggish days, no more toll on your physical or mental health. Stay healthy, stay energetic!

How to Solve All Your Sleep Problems Using Science

How to Solve All Your Sleep Problems Using Science

Sleep is the fuel your body needs to accomplish anything. Without it, you’ll have no energy to work, socialize, or even read this article.

But what really happens when you can’t sleep properly? Your brain chemistry goes haywire, and you go through your days like a zombie, living like a lifeless object that perfectly blends with the background in a play.

You don’t want to become a zombie, do you?

Well then, apply the following science-backed solutions to ALL your sleep problems.

Sleep is the fuel your body needs to accomplish anything. Without it, you’ll have no energy to work, socialize, or even read this article.

But what really happens when you can’t sleep properly? Your brain chemistry goes haywire, and you go through your days like a zombie, living like a lifeless object that perfectly blends with the background in a play.

You don’t want to become a zombie, do you?

Well then, apply the following science-backed solutions to ALL your sleep problems.

Shoulder Pain

In one sentence – sleep on your back with a thin pillow or on your side with your knees evenly pulled up.

If you have shoulder pain, you shouldn’t sleep on the side of your painful shoulder. And the worst thing you could do is sleep on your stomach.


Sleep on Your Back

A good way to avoid shoulder pain is to sleep on your back. Don’t use a thick pillow or it will cause neck pain. Choose an orthopedic pillow which has a special groove for your head.

Sleep on Your Side

If you can’t sleep on your back, sleep on your side but not on the painful shoulder. Lying on your side, pull your knees toward your chest and put a pillow between them. Use a full-body pillow if you like. Don’t lie with your head on your hand as it will be uncomfortable for your shoulder.

Why shouldn’t I sleep on my stomach?

Your spine has a natural curve, and if you sleep on your stomach, this curve flattens and puts strain on your back muscles. Sleeping on your stomach means your lower back is compressed the whole night. And your neck suffers because it is twisted to the side in this position.

How can I stop sleeping on my stomach?

Old habits die hard, so it may be hard to quit the habit. However, you can wear a pocket T-shirt to sleep in and put a tennis ball in the pocket. Every time you try to sleep on your stomach, the ball will press hard against your chest, nudging you to take the correct position. You may change your sleeping position without the tennis ball too. Do whatever works for you.

Don’t Worry, You CAN move

The right sleeping position will comfort you, not punish you. Just because you need to sleep in a certain position doesn’t mean you can’t move at all. It’s natural to move around a little bit while you sleep as it distributes the pressure on your body evenly. If you stay in one rigid position the whole night, it may cause pain in your back or shoulder.

Back Pain

In one sentence – sleep on your back using a thin pillow or on your side with both knees pulled up and a pillow in between.

The Biggest Reason: Lack of Physical Activity

“If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably have to make time for illness.” – Robin Sharma

Yes, it’s finally time to get out of a lazy rut. The major cause of back pain is lack of physical activity. Most of us spend our days sitting on a chair at work, then on a sofa at home or lying in bed. The least we can do is to sit up straight in our chairs and, to take it a step further, exercise at least twice a week.


Sleep on Your Back

One of the best ways to avoid back pain is to sleep on your back. But, you may not want to use a pillow because it will put your head in an unnatural position. If you do use a pillow, use a thin or orthopedic pillow.

Sleep on Your Side

Another good position is sleeping on your side. But make sure that both your legs are straight as people tend to keep one knee bent up and out, twisting the pelvis, which isn’t good for your back. Also, choose a pillow whose thickness between your ear and the mattress lets your neck be comfortable.


Sleep on Your Stomach

As mentioned earlier, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position there is. It may be tempting, but there’s no way your neck and back can be comfortable when you’re sleeping on your stomach. So, never sleep on your stomach even if it requires putting a tennis ball in the front pocket of your t-shirt.

If you have to sleep on your stomach, keep a pillow under it to comfort your back.

Neck Pain

In one sentence – use a pillow for your head and two pillows for your arms.

To recover from neck pain, sleep with a thin pillow under your head and a pillow under each of your arms. The key to recovering from neck pain is to choose the right pillow. Never use a stiff or high pillow as it will cause strain in your neck.

Choose your Pillow Carefully

Use a rounded pillow that goes with the natural curve of your neck along with a flat pillow to support your head. You can also put a small neck roll in the pillowcase of a flat pillow. Or you can use an orthopedic pillow with a special groove for the head to rest in.

Feather Pillow: a feather pillow is a great option to ease neck pain as it goes well with the natural curves of your neck. The only disadvantage is that feather pillows wear out quickly and have to be replaced every year or so.

Memory Foam Pillow: memory foam pillows “remember” the shape of your neck, which is how they get their name. In other words, the memory foam takes the shape of your head and neck and remains in that shape, providing good alignment for your spine. Memory foam pillows are a bit expensive but last longer than feather pillows.

While Travelling: when you’re out and about in your car or sitting on a plane, keep a horseshoe pillow with you to support your neck. Check that the pillow is not too thick behind your neck or your head will be tilted forward in an uncomfortable position.

Can’t Fall Asleep

In one sentence – get out of bed; engage in a quiet activity like reading, painting, or taking a shower, and practice deep breathing to calm down quickly.

People find it hard to fall asleep when their minds are conjuring up dramatic scenarios of the future or replaying memories from the past. How can you stop being restless when you know that you have a long day tomorrow? No, you can’t pick up your phone!

Don’t keep suffering

Stop suffering in bed and do something else when you can’t sleep. But don’t do anything stimulating like playing a video game or work, and don’t turn on your laptop or smartphone, even if you want to stalk your ex. You can read a book, take a warm shower, or hum your favorite song while sitting on the sofa. Just change your environment.

Relaxation exercises

A great way to calm your mind is to practice relaxation techniques like box breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

  1. Box breathing – inhale for a count of five, hold for a count of five, and then exhale for a count of five. Repeat this exercise for five to fifteen minutes, and your stress will vanish. Box breathing works so well because it makes us use the full capacity of our lungs down to the diaphragm. Usually, we take shallow breaths, but deep breaths restore and rebalance our vital energies and ground our minds in the present.
  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation – as the name suggests, in this exercise, you relax your body muscles from the feet up to your head. But how? This involves just two steps – tensing and relaxing.

First, you focus on the muscle and apply tension by squeezing it tightly, and then, you relax the muscle. This needs to be done for about five seconds for each muscle.

The muscle groups you need to work on are: foot, lower leg and foot, entire leg, hand, arm, buttocks, stomach, chest, neck and shoulders, mouth, eyes, and forehead.


“Silence is not an absence but a presence.” – Anne D. LeClaire

If you find it hard to sleep, you need to bring meditation into your daily routine. Many people think meditation is super hard, but this isn’t true.

Although there are many forms of meditation, you can practice this simple one

  • Focus on the sensation on your nostrils as you inhale and exhale deeply.
  • You don’t need to focus like you’re studying rocket science; be gentle and just observe the sensation.
  • When your mind wanders, don’t fight the thought, just let it go and gently bring your mind back to the sensations on your nostrils.

Remember, “gentle” is the keyword here.

Meditation is not about paying attention, it is about paying “kind” attention.

A Regular Bedtime Routine

Just as it is recommended to have a morning routine, it is equally essential to have a bedtime routine. Do something to close the day – maybe read an interesting novel, write in your journal about your day, take a warm shower or meditate. A warm shower can especially help you fall asleep faster as it lowers your body temperature, signalling to your body that it’s time to sleep.

No Electronics Before Bed

Most of us keep our phones at arm’s length, not realizing that too much focus on electronics keeps us “alert” at times when we shouldn’t be. Moreover, the blue light from electronic devices sends the wrong cue to our bodies, keeping us awake when we shouldn’t be.

No Caffeine After 2 p.m.

Consuming coffee or tea even in the afternoon can make it hard for you to sleep. Cut out any caffeine intake after 2 p.m. and don’t drink more than four cups of coffee in a single day. If you have insomnia, it is best to avoid caffeine altogether.

Daylight Exposure

Make sure that each morning, you get some sunlight on your face. Exposure to sunlight is the biggest cue for your body to set your sleep rhythm. So, an ideal way to fix your sleep routine is to go out in the sun for at least thirty minutes each morning.


Exercise is a great tool to keep your body healthy and enjoy sound sleep every night. Humans were not made to live inside four walls their entire lives. Our ancestors would walk and run long distances to hunt for food and look for shelter. So, it’s important that we exercise at least a couple of hours every week.

But don’t do any vigorous exercise before bed, such as running or lifting weights, as it can rev your mind up instead of winding it down.

Can’t Stay Asleep

In one sentence – make sure your room is dark and cool at night, and stay away from alcohol or technology before bed.

Why It’s Unhealthy

Research has proven that waking up from REM sleep leads to mood problems and is the equivalent of sleeping just four hours a night. It disturbs our cognitive capabilities such as memory retention, ability to comprehend complex information, paying attention and so on. In other words, sleep not only makes you healthy but smart too.

Cut Down On Alcohol

Alcohol is a major sleep disrupter even if it may help you fall asleep. It reduces the time spent in REM sleep, which is necessary for memory, concentration, and motor skills. Moreover, alcohol dehydrates your body, which further aggravates sleep problems.

Stay Away From Technology

Technology provides us limitless entertainment which serves us well when used in moderation but becomes toxic when used in excess. Don’t use any tech device for two hours before bed, and you’ll be able to enjoy a long, restful slumber.

Don’t Nap During the Day

Napping is not entirely bad for your sleep. But, it is best to avoid naps during the day so that you are more tired and sleep better at night. If you have to nap for some reason, don’t exceed 45 minutes, or you’ll enter REM sleep.

Sleep in a Cave

No, you don’t need to sleep in an actual cave, but make sure your room is at the right temperature, with clean bedsheets and enough space for you to enter that night slumber. Use dark curtains to block any light from entering your room. If there is any sound disturbance, use earplugs or a white noise machine to soundproof your room.

Can’t Wake Up

In one sentence – get sunlight for 20-30 minutes every morning and wake up at the same time every single day.

Get out in the sun

Regular sun exposure sets our circadian rhythm and helps us wake up at the same time every day. It also helps to let natural light come in your room in the morning. This sends your body the signal that it’s time to wake up.

Gradually Shift Your Bedtime

Many people can’t wake up because they go to sleep late, often at 4 or 5 in the morning. And some can’t change this sleep cycle even if if they want to. Don’t try to wake up at 7 a.m. if your regular waking time is 9 a.m. Gradually shift your time by 15 minutes earlier each day and go to sleep 15 minutes earlier each night.

Wake Up at the Same Time

If you have trouble waking up, set your alarm for the same time every day, seven days a week. If you wake up at different times, it disturbs your sleep cycle, making it difficult to wake up. Keep your alarm far away from you so that you don’t press the snooze button and doze off.


In one sentence – sleep on your back using a thin pillow or on your side with both knees pulled up to the same level.

Nobody likes snoring. It makes your friends hate you instantly. And you don’t want to sleep in your bathroom or in a sleeping bag in that shady park across the street.

So, what can you do?

Sleep on your side

Sleeping on your back causes your throat tissues to sag, and your tongue moves back in your throat, narrowing the air passage. This narrow passage leads to snoring. To avoid this, sleep on your side, with your knees pulled toward your chest but at the same level. Don’t extend one knee way up above the other or you’ll put pressure on your back muscles.

Use the Right Pillow

Don’t use pillows that are too soft as they may cause your tongue to drop back in your throat. Use a medium-firm pillow or use an extra pillow to make sure your head doesn’t tilt backward.

Cut back on Alcohol

Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles and narrows the air passage inside your throat. This increases the chances of snoring. So, don’t drink before sleeping.

Open your Nasal Passages

Mucus in the nasal passage narrows it and leads to snoring. Before going to bed, clean your nose if it feels stuffy, using salt water. You may also want to take a hot shower as it opens your nasal passage and quickly puts you to sleep.

Leg Cramps

In one sentence – move around and massage your leg.

Nothing feels worse than leg cramps. You are all warm and cozy in bed, but all of a sudden, a muscle goes crazy, and you want to cut your leg off.

Leg cramps occur when muscles contract and tighten abruptly. You don’t need to worry as they are very common. But, if you experience cramps too often, there might be an underlying disease at play.

Move Around

Don’t sit. Walk around and jiggle and shake your leg. This stretches your muscles and relaxes them, easing the cramp. If you are older than 40, it is essential to stretch and strengthen your muscles with exercise as muscles become less flexible after the age of 40.

Stretch and Massage

Stretch your leg muscles and massage the cramp area with your hands. You may want to shake your leg first to stretch the muscles and then massage the cramp area. This will soften the

muscles and ease the cramp.

Warm Shower or Pad

Taking a warm shower will relax all your body muscles. You can also put a heating pad on the affected muscle to relieve the pain.

To avoid leg cramps, you should stretch your muscles and exercise, but not too vigorously. If you don’t exercise often, then a vigorous workout may cause muscle cramps instead of prevent them.


In one sentence – keep your throat higher than your stomach while sleeping and eat lightly before bed.

Sleep With your Upper Body Elevated

When your stomach is at the level of your throat, acids from your stomach flow up through the esophagus, causing heartburn. So, you need to keep your throat elevated. In order to elevate your body, elevate the head of your bed by putting 4-6-inch blocks under its legs. Or you can sleep on a wedge shaped pillow that keeps your head higher than your stomach.

Eat Right

You shouldn’t consume foods or drinks that may trigger heartburn. These are alcohol, coffee, tea, colas, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onion, milk, fried foods, and acidic foods such as tomato ketchup.

Eat Light

When you eat early, the acids in your stomach can empty out in time before you sleep, which reduces the chance of heartburn while sleeping. Moreover, heavy meals put pressure on your stomach, so eat light to avoid heartburns.

Relax During Dinner

Eating while stressed or eating in haste produces more acids in your stomach, leading to increased chances of heartburn. Also, relax after you eat. Do some deep breathing for a few minutes to relax, but do it before you eat.

Racing Thoughts

In one sentence – take deep breaths, write down your thoughts or engage in a quiet activity like reading or painting.

Deep Breathing

The best solution for stress, anxiety, or racing thoughts is deep breathing. You need to breathe deep down into your diaphragm and use all your lung capacity to remove the stress from your body. Inhale deeply, hold for a moment, and exhale slowly. Do this for fifteen minutes and your mind will calm down.

Write Things Down

Quite often when our minds are racing, we are trying to make sense of an unresolved issue or concern. This is similar to how your headphone wires get tangled when you leave them alone. Your neural wires get tangled due to unresolved issues, firing up at each other endlessly, producing an endless train of thoughts. By writing about the core issue, we can untangle these neural wires and bring harmony to our minds.

Engage in a Quiet Activity

When we find it hard to sleep, we tend to distract ourselves with our smartphones or computers. Why? Because technology provides quick entertainment, and we are addicted to it. The right thing to do is engage in a quiet activity like painting, reading, knitting, or taking a warm shower. The key here is to relax your mind as opposed to stimulating it with TV, Facebook, or YouTube.

Uncomfortable Environment

In one sentence – keep your room dark and cool and drink lots of water.

Did you know that your sleep cycle is tied to certain cues, such as light, food, and temperature? Your body uses these cues, also known as zeitgebers, to set your body clock.

Keep Your Room Dark

Sometimes it is not your mind that troubles you, but the outside environment. If your room gets too much sunlight early in the morning, it makes sense to use thick curtains to guard your sleep. You can get “blackout curtains” that allow you to get an additional hour or two of restful slumber in the morning.

Cool Down Your Room

Temperature is really important for your sleep because your body relies on the natural temperatures of day and night to set your body clock. It is warmer in the day and cooler at night. So, it is essential that you keep your room cool at night and warm in the morning.

Get a Cooling Pillow or Sheet Set

To keep your body cool at night, you can buy a cooling pillow that absorbs body heat and keeps you cozy all night. On the other hand, cooling bed sheets provide greater cooling capacity, although they are a bit expensive. But, since this one-time investment will keep you cool for a year or two, it is completely worth it.


Instead of cooling down your room, how about cooling down your body directly? Yes, drinking lots of water will keep your body cool. If you’re a male, drink at least 3 litres of water, or 13 cups, per day. If you’re a female, drink at least 9 cups, or 2.2 litres, per day.

Cannot Reset Sleep Cycle

In one sentence – get sunlight in the morning and stay awake one full day.

Monitor Your Exposure to Light

If you can take away a single piece of advice from this article, take this. Your body needs light at the right times to set your sleep cycle. So, if you want to reset your sleep cycle, take a 30-minute walk after sunrise every morning, and your sleep cycle will reset within a week. On the other hand, you also need to darken your surroundings when it’s time to sleep. This means no smartphone or computer at least two hours before bed.

Stay Awake One Full Day

If your sleep cycle is twisted and you sleep late at night, it’s best to pull off an “all-dayer”. It may take some willpower and mild stimulation (use the Internet, socialize or go out; don’t drink too much coffee) to keep awake the whole day when you have been awake since last night. But once you make it through the day, you will instantly go to sleep and wake up early the next day.

Go Camping

This may sound unusual, but camping is a great way to reset your sleep cycle. This is because when you’re out in the wild, your body synchronizes with the natural cues of sunlight and temperature, resetting your sleep rhythm to normal. However, you cannot take your smartphone, laptop, or any electrical lighting with you (except an emergency torch). Research published in Current Biology Journal shows that camping works magnificently, especially for night-owls.

Use Your Body’s In-built Food Clock

Researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered that our sleep cycle not only responds to light but also to food. The best part is that the food clock can override the main clock. According to Clifford Saper, the lead researcher at Harvard, “you should just flip into that new time zone in one day.”

To use the food clock, stop eating 12-16 hours before your desired waking time. So, if you want to wake up at 6 a.m. in the morning, start fasting at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. the previous day. This is especially helpful when you’re travelling to another country, as you can find out when they serve breakfast and then stop eating 12-16 hours before that time.

Take Melatonin

Delayed sleep can disturb your work or school productivity; hence, it’s essential to reset your sleep cycle. Only when you’ve tried everything else and are unable to go to sleep at an appropriate time should you consider taking 0.5 to 1mg of melatonin. If this doesn’t work, seek professional help.

Feeling Groggy After Waking Up

In one sentence – exercise, stay away from technology, and don’t eat heavy meals at night.

No Technology before bed

If you are in the habit of scrolling through instagram before sleeping, you need to change your habits. Commit to not using any technology such as a smartphone, laptop, or TV two hours before bed. The bright light from such devices affects your sleep cycle and ruins the quality of your sleep. If you are bored at night, read a book, listen to soothing music, write in your journal, paint, or meditate. Engage in a quiet, low-stimulation activity.

Wake Up at the Same Time

If you wake up at different times on different days, it disrupts your sleep cycle. Maintain a strict schedule to keep a healthy sleep cycle. Wake up at the same time, even on the weekend.

Exercise in the Morning

Don’t be lazy when you wake up. Wash your face and move your body. Do a simple exercise such as jumping jacks at home, or go out for a run around the park.

Use the Right App to Wake Up

If you wake up during REM sleep, you will feel groggy and tired. Use the “Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock” app to wake you up at the right time. It analyzes your sleep patterns using the accelerometer in your phone and wakes you up when you’ve completed the REM cycle in your sleep.

Eat light and Eat Early

If you eat a heavy dinner before sleep, your body gets busy digesting the food. This disrupts your ability to fall asleep. Eating late only adds to this problem, as your body is internally active when you go to bed and this makes it hard to fall asleep. So always eat early and eat light.


Sleep problems can disrupt your lifestyle and harm your health. The good news is that you can fix your sleep fairly quickly if you use the solutions mentioned above.

Just so you remember, here are the keys to healthy sleep:

  • Exercise: Even a couple hours of exercise every week brings huge benefits to your physical health.
  • Morning sun exposure: Your body uses light as a cue to fix your internal sleep clock. So get out in the sun every morning and dim the lights two hours before sleep.
  • No technology before bed: Blue light from your smartphone or laptop may disrupt your sleeping patterns. Also, excessive use of technology produces anxiety, so it must be avoided.
  • Less caffeine: Caffeine is a powerful stimulant, so never drink more than 4 cups of coffee per day and drink your last coffee before 2 p.m.
  • Cool environment at night: Temperature is another cue that determines your internal sleep clock. So turn on the AC at night, or use a cooling pad if you have to.
  • A bedtime ritual: Don’t distract yourself on technology before bed. Engage in a quiet activity like journaling, reading, etc. A daily ritual works like a magic switch and puts you to sleep.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Some nights are tougher than others. So practice deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation to get into a calm and tranquil state mentally.

Take care of the basics and you will sleep like a baby every night!

10 Herbal Sleep Teas To Sleep Naturally (Everything You Need to Know)

15 Herbal Sleep Teas To Sleep Naturally Everything You Need to Know

Tossing and turning at night feels awful.

You can choose to stay in bed or you can choose to get up and do something. Staying in bed doesn’t work so well. If it did, you’d not be reading this.

And doing “something” until you fall asleep seems okay. But doing “anything” won’t help. You shouldn’t use your smartphone or watch TV. Because the blue light from such devices kills your sleep hormones instantly.

What you need is a bedtime ritual. Something that’ll release those neurotransmitters and make you feel drowsy in no time.

Enter sleep teas.

How can they help? Most people love coffee. If you can learn to enjoy sleep tea just like you enjoy coffee, you can solve your sleep problem once and for all.

But can you rely on herbal tea?

This article will show you

  • check
    10 easily-available herbal teas that can help you sleep
  • check
    What research says about each herbal tea
  • check
    The benefits of each herbal tea
  • check
    Side effects and medication interactions of each herbal tea

Can herbal tea really help you sleep?

Herbal teas aren’t just a folk remedy. According to research done by a UK-based bed linen firm, people who enjoyed healthy sleep drank a cup of tea around 9 pm and had dinner one and a half hour before bed.

Can herbal tea really help you sleep?

This finding is rather shocking.  Because it doesn’t mention specifically herbal teas. It just says that people drink “tea”, which consists of the dream killer—caffeine!

Mainstream research doesn’t provide concrete evidence in proving that herbal teas can help people sleep. But many surveys and self-reported evidence indicate that such non-prescription remedies help a lot of people sleep naturally.

Thousands of people believe that herbal teas can help you sleep. So it is definitely worth trying if you haven’t already.

What Are the Side Effects?

What Are the Side Effects

Research published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that herbal remedies have little to no side effects, so they can be effective in treatment of sleep problems.

But you need to really know which herb you’re drinking and its side effects. Because herbs can cause allergic reactions, headaches, heartburn and stomach pain. If you’re taking medication, you should ask a doctor whether drinking herbal tea is safe for you.

If you have a serious health condition, you should consider using the herb Rooibos for your herbal tea, after consulting with your doctor. Rooibos is known to have no side effects, nor it interacts with any drugs. Also known as Red Bush tea, it is the national drink of South Africa.

When You Should Not Drink Herbal Sleep Tea

When You Should Not Drink Herbal Sleep Tea

You should not drink herbal tea if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, expecting to be pregnant, suffer from autoimmune diseases or scheduled for surgery. If you take prescription sedatives, antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinning medication, blood pressure medication, you shouldn’t drink herbal tea.

As stated earlier, if you are taking medication, consult your doctor before you choose herbal tea as your bedtime beverage. Herbal teas can interact with medication depending on the type of medicine and your health condition.

If you’re going to do any activities that require you to be alert, like driving or operating heavy machinery, don’t drink herbal sleep tea. It may make you feel drowsy and you may get in a dangerous situation.

Do Herbal Sleep Teas Taste Good?

Do Herbal Sleep Teas Taste Good?

Herbal teas may not taste pleasant. But many manufacturers produce herbal teas from a combination of two or more herbs (e.g. valerian, passion flower, chamomile). These combinations taste better than individual herbs. Some herbal teas

If you are committed to treating your sleep problems, then taste should not be your number one preference. If people can love the bitter taste of beer and other alcoholic drinks, you too can learn to love the okayish taste of herbal sleep teas.

1. Chamomile


Chamomile is one of the most popular herbal teas in the world. It has a calming aroma, because dried chamomile flowers are sweet daisy-like and have a fragrance just like a crisp apple. The tea has similar taste. But as many users suggest, the taste isn’t necessarily good. So you may want to add other ingredients to enhance the taste of your Chamomile tea.

What Research Says

In a research study published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 34 patients suffering from insomnia were treated with Chamomile or a placebo for a month to see the effect of both. The patients not only slept better with chamomile, they also felt and functioned better during the day.

Studies show that Chamomile has anticonvulsant properties and relaxes the central nervous system. It has antioxidants that fight the excessive free radicals formed in your body. Free radicals can cause disease if they are excessive in number.

In fact, it’s so effective that ten cardiac patients dozed off just after drinking chamomile tea and slept for 90 minutes.  So if you struggle with any sleeping problems, Chamomile tea could be the best remedy for you. Drinking one cup 30 minutes before your bedtime will put you right to sleep.

​Benefits of Chamomile tea

Benefits of Chamomile tea

Induces Sleep - Chamomile is known as a mild tranquilizer and sleep inducer. It contains a chemical called apigenin that binds to the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain and leads to sedative effects. This is the reason chamomile essential oils are used often in cosmetics and aromatherapy.

Treats Migraines - Chamomile can help ease migraine in some cases. Chamomile can help ease anxiety, inflammation, allergies, and spasms - all factors together provide good relief in migraines.

Boosts Immunity - If you easily catch cold or flu, then it makes sense to boost your immunity with a cup or two of chamomile every day.

Reduces Stress - Chamomile has chemicals called flavonoids which help relax the mind and also sedates the body. So if you’re feeling stressed during the day, a cup of chamomile can help you feel calm and relaxed.

Nutrient information:
Chamomile tea is free of fat, caffeine, sugar, cholesterol and has a little bit of calories. According to UDSA Nutrient Database, 1 cup of chamomile has 2 calories, 0.47g of carbs, and no fat or protein. Also, it contains a lot of minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, fluoride, folate and Vitamin A.

Side Effects of Chamomile Tea

Although chamomile tea is a great remedy for sleep, it can cause side effects in some cases:

Allergic reactions: If you have allergic reactions to daisy plants including chrysanthemums, ragweed, arnica, sunflowers, mugwort, aster, marigold—chances are, you will be allergic to chamomile too. For people who are sensitive to its effects, chamomile can cause mild allergies like rashes to more severe reactions like anaphylaxis. It also causes swollen throat, difficulty breathing, and shortness of breath. Some reports also show skin allergies including dermatitis and eczema.

Pregnant women, those who are breastfeeding and those who are expecting pregnancy should also avoid chamomile tea. And if you’re scheduled for surgery, don’t drink chamomile as it may cause unwanted complications.If you have asthma, be careful with the dosage or simply avoid chamomile tea, because it can aggravate asthma.

High dosage of chamomile tea can cause nausea and vomiting. So when you start drinking this herbal sleep tea, take in small quantities.

Medication Interaction of Chamomile Tea

When combined with benzodiazepines, barbiturates, antidepressants, and alcohol, chamomile tea can cause excessive drowsiness.

According to theoretical knowledge, when combined with anticoagulant (blood thinners), antiplatelet drugs and anti-inflammatory drugs, chamomile can increase the risk of bleeding.

People who take blood sugar or blood pressure medication should avoid chamomile as it can affects sugar or blood pressure levels in the body.

Chamomile can also interact with other medications such as cardiac depressants, CNS depressants, respiratory depressants, antibiotics, antifungals, antihistamines, diuretics. It also interacts with medicines for high cholesterol, ulcer, diarrhea and gastrointestinal disorders.

Before combining chamomile with any other herb, consult your doctor because it may lead to harmful side effects.

2. Valerian Root

Valerian Root

Valerian root is well-known as a remedy for insomnia. Its name comes from the Latin word Valarae, which means “to be healthy”. It is used as an ingredient in many dietary supplements. People in ancient Greece and Rome used valerian root to treat insomnia, headaches, stress, nervousness, and trembling.

According to Sebastian Pole, the cofounder of Pukka Herbs, valerian not only induces sleep, it also increases the quality of sleep. With valerian, you can get more hours of REM sleep which is crucial for restoring energy and revitalizing your entire body.

Pole explains that valerian root has certain constituents, which bind to the parts of our nervous system that stop mental activity and induce relaxation. That is where its sedative properties come from. So if you can’t stop the racing thoughts in your mind, try some valerian root.

What Research Says

According to WebMd, people use valerian for anxiety and psychological stress, but there’s no concrete research to support this. The Medical Center at University of Maryland suggests that people have been using Valerian since second-century A.D. to treat insomnia, anxiety, and nervous restlessness.

GABA: Relaxes your brain
Valerian root increases GABA (Gamma Aminobutyric acid) in the brain. Your brain naturally produces GABA, the chemical that relaxes your nervous system. Research shows that as compared to water, GABA is much more effective at increasing alpha waves and decreasing beta waves in the brain. And alpha wave activity means that you become less anxious and more relaxed.

Valerian is effective
Another research study shows that Valerian is very effective after a couple weeks of use. But in the first two weeks, it is only as effective as a placebo. Studies also show that valerian has far fewer side effects as compared to prescription sleep medications. People who take melatonin sometimes report weird dreams as a side effect. But with valerian, research says that there aren’t any documented side effects.

Valerian root can be used in five different forms: capsule, tincture, tea, fluid extract and essential oil. Although it smells very bad, it doesn’t taste as bad.

​Benefits of Valerian Root Tea

Benefits of Valerian Root Tea

Treats Insomnia and Sleep Problems - Some research studies show that valerian works helps people sleep better. Despite lack of proper research, valerian is still used as a sleep aid throughout the world. And if you’re a movie buff, you might know that the insomniac narrator in the film Fight Club, was told to chew valerian root for treating his chronic sleep problems. If it’s popular in Hollywood, it’s got to be amazing.

Treats Anxiety and Depression - Valerian root has volatile acids and oils which help people calm down and stop feeling anxious. It is used in treatment of various anxiety disorders and can also help people with depression.

Treats Hyperactivity - Valerian root tea helps people concentrate - something people with ADHD find hard to do. So if you want to crack that university exam in a short period of time, valerian will come to your rescue.

Makes You Mentally Sharp - Valerian root is used as a performance booster. It saves neurons from cell death and hence keeps your brain healthy and sharp. Because it promotes sleep and reduces anxiety, it also boosts cognitive performance. Dopamine is an essential chemical that your brain needs for mental activity. Valerian makes sure that dopaminergic cells don’t die, hence itv preserves your mental performance.

Treats Headaches and Migraines - Many a times, headaches are associated with sleeping problems. Since valerian helps you sleep naturally, it also provides relief in headaches and migraines. But know that, sometimes, valerian itself can give a mild headache as a side effect.

Side Effects of Valerian Root Tea

Never consume valerian in its plant form, because research shows that it can cause liver damage. Always use capsules, tablets, liquid extract, or readymade tea bags. The long-term side effects of valerian aren’t known due to insufficient research. But the short-term effects are worth your consideration.

In the short-term, valerian root has the following side effects. So be careful and consult your doctor if you experience any of these:

Headaches - Some people get headaches from valerian tea. To counter this effect, dilute your tea by adding more water when brewing it.

Mental Confusion - Since valerian slows down your mind, you may find it hard to think clearly or focus on the task at hand. It can also cause strange dreams.

Upset Stomach - Although it usually happens when you consume a high amount of valerian, it can cause indigestion, vomiting, nausea and constipation.

Excitement and Unease - Valerian root can sometimes cause nervous excitement and unease. But remember that these side effects are only noted in the short-term.

Daytime Drowsiness - Since valerian root is a sedative, it can make you feel drowsy during the day. Depending on your preference, you might want to consume a lower dose of valerian to counter this effect.

​Valerian Root Tea Interaction With Medication:

If you are taking any medication, it is best to consult to your doctor before you decide to use valerian root tea.

Valerian root shouldn’t be combined with medications for the following health problems:
  • Anxiety, depression, sleep problems, or any mental disorders
  • Any infection such as HIV, Tuberculosis, etc.
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure, cholesterol, or any heart disease
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Cancer

3. Lavender


Lavender is popular for its soothing aroma. The word ‘Lavender’ comes from the latin word ‘lavare’ which means “to wash”. It is an integral part of essential oils that help you relax and sleep. Lavender tea is made from the purple lavender flower buds which are native to the Mediterranean region.

Ancient Greeks and Romans used lavender to add a soothing touch to their baths and a beautiful fragrance to the air.

What Research Says

Scientific research shows that lavender can be powerful at inducing sleep and improving its quality in the long-term with no side effects. Its sedative qualities has helped people with insomnia and anxiety disorders sleep better.

Research at Medical University of Vienna also examined the effects of lavender on people suffering from anxiety disorders. It reported that lavender oil “had a significant beneficial influence on quality and duration of sleep and improved general mental and physical health without causing any unwanted sedative or other drug specific effects.”

Rupinder Mangat, CEO of MEVEI, an essential oils company, says that Lavender is the most studied essential oil because of its relaxifying properties. According to him, although essential oils are used for many purposes, but they are especially effective for relieving stress, stabilizing mood and improving sleep.

Targeted research was also done to study its effects on sleep. It showed that lavender has the ingredients that help beat insomnia. In one study done at University of Southampton in Britain, lavender oil was tested on 10 adults. When studying the effects of lavender vs. placebo, lavender helped them sleep 20% better.

Another study was done on 80 women in Taiwan, who were in their postnatal period. The women who smelled and drank lavender every day were less tired than those who didn’t do the same.

One more study done on midlife women with insomnia was published in a peer-reviewed journal. When the 67 women inhaled lavender twice a week for three months, they reported improvements in heart rate, sleep quality, and heart rate variation.

​Benefits of Lavender Tea

Benefits of Lavender Tea

Lavender offers a host of health benefits. It helps you relax in mind and body. And helps you fall asleep and enjoy deep sleep. But it also provides relief in cases of asthma, cold, cough, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.

Here are some sleep-related benefits of lavender tea:

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    Improves Sleep - As proven by the research mentioned above, lavender can help people with sleep problems such as insomnia. It not only helps you fall asleep fast and longer, it makes sure you enjoy deep, restful sleep.
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    Improves Heart Health - As evident in the research study mentioned above, Lavender improves heart rate and reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other heart diseases. Lavender tea prevents coagulation or blood clotting, in blood vessels and arteries in your heart. It also lowers negative LDL cholesterol which blocks the arteries and blood vessels. Hence, lavender serves as a great tonic in improving heart health.
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    Prevents Inflammation - Lavender can treat many inflammations such as headaches, arthritis pain, skin itching and redness, and fevers.
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    Heals Anxiety - Research shows that when people with mild-to-severe anxiety took lavender oil orally for 6 to 10 weeks, they felt more relaxed and slept better. But lavender oil can’t treat anxiety by itself. Medical intervention is necessary.

​Side effects of Lavender

Oral use of lavender can cause headaches, constipation and increase hunger. When used on the skin, it can sometimes cause irritation.

Drowsiness - Taking too much lavender can make you drowsy during the day.

Allergies - If you are allergic to lavender, you may get nausea, vomiting, headache, or chills as side effects.                                

Pregnancy - For pregnant women, lavender can trigger menstruation, leading to miscarriage or other pregnancy problems.

Sun sensitivity - Lavender can make your skin sensitive to sunlight. As a result, your skin can develop rashes or redness when out in the sun.

Physical distortions - Lavender can cause breast growth in boys. It can trigger abnormal hormonal growth in boys who haven’t reached puberty yet.

Thin blood - It is a blood thinner and good for heart health. But for some people, thinning of blood could be a problem, especially if they’re taking medications with similar thinning effect.

If you’re scheduled for surgery, stop taking lavender two weeks before surgery. It can interfere with anesthesia and slow down your nervous system too much to the point of being dangerous.

​Medication Interaction of Lavender

Any kind of sedative medications can interact with lavender. So be careful and consult your doctor before you take lavender in such cases. Sedatives such as barbiturates, benzodiazepines, CNS (nervous system) depressants interact with lavender and cause too much sluggishness.

Medications for high blood pressure can interact with lavender. Since lavender decreases blood pressure, taking it along with medications that lower blood pressure can be dangerous.

​4. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm

The scientific name of lemon balm is Melissa Officinalis and it is also called common balm or balm mint. Lemon balm is known for its ability to enhance longevity, reduce anxiety, and give vigor when consumed regularly. People have used lemon balm throughout history as a remedy for sleep problems, anxiety, and wounds. Because of its various benefits which help people with insomnia and even people with cancer, it’s been an important herb for researchers around the world. In the United States, lemon balm is used as the component of mild sleep aid.

Lemon balm essential oils have a chemical known as terpene, which is partly responsible for the herb’s soothing properties. It also contains a substance called tannis, which provides its antiviral effects. Another constituent chemical called eugenol, eases muscle spasms, numbs tissues, and kills bacteria.

Lemon balm has many uses: it has been used as an ingredient for tea, perfumes, insect repellants, toothpaste and for flavoring dishes. In 14th century, a beverage called Carmelite water used to be made from lemon balm and it is still sold in Germany today. This beverage can ease headaches and nerve pain.

What Research Says

Research shows that lemon balm can help treat insomnia. This research was done on women going through menopause, the phase where most women experience insomnia. When lemon balm was used on 100 middle-aged women in their menopause, it showed significant improvement in sleep patterns.

Research published in Indian Journal of Pharmacology showed that when mice were treated using lemon balm, their anxious behaviors reduced even when they were placed in a new and challenging environment.

When researchers at University of Maryland study center tested a concoction of lemon balm and valerian on a group of people with minor sleep problems, they found that 81% of people who took the concoction slept a lot better than those who took placebo. Many research studies show that when lemon balm is combined with other herbs, such as chamomile, hops, and valerian, it can help lower anxiety and improve sleep. Not many studies have conducted to test how effective is lemon balm by itself in inducing and improving sleep.

In a 2011 study published in The Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, researchers examined the effects of lemon balm extract in the treatment of people suffering from mild-to-moderate anxiety disorders and sleep problems. As a result of this experiment, 95 percent of the volunteers responded to the treatment, out of which 70 percent full improvement in anxiety, 85 percent for insomnia, and 70 percent for both. The study concluded that long-term use of lemon balm relieves stress.

Researchers at the Newcastle General Hospital also report that lemon balm can help in the treatment of Alzheimer's, a disease characterized by memory loss and impairment of other cognitive functions of the brain. But, Dr. Perry explains, only the dried leaf enhances the memory. Dried leaf is the closest way of how traditionally people used to take lemon balm.

​Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea

Benefits of Lemon Balm Tea

1. Improves Sleep: While researchers are still studying the effects of lemon balm, Germany has licensed lemon balm as a standard medicinal tea for treating sleep disorders and gastrointestinal tract disorders.

2. Relieves Stress and Anxiety: The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia states that lemon balm and its Indian cousin, M. parviflora can ease anxiety and depression. And from findings mentioned in the research section above, it is clear that lemon balm has sedative properties which can help people with mild-to-moderate anxiety. So if you can’t stop your mind’s racing thoughts, brew some lemon balm tea, or even mix it with valerian. Cyracos, a lemon balm, product also helps ease anxiety.

3. Improves cognition and mood: Yes, I know what you’re thinking. If it can help me sleep, how will it help me stay alert? Isn’t that the opposite? Let me explain. You can’t stay alert when your mind is thinking about a million things except the thing that you want to do. And lemon balm reduces this noise in your brain and improves cognitive performance.

So if you can’t sleep because you have an exam next week, don’t be anxious. Lemon can help you sleep at night and focus during the day. Yes, it is weird, but trying it won’t hurt.

4. Strengthens memory and problem-solving skills: Dr. David Kennedy, director of research at Northumbria University, examined the effect of lemon balm by giving lemon balm capsules to young people. They were required to take computer memory tests. As a result, the lemon balm helped them perform much better than a control group which took placebo. That is why research shows that lemon balm can be effective in the treatment of Alzheimer's.

5. Relieves sore muscles: Muscle pain is often the reason for sleepless for many people. It has the antispasmodic action, which eases muscle spasms and the eugenol substance it has, helps ease muscle pain.

6. Protects your heart: Blood pressure and heart rate are related to how calm and at ease you feel, which in turn, determines how well you sleep. So it’s important to take care of your heart, if you want to sleep better. For example, Iranian doctors used to treat heart palpitations using lemon balm[1]. A 2016 study showed that lemon balm lowers blood pressure and heart rate [2].

​Side Effects of Lemon Balm

When you take it orally, Lemon balm can cause vomiting, increased appetite, abdominal pain, dizziness, and wheezing.

Dependency: Research shows that even though lemon bal is effective at improving sleep, it may cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. The study was done on a university graduate who started drinking lemon balm tea without combining it with another herbal sleep tea. Although the tea eased his anxiety, he felt irritable and restless when he didn’t consume the tea. He also started drinking four cups instead of the one cup earlier in the next two months. When he didn’t consume any tea for two consecutive days, he had to be admitted in the emergency department for immediate treatment.

Hypotension: If you suffer from hypotension, don’t take lemon balm because it lowers blood pressure.

Decrease alertness at high doses: A study appeared in the journal Psychometric Medicine in 2004. It showed that when 600 mg, a high dose of lemon balm was consumed to ease stress, it increased calmness but decreased alertness. The reduction in alertness is only reported at high doses.

​Medication Interaction of Lemon Balm

Lemon balm interacts with CNS depressants. With any kind of sedatives, lemon balm will cause sleepiness and drowsiness. 

​5. Ashwagandha


Ashwagandha is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda, the Indian system of alternative medicine. Ashwagandha has been used for over 3000 years to increase energy, reduce stress, and improve concentration.

It is also known as Indian ginseng. It contains a chemical called withanolid, which has anti-inflammatory properties and also prevents tumor growth. In Ayurveda, ashwagandha has been known as a rasayana - a rejuvenator that keeps you mentally and physically young for life.

The sleep inducing properties of Ashwagandha can be credited to its constituent triethylene glycol. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen, which means it strengthens the body’s ability to deal with stress and bring physiological homeostasis. It brings physiological balance by correcting the imbalance between the immune and endocrine systems. As a result, your body becomes resilient to stress.

What Research Says

In a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review, the effectiveness of ashwagandha on concentration and memory was tested on 20 healthy men. Researchers tested the participants on reaction-time tests, discrimination tests, and card sorting tests. The positive results on these tests showed that ashwagandha can improve multiple brain functions: motor functions of the brain, memory, focus, and concentration.

Research shows that Ashwagandha acts like a GABAergic drug which means it binds to GABA receptors in the brain to reduce neural activity. This is why it is effective for easing anxiety, convulsions, stabilization of physiological functions. Since high neural activity causes insomnia and anxiety, ashwagandha’s GABAergic properties help reduce the number of neurons firing together and hence bringing a calming effect in the brain.

Research published in the journal Phytomedicine showed that Ashwagandha has anxiolytic properties that has a similar effect like the drug Lorazepam, which is used to treat anxiety disorders, sleep problems, alcohol withdrawal symptoms and active seizures. Ashwagandha also has antidepressant properties and works just like the drug imipramine, an antidepressant. This shows that it can be effective in treatment of insomnia and other related health problems like anxiety and depression.

​Benefits of Ashwagandha Tea

Benefits of Ashwagandha Tea

Reduces Stress and Anxiety: Ashwagandha can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone in your body, resulting in less stress and more relaxation. In a study of 64 people suffering from chronic stress, Ashwagandha treatment brought about 69 percent improvement in anxiety and insomnia while the placebo only achieved an 11 percent improvement.

Treats Depression: Ashwagandha has been used since ancient times to treat any illnesses of the mind or the nervous system. Studies show that it can reduce the symptoms of depression by 79 percent in people who have severe depression.

Prevents Heart Disease: Ashwagandha reduces the cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. In a two-month long study done on people suffering from chronic stress, ashwagandha treatment decreased LDL cholesterol by 17 percent and triglyceride by 11 percent. So it can be really effective for your heart health.

Improves Brain Function: Research shows that ashwagandha has antioxidant properties which combat the harmful effects of free radicals on nerve cells. In a study done on healthy men, half a gram of ashwagandha was administered daily. Researchers observed significant improvements in their reaction time and mental performance in given tasks.

Builds Immunity and Fights Inflammation: Research published in Phytotherapy Research showed that ashwagandha enhances the natural killer cell activity, which strengthens the innate immune response to fight infections. This study was done on healthy adults with a history of recurrent coughs and colds.

Ashwagandha also decreases C-reactive protein, which is related to a risk of heart disease. In a study , quarter of a gram of ashwagandha was administered. The results showed a 36 percent reduction in C-reactive protein, hence an improved ability to fight inflammation.

​Side Effects of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of the most powerful herbs in Ayurveda. There are no major long-term studies done to examine its side effects. But anecdotal evidence shows that it may cause some side effects in some cases. But, low to medium dose of ashwagandha (upto 1 gm) is considered generally safe.

May Cause Allergy: Although there’s not much research done on this, but personal stories of people reveal that ashwagandha may cause allergies. It may cause itching, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and sore throat. But keep in mind that these symptoms are experienced by only in some cases, so you may want to see for yourself whether you’re allergic to it. You can even consult your doctor regarding it.

May Cause Drowsiness: Ashwagandha may cause drowsiness because of its constituent chemicals that promote relaxation. Since it is sleep inducing and promotes relaxation, taking it in conjunction with other sedatives can cause drowsiness during the day and may affect your ability to focus.

Random sources on the web report other side effects including stomach upset, bleeding, dry mouth, diarrhoea, nausea, and chest pain.

However, if you’re not taking a high dose, consuming ashwagandha tea for sleep is rather safe. Because the side effects mentioned in these random sources aren’t backed up by research.

​Medication Interactions of Ashwagandha

Blood Sugar Medication: Ashwagandha lowers blood sugar level which can be helpful for diabetic people. But if you’re already taking a medication that lowers blood sugar, taking ashwagandha can backfire and may lower your blood sugar too much.

Thyroid Medication: Ashwagandha increases thyroid hormone concentration in the body. So if you’re taking a medication to treat hyperthyroidism, it may be harmful to take ashwagandha as it may increase your thyroid symptoms.

Autoimmune Medication: Ashwagandha strengthens the immune system. But for people suffering from autoimmune diseases, it can be potentially harmful. Because in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and lupus, medications try to lower your natural immune response. And since ashwagandha increases this response, it can be potentially harmful.

​6. Passion Flower

Passion Flower

Passion flower is the umbrella name for the 400 species of the plant genus Passiflora. Although its native origins are the warmer areas of north and south america, it is now grown all over the world. It has been used throughout history by native americans, european settlers, and african americans. They used it as a sedative and relaxant as it is effective at soothing the nervous system. By 18th century, passion flower became a popular remedy for epilepsy and insomnia.

Passion flower is antispasmodic: relieves spasms of involuntary muscles, hypnotic: psychoactive drug that induces sleep, anodyne: pain relieving, anticonvulsant: reduces convulsions, sedative: calming and sleep-inducing, and anxiolytic: reduces anxiety.

Passion flower’s therapeutic properties come from its constituent phytochemicals. Phytochemicals such as apigenin, orientin, swertiamarin, quercetin, kaempferol, vitexin, and chrysin promote neuroprotective activity. In other words, these chemicals restore mental balance and produce calming effects.

What Research Says

Passion flower is known for its sedative and soothing effects. But few studies are done to support its properties.

In the book, Herbs and Natural Supplements: An Evidence Based Guide, the authors mention that passion flower may boost the production of GABA in the brain. If you remember from earlier sections, GABA is naturally produced in the brain and lowers the neural activity, leading to relaxation. But since there are a large variety of passion flower species, these findings are not concrete.

For a study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, the effects of placebo versus passion flower tea were tested on 41 adults in one week long trial. From self-reported evidence and scientific anxiety parameters, sleep quality was “significantly better” with the use of passion flower as compared to that with placebo. The study was done with the plant species Passiflora incarnata.

In another study, published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, passion flower and a control anti-anxiety drug were separately tested on 60 patients 90 minutes before surgery. Results showed that patients who took passion flower felt less anxious and didn’t experience any sedative effects, nor any changes in psychomotor functions.

In The Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, a study was published on the anxiety reducing effects of passion flower. Passion flower was tested on 36 patients with generalized anxiety disorder over the period of a month. The results showed that passion flower was effective at reducing anxiety levels and making them calm and relaxed.

Benefits of Passion Flower

Benefits of Passion Flower

1. Puts You in a Relaxed Mood: Passion flower has proven calming and sedative effects. If you experience mood swings or run on a rollercoaster of emotions all day, it can help you sleep. Mood disorders are common among people with insomnia or other sleep problems. A cup of passion flower tea before bed can put you into a deep peaceful slumber, and that too without any side effects you get with prescription medications.

2. Improves Sleep: Both self-reported and scientific evidence suggests that passion flower can help you sleep at night. It’s constituent chemicals stop excessive neural activity - that terrible state of racing thoughts - and helps you feel calm.

3. Eases Muscle Spasms: For people who experience involuntary muscle spasms, passion flower can be a powerful remedy. Not only it helps ease muscle spasms, it also soothes the sadness that generally follows involuntary muscle spasms. It delays the onset and duration of muscle contractions.

4. Eases Withdrawal Symptoms: Whether you are trying to quit alcohol, nicotine, or coffee, passion flower can help you deal with withdrawal symptoms. A study published in Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics showed that passion flower can ease physical and mental symptoms of withdrawal.

5. Helps with Stress, Anxiety and Depression: If you suffer from chronic stress, your body produces excessive amounts of stress hormones. Passion flower corrects this physiological imbalance in the body and alleviates symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. The phytochemicals in passion flower can make you feel positive and energized throughout the day.

6. Blood Pressure/Heart Health: Passion flower lowers blood pressure and improves heart health. Since insomnia is often linked with high blood pressure, passion flower can work as an all round remedy, treating multiple symptoms of insomnia at once.

​Side Effects of Passion Flower

A research study published in Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutic suggests that passion flower showed no side effects when used to treat withdrawal symptoms in people who were trying to quit smoking. Animal research shows that passion flower can cause uterine contraction. Although this side effects is not observed in humans, pregnant women are advised to ask a professional before consuming passion flower tea.

Mental Confusion/Dizziness: If you consume passion flower tea in large amounts, you may experience mental confusion, lack of physical-mental coordination,unclear thinking, dizziness, and so on. If you are prone to these mental disturbances, it’s best to consult a doctor before taking passion flower tea.

Blood Pressure/Heart Health: If you take blood pressure medications, consuming passion flower tea can lower your blood pressure too much. So avoid it using along with any blood pressure medication.

Antidepressants/Sedatives: If you take prescription antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, or sedatives of any kind, using passion flower can increase the sedative effects causing drowsiness, mental confusion, and can even be potentially harmful in some cases.

Gastrointestinal problems: High doses of passion flower tea can cause gastrointestinal problems such as stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and so on.

​7. Magnolia Bark

Magnolia Bark

In Chinese medicine, Magnolia Bark has been in use for over 2000 years. Its therapeutic properties make it antiseptic, antibacterial, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory. It has bioactive compounds that can help with multiple health issues including anxiety, inflammation, sleep problems, stress, memory, and brain functions. It has bioactive components, including magnolol and honokiol, which produce its therapeutic effects.

It is known by its biological name Magnolia officinalis and originates from China. Although it’s often used to improve sleep, proper research is needed to confirm this sleep-inducing property of this herb.

​What Research Says

A study was done on 56 people to examine the effects of Magnolia bark on anxiety and stress. The researchers gave them 1/4th gram of Relora - a combination of two chinese herbs: magnolia bark and amur cork. After one month of this experiment, the results showed that the herbal treatment helped lower stress levels, depression, anger, fatigue, and confusion in participants. It also improved vigor, energy levels, in participants.

Another study of Magnolia bark was done on 40 premenopausal women. The doctors gave the women both placebo and magnolia bark to test its effects. Quarter gram of Relora was given for one and a half month. As compared to placebo, the participants showed decrease in temporary anxiety with relora or magnolia bark. But it must be noted that no sleep quality effects were observed. So, the research shows that magnolia bark may provide soothing effects to people with some anxiety. However, concrete research needs to be done to make any solid claims.

Research published in the Neuropharmacology journal shows that Magnolia bark has bioactive compounds which help you get more hours of NREM sleep and REM sleep - the deep sleep stage essential to replenish and restore energy in your physical body. It contains magnolol which changes c-Fos expressions in the arousal and sleep centers in the brain, leading to relaxation and sleep-promoting effects.

​How It Works

Magnolia bark contains magnolol and honokiol, which modulate the GABA receptors in the brain, promoting relaxation and reducing neural activity. Magnolol increases the density of GABA-a receptors, the same action done by the tranquilizer called diazepam. Research also suggests that magnolia bark has some constituents which inhibit the release of adrenaline from adrenal glands, hence decreasing alertness and promoting relaxation.


Benefits of Magnolia Bark

1. Improves Sleep - As reported in the research studies mentioned above, magnolia bark has bioactive components such as magnolol, which induce sleep and increase the time of REM sleep, which is very important for sleep health. It also lowers adrenaline in the brain, leading to less alertness and more relaxation.

2. Stress and Anxiety Relief - If there is one thing that Magnolia bark was known for throughout history, it was for its soothing and calming effects. Since magnolia bark increases GABA activity and decreases the neural activity, it is effective at easing anxiety and stress. Its active component honokiol can produce the same relaxing and anti-anxiety effects as the drug diazepam. If a natural herb can be as powerful as an anti-anxiety drug, without the harmful side effects, it makes sense to try and see if it works for you.

3. Regulates Mood - According to brain science, dopamine and serotonin are two chemicals important for regulating our mood. Dopamine is the reward chemical in the brain. Everytime you complete any task or eat a meal - your brain secretes dopamine. Research shows that magnolia bark can regulate serotonin and dopamine and in turn help you regulate your mood.

4. Brain Health - Magnolia bark has certain chemical compounds which may counter cell death usually linked with Alzheimer's. It also helps regulate the chemical acetylcholine, which helps with learning and remembering things. Studies show that magnolia bark’s chemical action can help improve overall brain function and cognitive processes.

5. Eases inflammation and pain - Magnolia bark has been used in history as a medicine for pain relief and reducing inflammation. Animal research studies show that its constituent compounds, magnolol and honokiol block glutamate-, substance P- and PGE2-induced inflammatory pain.

​Side effects of Magnolia Bark

There isn’t sufficient research done to show any concrete side effects of magnolia bark. But from limited research, it can be said that magnolia bark can cause hand tremors, thyroid issues, dizziness, confusion, headache, and fatigue. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or scheduled for surgery, it is best to avoid using magnolia bark or consult your doctor before you do it.

Breathing problems - Magnolia bark has a chemical called tubocurarine which relaxes muscles. But when it works with other compounds present in the herb, the chemical can cause breathing problems and can even be toxic to children and infants. Therefore, it is recommended to not give it to children.

Vertigo - Vertigo is the sensation of spinning. It is caused when one consumes a high dose of magnolia bark. So if you feel like you are spinning in the room or that the room is spinning around you, immediately call your doctor.

Heart rates - Studies done by E Natural Health center show that magnolia bark can numb the nerve endings in the brain leading to relaxation. But this also heightens up the heart and respiratory rates.

Sedative effects - Magnolia bark contains a chemical called magnocurarine which works like a sedative. It is helpful when you want to sleep, but in large doses it can lower your blood pressure and potentially dangerous for your health.

​Medication Interaction of Magnolia Bark

Sedatives - Because of its sedative effects, magnolia bark shouldn’t be combined with sedative medications like benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and CNS depressants.

Anticoagulant - Magnolia bark combined with anticoagulant medications such as warfarin and edoxaban can result in complicate bleeding problems.

Other herbs - Combining two sleep herbs may cause excessive sedation and drowsiness. So consult your doctor before you combine magnolia bark with any other herb.

​8. St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort, Hypericum perforatum is another product of nature used for hundreds of years to treat mental health conditions. In Europe, it’s a common remedy for depression. It is native to regions in Europe and Asia and grows as yellow flowers in the wild. Earliest records show that it was used to heal wounds. But as time progressed, it became more of a mental health remedy.

​What Research Says

Scientific studies on St. John’s Wort effectiveness to treat depression show mixed results. But it can still improve sleep patterns (not sleep quality). Here is what research says:

A study was published in the Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology examining the effects of St. John’s Wort on sleep. Over the period of a month, researchers gave the herb to 12 older patients. The results showed an “increase of deep sleep during the total sleep period”. However, the herb didn’t improve the continuity of sleep, the onset of sleep, intermittent wake-up phases, and total time of sleep.

Many studies on the effects of St John’s Wort on depression and anxiety have been done. A research study shows that St John’s Wort may be effective in the treatment of “some adolescents with mild depression”. Another study shows that St John’s Wort is effective in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.

Research further shows that this herb can enhance the final stage of REM sleep. However, if you rely on anecdotal evidence and the vast history of use of this herbal medicine, it can be used to treat depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

St John’s Wort contains many chemical compounds that produce its therapeutic effects. They include xanthones, dianthrone derivatives, flavanols, phytosterols, coumarins, and some essential oil compounds as well.

Benefits of St John’s Wort

Benefits of St John’s Wort

Helps with depression: Throughout history, St John’s Wort has been used to treat depression. It contains chemical compounds which regulate important neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters make you feel motivated to do things and make you feel happy.

Helps with withdrawal: For people trying to quit alcohol, smoking, or other substances, St. John’s Wort can ease the withdrawal symptoms and help with overcoming addiction.

Treats inflammation: It has high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. These compounds help ease any inflammatory pain such as joint pain, muscle ache, and so on. It also helps treat inflammation in the heart, decreasing blood pressure and strengthening the heart.

Prevents viruses: According to research, St John’s Wort can combat viral infections, but only when it is taken in high doses. The downside is that, high doses of herbal remedies often lead to unwanted side effects.

Eases anxiety: St. John’s Wort restores the hormonal balance in the body, which boosts metabolism and fixes the internal clock. This restoration helps with insomnia and chronic fatigue. Once the chronic stress hormones are removed from the system, people feel less anxious and more in control of their lives.

​Side effects of St John’s Wort

Although the herb can help you sleep, it also has some side effects.

Same side effects as Prozac - Based on Australian Drug Safety reports, researchers discovered that St. John’s Wort could have the same side effects as Prozac, the popular antidepressant. It can cause side effects such as anxiety, panic attacks, dizziness, nausea, and spikes in blood pressure.

Other side effects from research studies include stomach upset, erectile dysfunction, dry mouth, diarrhea, liver injury, and headache. St. John’s Wort can also worsen symptoms of various mental health conditions including bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, and ADHD.

​Medication Interaction of St John’s Wort.

There are many kinds of medications that could interact with St. John’s Wort. They include:

  • Antidepressants: When St. John’s Wort is combined with serotonin uptake inhibitors, it leads to serotonin syndrome with symptoms such as high body temperature, tremor, diarrhea, agitation. Anyhow, it’s quite clear that you should not take any herbal remedy if you’re taking psychiatric medications.
  • Cough and Cold medicines
  • Seizure Medications
  • Heart disease medicines
  • Other herbal remedies
  • Blood thinners
  • Cancer medications
  • HIV drugs
  • Organ transplant medications

​9. California Poppy

California Poppy

California poppy originates from California but is grown on the west coast in United States from Washington in the north to Mexico in the south. It is golden orange in color and that is why it is also called “orange poppy”. It is the state flower of California known for its sedative effects. It can also relieve nerve pain, which if left untreated, can cause insomnia. It is used for any issues with nervous system, sleep disorders, and nerve pain.

​What Research Says

In a study done on 264 people with mild to moderate generalized anxiety, the effects of California poppy versus a placebo were tested. California poppy was given in the form of the drug Sympathyl, which contains California poppy, hawthorn, and magnesium. Those who took Sympathyl reported higher reduction in anxiety than those who took the placebo.

The researchers gave the conclusion that Sympathyl is safe and more effective than placebo at treating mild to moderate anxiety symptoms.

Preliminary research shows that the alkaloids present in California poppy work with brain receptors in multiple potent ways. This may or may not be the reason for the sleep-inducing effects, as some people believe it has. More research is needed to draw any solid conclusions.

In other tests performed to study its anticonvulsant and myorelaxant properties, the herb proved to be ineffective. Other animal tests showed that the herb has sedative properties and can be effective at inducing sleep.

Benefits of California Poppy

Benefits of California Poppy 

Treats Insomnia/Sleep problems - California poppy relaxes your mind and body, so that you can enjoy a deep sleep at night. No solid research supports this quality of this herb, but it’s been used since a long time for treating sleep problems.

Treats Anxiety and Depression - Research shows that California poppy is more effective than placebo at treating anxiety. It has isoquinoline alkaloids and flavone glycosides which give the anti-anxiety effects upon consumption of the herb.

Treats ADHD - California poppy helps the cognitive functions of the brain. This is why it can treat ADHD, a growing problem in children and young adults. It can bring peace to the overactive mind of children and ease the jitters.

Eases Muscle Spasms - The herb has the anulomana action, according to Ayurveda, which means it can reduce spasms and pain in the stomach.

Eases Withdrawal Symptoms - The herb inhibits the enzymatic degradation of catecholamines, a hormone that plays a key role in addiction. So whether you want to quit alcohol, tobacco, or any other drugs, California poppy can help you with withdrawal symptoms.

Relieves physical pain - According to, this herb conditions your brain to enhance your opiate receptors, which naturally provides relief in pain. California poppy is non-addictive with the same benefits as a painkiller, such as Percocet or Vicodin, without the side effects.

​Side effects of California Poppy

In one study mentioned above california poppy, along with magnesium and hawthorn, were given to patients for the treatment of anxiety. Researchers noted that this treatment caused many side effects including nausea, muscle stiffness, and grogginess in the morning.

The herb can also cause some allergic reactions including rashes, hives, itching, swelling in the throat, swelling in the mouth, and respiratory problems. However, normal doses of the herb don’t usually lead to any side effects. If you are allergic or take any medication, it is advised to consult a doctor before you take this herb.

​Medication Interaction of California Poppy

Taking California poppy with sedative medications can be potentially dangerous. As we have seen with other herbs above, if you take any sedatives, psychiatric medicines, heart medicine, or medicine for any severe illness, you should consult your doctor before bringing this herb into your daily routine.

​10. Hops


You may know hops as an ingredient used in beer. The herb, with humulus lupulus comes from Europe and today it is grown in many countries around the globe. Hops plant has corn-shaped flowers that contain the bitter oils and nutrients that provide the medicinal effects of the herb.

According to the blog Sleep Passport, Germany’s commission E, which is equivalent to America’s Food and Drug administration (FDA), has approved hops herb for the treatment of anxiety, restlessness, and improving sleep. This official approval is the proof that hops can help you sleep naturally at night.

​What Research Says

One study published in the Sleep journal tested the effects of a combination of valerian root and hops, along with diphenhydramine, in the treatment of mild insomnia. This remedy was tested on 184 patients with mild insomnia in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. The results of this study showed “modest hypnotic (sleep-inducing) effect” for a valerian-hops combination. The treatment was deemed as safe and it didn’t bring rebound insomnia when the herbal remedy was discontinued.

Another study proved that hops acts just like melatonin, the medicine people take to fall asleep [source]. It explained that the valerian-hops combination reduced alertness and prolonged wakefulness. It concluded that this herb combination is effective for the treatment of sleep disorders.

Therefore, research shows that hops, when used with valerian, is an effective remedy for sleep problems. But, don’t take the herb combination on your own. High dosage can cause side effects, so always consider a professional herbalist or a doctor.

Benefits of Hops

Benefits of Hops

Induces Sleep and Relaxation - Just like beer helps you relax, hops -one of its key ingredients - is effective at calming your nerves and inducing sleep. According to a research study, the ethanolic and carbon dioxide extracts from hops decrease the locomotor activity and increase the ketamine action that makes you feel sleepy.

Fights inflammation - Research published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 2009 shows the inflammatory properties of Hops. Hops has bitter acids including alpha acids, beta acids, and iso alpha acids, which are responsible for fighting inflammation.

Fights Infections and Toxins - Hops is good at removing toxins from the body and fighting infections. The antioxidants in hops boost immunity, the microbes help provide relief in case of a sore throat or chest problems. It purifies the blood and decreases blood sugar.

Heart Health - Hops contains Xanthohumol which leads to powerful antiplatelet process. As a result, it protects your heart from cardiovascular illness.

Combats Stress and Anxiety - Stress is the main cause people suffer from insomnia, leaving pathological cases aside. So if you can heal stress, you can sleep better every night. Hops works on the GABA receptors in the brain, reducing excess activity and promoting relaxation. In fact, hops,when combined with valerian, can work better than sleep medications.

Brain Health - The xanthohumol compound found in hops protects your brain from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can cause Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s and hops, by reducing this stress, prevents brain damage or disorders.

​Side effects of Hops

Drowsiness: In some cases, hops can cause drowsiness because of its sedative properties. This effect may be pronounced if you’re taking any sedative medications. Never take any herbal sleep tea if you’re taking antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, sleep medicines, or any psychiatric medication.

Allergies: Hops can sometimes cause nasal allergies such as sneezing, congestion, or running nose. In rare cases, hops can also lead to a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis which is characterized by low blood pressure, swollen throat, and difficulty in breathing.

Estrogenic issues: Hops contains high estrogen levels which can lead to breast growth in men and also erectile dysfunction. People who have a history of breast cancer are also at health risks when consuming hops. Research suggests that pregnant women and those with kidney or liver disease should not consume hops.

​Medication Interaction of Hops

Anxiety/Depression/Sleep Meds: If you take medication for anxiety, depression, or sleep, taking hops tea can be dangerous. Two sedatives never go well and can cause allergic reactions.

Other sedative herbs: Although researchers have found that valerian works well with hops, it is recommended that you don’t mix it with other herbs such as St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava, and so on.

Infection or allergy medicines: Don’t take hops if you’re taking prescription medicines such as allegra, nizoral, paclitaxel and so on. Hops has diuretic action which works on the enzymes in the liver, so these two kind of drugs can interact and cause harmful effects.

Can herbal teas really help you sleep?

Some people refrain from drinking any kind of tea at night. But the truth is that herbal teas are very different from regular caffeinated teas. They contain anti-anxiety ingredients that help your body relax and get to sleep easily. You must have heard of how valerian root can help people with sleep problems. Herbal teas contain the same ingredient as valerian root to soothe your physical and mental system and help you relax before you go to sleep. 

The advantage of drinking a herbal tea instead of taking the raw supplement is that you don’t have to deal with the stinky herb and bad taste. Moreover, taking raw herb with water isn’t a soothing experience in itself. On the other hand, drinking tea at bedtime has an inherent relaxing effect on your brain, just like taking a hot shower helps you feel instantly relaxed.

Some sleep teas have ingredients that have a sedative effect, such as chamomile and valerian. On the other hand, some teas have ingredients that reduce stress and anxiety. Some sleep teas help ease digestion so that the body can relax and go to sleep.

Does this really work or is it just a placebo?

The answer is yes and no. It really works because of the inherent relaxing properties of the ingredients. But it also works as a placebo to give an additional effect. So no matter which herbal tea you have before bed, it will feel relaxing and ease your stress. However, it is important to maintain proper sleep hygiene as drinking herbal tea alone won’t put you to sleep.

It is important that you refrain from using digital devices 1-2 hours before bed. The room where you sleep should be dark and quiet. Also, try to keep your bedroom just for sleep and sex. This is because our brain forms associations between the locations we spend time at and our activity or behavior in that location. So if you are used to indulging in stimulating activity on your bed, then it will be hard to sleep on it. If you don’t have an option, try sleeping on the other side of the bed and keep your work activities on the different side.


For those struggling with sleeping problems, herbal teas can serve as an effective solution. They can help you relax, just like a hot shower without the negative properties of consuming caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee.

There are many sleep teas to choose from - chamomile, valerian, passionflower and many more. Depending on your taste preferences, the effect of ingredients you want from your sleep tea - sedative, antianxiolytic or digestive - you can choose the one that suits you the best. However, keep in mind that you would still need to have proper sleep hygiene - avoiding using digital devices at night, keeping bed for sleep and relaxing activities, keeping your room dark and quiet at night and so on.

​Updated 6th jan 2019.

What to Wear to Bed for a Great Night’s Sleep


What you wear to bed at night can depend on a lot of factors, including your age, the season or simply your personal preference. However, you may not know that your attire can greatly affect the quality of your sleep.

 If you find it difficult to settle down and relax at night and spend hours tossing and turning, this makes it nearly impossible to wake up in the morning feeling fully rested.

Read on to see how your attire can be the cause of this discomfort and what changes to make for a decent rest, along with what to wear if you frequently get too hot or too cold at night.

Great Night’s Sleep

How to Keep Warm in Bed

If you find yourself shivering in bed at night, regardless of how many jumpers you put on, then you may be missing one critical item of clothing - socks.

As you lose body heat through your feet, ensuring that these are covered up at night is essential to staying warm under the duvet. Investing in bed socks or thermal socks is an easy way to keep your temperature up.

Adding this item to your attire is also proven to help you fall asleep faster at night, meaning you can get a better night’s kip.

How to Stay Cool in Bed

If you find yourself getting incredibly hot, or sweating at night, then this could be because your pyjamas are made of synthetic fabrics.

Switching these to clothing made from 100% cotton or cashmere can help to keep you cool and dry, as they are much more breathable than synthetics.

 Polyester-based fabric is unable to absorb liquid, meaning that if you choose it as sleepwear you will wake up feeling more damp and uncomfortable.

Of course, this could also be related to a condition called night sweats.

Ditching the PJs

As long as you feel comfortable, choosing to cut pyjamas from your wardrobe altogether has many benefits.

 Sleeping naked can take part in improving circulation around the body and reduce the risk of you developing unwanted fungal infections or skin irritations.

This is due to the fact that it allows your skin to breathe and removes anything that could be constricting your blood flow, which benefits your heart and muscles.

Sleeping naked also keeps you cool, which in turn can improve the speed of your metabolism, helping you burn fat. If you are still experiencing discomfort or night sweating after making these adjustments, your sleeping environment could be the problem rather than your sleepwear.

Fresh bedsheets, a different bedroom wall colour or a new mattress could be a great option to increase comfort at night. As well as this, you may need to consider a sprung bed base, which will not only give your mattress the support it needs but your muscles and bones too.

Types of Products to Treat Sleep Apnea


There are so many products out there that claim to stop snoring and apneas. It has been a very competitive market, so how do we know which are the ones to go for?

In this article, we will talk about the products that have been scientifically and clinically proven to work, as well as how to use them, cost of each product, and a few things to be aware of when using each product.


Product Name


1) Essential Health Helps Stop Snoring ®

Essential Health Helps Stop Snoring


Puranox Anti-Snoring Spray

1) Mute Snoring by RhinoMed

Mute Snoring by RhinoMed

Sleep Right’ Intra-Nasal Breathe Aid

Sleep Right Intra-Nasal Breathe Aid


AveoTSD Snoring Mouthpiece

SnoreQuiet Tongue Retaining Anti Snoring Device

SnoreQuiet Tongue Retaining Anti Snoring Device

NightShift Sleep Positioner

NightShift Sleep Positioner

Zzoma Positional Device

Zzoma Positional Device

Theravent Anti-Snore Strip

Theravent Anti-Snore Strip

Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy

Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy

Oral Sprays

There are both nasal and oral sprays on the market that claim to eliminate snoring and apneas. Nasal sprays usually work by clearing your nasal passage, while oral sprays lubricates the soft muscle tissues at the back of your throat to prevent vibrations and reduce snoring, experts usually do not recommend nasal sprays to treat sleep apnea, mainly because sleep apnea is caused by the collapse of soft muscle at the back of your throat.

While nasal sprays can help expand and clear your nasal airway, it is effective for patients who often suffers from hay fever, flu, or allergies, it is not effective as a form of treatment for sleep apnea.

We will instead talk about 2 kinds of oral sprays that are most popular amongst mild sleep apnea patients.

1) Essential Health Helps Stop Snoring ®

1) Essential Health Helps Stop Snoring ®

What is it? 
A type of throat spray designed to lubricate the back of your throat and reduce the intensity of your snoring. It also slightly tones up the soft tissues behind the throat to prevent muscles from over relaxing at night.

What is it made of?
Made of natural essential oils such as eucalyptus, lemon, and peppermint.

How do I use it?
Spray 2-3 times every night after brushing your teeth, towards the back of your throat.

How long does a bottle last?
Each 59ml bottle will give you about 50 nights worth of peaceful sleep.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients who snore but are tested negative for sleep apnea will benefit most from it. Patients diagnosed as mild sleep apnea may also find it beneficial.

How much does it cost?
Approximately USDlow $$ for a 59ml bottle.

Is it clinically proven?
You can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as a mandibular advancement device, tongue stabilizing device, nasal dilators, or EPAP therapy.

2) Puranox® Anti-Snoring Spray


What is it? 
An anti snoring spray that works by moisturising the back of your throat, and prevents snoring.

What is it made of?
The company claimed it is made of all natural ingredients (only plants extract), meaning vegetarians and vegans can also benefit from this spray.

How do I use it?
Place your mouth around the spray applicator, then hold the bottle’s lever down for 1 second, a proper dose will then spray towards the back of your throat. Do not swallow for 10 seconds, you may also feel a tingling sensation after the dose is supplied. Do not eat or drink after applying the spray, it is best used right before bed.

How long does a bottle last?
A 45ml bottle should last you about 36 doses.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients who snore but are tested negative for sleep apnea will benefit most from it. Patients diagnosed as mild sleep apnea may also find it beneficial.

How much does it cost?
Approximately USD Low $$ for a 45ml bottle.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, and for further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as a mandibular advancement device, tongue stabilizing device, nasal dilators, or EPAP therapy.

Nasal Dilators

Nasal dilators are usually made of small plastic rings. They are designed so you can comfortable place them into your nostrils, with the purpose of dilating and expanding the nasal passage. They open up your nasal passage by pulling it outwards, allowing more air entering your nose during the night. They are very simple, and is also non invasive.

Just like nasal sprays, it does not work for everyone. In many cases, snoring is caused by vibrations of the relaxed muscle tissue in your soft palate and throat, and unfortunately, nasal dilators cannot always solve this problem.

We will talk about the 2 most popular nasal dilators that have claimed to work for treating snoring.

1) Mute Snoring by RhinoMed

1) Mute Snoring by RhinoMed

What is it?
Mute by RhinoMed is a removable nasal stent that is designed to keep your nasal nostrils expanded during the night, to promote increased airflow into your nasal passage.

How do I use it?
The first step is to get the right size for you. Mute offers a trial pack, which comes in 3 different sizes (Small, Medium, Large). Getting the right size is important as your comfort is crucial, too small and it may slip out, too big and you will feel very uncomfortable to wear.

What is it made of?
Mute is made of soft medical grade plastic to ensure comfort on your nostrils throughout the night.

How long does each Mute last?
10 days, for 8 hours of usage each night.

How much does it cost?
The trial pack is approximately USD Low $$, while the pack of 3 Mute sitting around USD25.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients who snore but are tested negative for sleep apnea will benefit most from this product. Patients diagnosed as mild sleep apnea may also find it beneficial.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, and for further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as oral sprays, mandibular advancement device, tongue stabilizing device, or even EPAP therapy.

2) Sleep Right’ Intra-Nasal Breathe Aid

Sleep Right’ Intra-Nasal Breathe Aid

What is it?
Breathe Aid by Sleep Right’ is a reusable nasal dilator designed to reduce nasal congestion, it works by opening your nose to help you reduce snoring.

How do I use it?
Simply place it into your nostrils (there’s no right side up, the plastic bits can either point up or down) and you are ready for bed. Make sure to wash with cool water every morning and store is in the case provided.

What is it made of?
Medical grade plastic.

How long does each Mute last?
Reusable up to 15 days.

How much does it cost?
Monthly supply will cost about USD low $$.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients with deviated septum/blocked sinus from hay fever/allergies may benefit from this product. Best to be used to treat snoring, not sleep apnea. It does not work for patients who are diagnosed for severe sleep apnea.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, studies have shown it expands your nostril size by 58% to increase airflow. For further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as oral sprays, mandibular advancement device, tongue stabilizing device, sleep positioning devices, or even EPAP therapy.

Tongue Stabilizing Device

Tongue stabilizing devices are used to ensure the tongue does not over relax and compress on your airways. It functions by pulling the tongue forward and lifts soft muscles away from your airway. The 2 most popular tongue stabilizing devices are:

1) AveoTSD Snoring Mouthpiece


What is it?
AveoTSD is a tongue stabilizing device, its purpose is to pull your tongue forward and prevent it from collapsing on your airways.

How do I use it?
It uses gentle suction at the end of your tongue, pulling it forward and prevent it from
falling back towards the back of your throat. Simply place your tongue into the AveoTSD, and by gently using a pumping action, squeeze the upper and lower ends of the device with your thumb and index finger. Ensure it is not too tight (so it is uncomfortable) or too loose (so it slips out).

What is it made of?
Medical grade silicon

How long does each Mute last?
You can reuse this device indefinitely, as long as you take good care of it, it should last a long time. Wash it everyday after you wake up with hot water, and then store it in the container provided. Refrain from using any chemicals or alcohol and this may break down the silicon.

How much does it cost?
Approximately USD Low $$$.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients’ diagnosed mild to low range moderate sleep apnea may benefit from this product. A sleep study while wearing one of these devices may give a good indication on how well the tongue stabilizing device is treating your apneas.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, clinically and scientifically proven. For further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as oral sprays, mandibular advancement device, sleep positioning device, nasal dilators, or EPAP therapy.

2) SnoreQuiet™ Tongue Retaining Anti Snoring Device

SnoreQuiet Tongue Retaining Anti Snoring Device

What is it?
This is another very popular brand of Tongue Retaining Device. It is most popular in the USA and they ship worldwide. It holds your tongue when you sleep and prevents it from collapsing into your airways.

How do I use it?
Place the device in front of the tongue and stick your tongue into it, gently squeeze and push out any air bubbles with your thumb and forefinger, you will create a suction pressure inside, resulting in the device pulling your tongue forward.

What is it made of?
Medical grade silicon

How long does each Mute last?
Each of these tongue retaining devices will last for a long time as they do not break down easy. Remember to clean it daily after use. If the silicon has turned yellow, it is time to get it replaced. This device will generally last for a minimum of 2 years.

How much does it cost? ( last checked on 25th April)
Approximately USD $$, and there is a 100% money back guarantee upon purchase (within 30 days + USD25 disposal fee + shipping). One good tip is to stay and browse around on their website, sometimes a 40% discount coupon may pop up in your face.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients who snore, or suffer from mild to low range moderate, may benefit from this device. It does not work for everyone as the reason why people snore may differ. To check if this is treating your sleep apneas, a sleep test while wearing the device may be necessary.

Is it clinically proven?
The company did not specifically state it is clinically proven, however it states it is clinically tested. SnoreQuietTM also claimed to have won the “#1 best rated anti snoring device” for 2017. For further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as oral sprays, nasal dilators, sleep positioning device, or even EPAP therapy.

Sleep Positioning Device

Sleeping either on your left or right side is always better for sleep apnea patients, as it alleviates any direct force on your airways from the relaxing of soft muscle tissues. Most of us do not even realize we are tossing and turning at night, so how do we ensure we are constantly sleeping on the side at night?

There are products out there designed to help us stay asleep on the side, let us talk about 2 of the most popular and effective products.

1) NightShift Sleep Positioner

NightShift Sleep Positioner

What is it?
NightShift is a sleep positioning device designed to keep you sleeping on the side. Every time you turned to sleep on your back, the device vibrates, it does this to remind you to turn back onto your sides.

How do I use it?
You wear the device around your neck. Many patients do not like this as it looks like a dog collar, but it is a very effective way to keep you sleeping on your sides at night. You press a button to turn it on, and the device delays the start of the treatment by 15 minutes, to allow you to fall asleep before therapy starts. The device can also record your treatment efficacy, which can be downloaded into a computer. The device can store up to 1 year’s worth of data inside. The recorded data shows how well you slept each night, as well as your snoring levels.

How long before this device needs to be replaced?
Just like any portable electronic device, you will need to charge the battery up before using. If you use the device for 8 hours a night, this device will need to be charged once every three days. It will also tell you when the battery is low. The device itself should have a life of a few years, however, you will need to replace the neck strap every 6 months (approximately USD $$).

How much does it cost?
The cost of NightShift is around USD $$$. It comes with a 1 year warranty, and if it does not work, you can send it back for a refund, minus shipping charges (within 30 day).

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients who have done a sleep study, and have detected they do not have any apnea events while sleeping on the side may benefit from this device. Patients who are diagnosed mild or low range moderate (AHI <20) may also benefit from this device. Patients who has heart conditions and/or pacemakers are not recommended for this product, as the device may interfere with other medical devices that are close by.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, and for further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as oral sprays, mandibular advancement device, tongue stabilizing device, nasal dilators, or even EPAP therapy.

2) Zzoma Positional Device

Zzoma Positional Device

What is it?
Zzoma positional device is an alternative to the “tennis ball therapy”. It keeps you on your side by preventing your body from rolling onto your back.

How do I use it?
Simply place this around your waist, with the bulged out structure towards your back (like a backpack). Position the device so its Velcro straps are on the level of your chest. Make sure it is not too tight, otherwise it will be uncomfortable and hard to breath, then then just lie on your side and go to sleep.

What is it made of? 
Zzoma is made of mainly foam, and covered by nylon. The straps that is touching your body has PVC dots (similar to bathtub floor tacks) which creates friction on your body to prevent slippage of the straps while you sleep.

How long does each last?
Just like any garment, they will wear out eventually if you wear it everyday. A good way to ensure they last a long time is to unzip and machine wash the outer fabric in cold water. Hand washing is of course always best. They generally should last for a few years.

How much does it cost?
It cost USD 185.95 for each of these devices, it comes with a 1 year warranty and 30 days money back guarantee. However, in some countries, to get one of these, you will need a prescription from a doctor.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea may benefit from this product. Patients who are not compliant on CPAP or any other treatment may also make good use of this product.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, and it has gone through rigorous clinical trial reviews with studies being done on it. It is also FDA approved in the USA. For further effect, you can also use this device concurrently with other therapies too, such as a oral sprays, mandibular advancement device, tongue stabilizing device, nasal dilators, or EPAP therapy.

Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP)

Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) is a type of therapy that draws more air into the nostrils, but preventing some of it from being exhaled. This creates a positive air pressure in your airways, and also to prevent your airways from collapsing. You may feel it is hard to breathe out with this therapy. Let us have a look at the two most popular EPAP products.

1) Theravent Anti-Snore Strip

Theravent Anti-Snore Strip

What is it?
Theravent is a type of EPAP anti-snore strip. It is very lightweight, and uses one way micro valve (and the power of your breathing) to create a positive air pressure that helps keep your airways from vibrating (and snoring). This type of therapy is very popular amongst patients who travel a lot, as it is very portable.

How do I use it?
Firstly, make sure the skin around your nostrils is clean and dry. Peel the paper backing to expose the adhesive. Place one piece of the Theravent strip (in front of a mirror may help) over your nostrils, ensuring the micro vales are covering both nostrils and the adhesives are covering and sealing properly on the skin around the nostrils, make sure there are no wrinkles or gaps. What you will feel at first is it takes no effort to breathe in, but requires some effort breathing out, this basically means you placed the Theravent on properly. You should only need to place this on right before you head to bed. It will take about 1 week in general to adapt to it.

How long does each piece last?
One piece of Theravent will last one night, it is highly recommended not to wash and/or reuse them, as the adhesive will not stick as well when using it the second time.

How much does it cost? 
There are 4 different packs with Theravent.

  • Theravent Trial Pack (Approximately USD 9)

You can get the trial pack first to ease you slowly into the therapy, it contains all different strengths for you to try. There are 6 in a pack (2 of each strength) so this pack will last you for 6 nights.

  • Theravent Starter Pack (Approximately USD 21)

The starter pack has the least amount of resistance. It is really good if you are a first time user of Theravent, as it will let you experience the least resistance before going any further. Although this is the pack with the least resistance, it actually may be enough for some snorers. Each pack comes with 20 pieces, and it will last you 3 weeks.

  • Theravent Regular Pack (Approximately USD 21)

The pack with moderate amount of resistance. Most snorers will benefit from this, and this is more effective than the starter pack. Each pack comes with 20 pieces, and it will last you 3 weeks.

  • Theravent Max Pack (Approximately USD 21)

The pack with the highest amount of resistance. For snorers who find the starter and regular pack did not do the job, this may be the one. However, if the max pack also does not eliminate your snoring, you may need to seek other forms of treatment. Each pack comes with 20 pieces, and it will last you 3 weeks.

Who will benefit most from this product? 
This product will benefit patients who suffer from snoring, as well as patients who are diagnosed with mild to low range moderate sleep apnea. This product may treat sleep apnea, but it is not a guarantee. For further effect, you can also use this therapy concurrently with other products too, such as oral sprays, mandibular advancement device, or tongue stabilizing device.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, it is clinically proven to reduce snoring, it is also FDA approved. Clinical trials were also conducted on Theravent, and they found a reduction of snoring in 76% of patients in the trial.

2) Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy

Provent Sleep Apnea Therapy

What is it?
Provent is another effective EPAP therapy, it is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. They are discrete, light weight, and extremely portable. It uses the power of your breathing to hold your airways open and enable natural airflow. Provent uses one way micro valve that shuts when air is passing through in a particular direction, creating a slight pressure in your airways and reduce apnea events by opening up your airways. It differs from Theravent as it uses one individual piece for each side of the nostrils, instead of one big piece covering both of your nostrils.

How do I use it?
Firstly, peel off the paper backing from the adhesive part of Provent. You will find each piece is oblong shaped. Align the long axis with the long axis of your nostrils, you will also see tabs on the Provent, and they should be pointing outwards and upwards. Once aligned, make sure the one way valve is sitting right in the center of your nostrils, then press down on the adhesive section, onto the skin around your nostrils, check to make sure there are no gaps or wrinkles in the seal, as this may compromise the effectiveness of Provent therapy. After finishing applying the Provent on each nostril (overlapping is okay), you should feel it is normal to breath in, but may require some effort breathing out. After waking up in the morning, discard the used Provent.

How long does each last?
Each piece of Provent used will have to be discarded the next morning. Washing and cleaning them for reuse is not recommended, as the adhesive will not be as sticky as the first night, which will also change the effectiveness of it.

How much does it cost? 
There are 3 different packs to Provent Therapy.

  • Provent 30 Day Starter Pack (Approximately USD $$)

This started pack helps patients acclimate to Provent Therapy. It contains 3 different phases.
Phase 1 – Low Resistance Patches (2 nights worth of patches)
Phase 2 – Medium Resistance Patches (2 nights worth of patches)
Phase 3 – Standard Resistance Patches (26 nights worth of patches)

Patients who have never used Provent before may benefit from this pack, as it helps ease you into the provent therapy. Studies have shown the starter kit helps patients get used to Provent much easier.

  • Provent 30 Day Pack (Approximately USD $$)

This pack is for patients who are already acclimatized to Provent Therapy, and may use this as an ongoing therapy.

Who will benefit most from this product?
Patients of all levels of obstructive sleep apnea will benefit from this therapy, and especially patients who snore. For added effect, you may also use this therapy concurrently with other treatments such as oral sprays, tongue stabilizing device, sleep positioning device, and/or mandibular advancement splint.

Is it clinically proven?
Yes, it is clinically proven, and unlike the Theravent, Provent is clinically approved for sleep apnea. In clinical studies, it has demonstrated significant levels of improvement across all levels of sleep apnea patients.

5 Best Over the Counter Sleep Aids


Many people have trouble sleeping at night, which means they feel groggy and not themselves the next day. A lack of sleep can also lead to a wide range of serious health conditions, including heart attack and stroke. If you’ve followed the usual tips for getting enough sleep, including sleeping on a regular schedule, exercising consistently and reducing stress, but sleep is still elusive, it may be time to try over the counter sleep aids. We’ve compiled a list of the best sleep aids to help you finally get the sleep you need.

Which type of sleep aid?

When it comes to choosing an over the counter sleep aid, the first thing you need to do is decide which type you feel most comfortable taking. Your main options are melatonin, anti-histamines and herbal remedies. Here’s a basic guide to help you understand the difference between them:

  • Anti-histamines – generally the strongest in terms of sedative effect. Antihistamines induce drowsiness by working against histamine, a chemical produced by the central nervous system

  • Melatonin – help to regulate sleep after situations such as shift work or jet lag. Melatonin's main job in the body is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles.

  • Herbal pills – tend to be milder. Herbal pills induce drowsiness, helping you sleep.


Ambitropin - Sleep Aid - Sleep Aids Natural - One of the Best Sleep Pills That Is Sold As an Over the Counter Sleep Aid
Active Ingredient: Valerian Root

A 100% all-natural sleep aid, Ambitropin has been specially designed to help you get a restful night’s sleep. Carefully formulated with seven clinically-proven ingredients, it helps you to fall asleep and stay asleep, ensuring you feel rested and refreshed when you awake. There are no harmful side effects, such as drowsiness.   

Ambitropin’s active ingredient is the Valerian root, which works to relax the body and regulate your normal sleep cycle. Hops extract manages restfulness, and melatonin - a powerful sleep-enhancing ingredient - stimulates sleep and relaxation. This is an effective sleep aid which soothes and relaxes the body, promoting sleep. It’s also very affordable. It may not work for everyone however, and the duration it takes to achieve results is not yet known. Also, although the manufacturer claims that it has a 95% success rate, it has failed to reveal any concrete proof to back up this statement. It’s worth a try though, especially as it causes no side effects and is one of the best-selling over the counter sleep aids on the market.  

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2)Kirkland Signature

Kirkland Signature Fikil Sleep Aid Doxylamine Succinate 25 Mg X 6 Bottles 96 Tablets Each

Active ingredient: Doxylamine Succinate 25 mg

Kirland Signature is arguably the most powerful and effective sleeps aid that you can buy over the counter. The active ingredient is Doxylamine Succinate, which is an anti-histamine with a strong sedative effect. This means that you will probably feel very drowsy – both mentally and physically - after taking it. Obviously, this is exactly what you want from an over the counter sleep aid. 

Kirkland Signature is a good choice if you want a long night’s sleep. However, if you go to bed late at night and then need to be up first thing in the morning, it may not be ideal. In this situation, a milder sleep aid may be more appropriate. There’s no way of knowing exactly how long this sleep aid stays in the body once you’ve taken it, as this will vary depending on factors such as your age, size and metabolism. 

It’s important to keep in mind that if you need to get up less than eight or so hours after taking Kirkland Signature and rush off to work, you may still feel a bit drowsy. But if you have plenty of time sleep and then wake up slowly, this sleep aid could suit you very well.  Fortunately, there isn’t a risk of becoming addicted to Doxylamine, unlike with many other prescription sleeping pills, and you won’t find yourself needing to increase the dosage each night.

Ultimately, if you require an over the counter sleep aid to help you get a good night’s sleep, and you have the time to wake up slowly and at your leisure, this could be a suitable option.


Vicks ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid, Non-Habit Forming, Fall Asleep Fast and Wake Refreshed, 48 Ct LiquiCaps

​Active ingredient: Diphenhydramine HCI 25mg   ZzzQuil

Nighttime Sleep Aid is made by Vicks NyQuil and has been available for several years. It remains a firm favourite, being one of the best-selling sleep aids on the market. If you occasionally have trouble getting a good night’s sleep, and you want to be able to fall asleep faster, ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid could be worth a try. It’s a quick and effective remedy for sleeplessness.    

The active ingredient in this popular Vicks sleep aid is Diphenhydramine HCI - a compound that helps you to fall asleep. It may also be worth noting that alcohol is present in the ZzzQuil Liquid drink form.    

Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg is effective at deactivating alertness, putting the mind and body at ease, and at rest promoting sleepiness. The primary function of Diphenhydramine HCl is to act as an antihistamine, switching off mental alertness in order to make you feel relaxed and drowsy in the process.    

This sleep aid is backed up by clinical studies that show that Diphenhydramine can provide a solution for occasional sleeplessness, reducing the time it takes to feel sleepy. Although this sleep aid does its job very well, because it induces drowsiness and blocks mental alertness it can be potentially dangerous. Do not drive or operate machinery after taking ZzzQuil.


REMfresh Extra Strength 5mg Melatonin - Advanced Sleep Formulation

Active ingredient: Melatonin 

REMfresh is a supplemental melatonin sleep aid from the company Physician’s Seal. It works by mimicking the way the body releases melatonin during your sleep cycle, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Ultimately, it helps you to experience better sleep overall.

REMfresh contains no narcotics, hypnotics, barbiturates, sedatives, antihistamines, or alcohol, and what’s more is that it’s non-habit forming.  

The company claims that REMfresh is absorbed in the digestive tract for up to 7 hours continuously. However, it’s worth noting that the effectiveness of time-release supplements may vary amongst individuals. 

Overall, REMfresh is worth a try if you suffer from sleep deprivation, particularly as it has no side effects. There’s no “hangover effects’ as with some other sleep aids. REMfresh is made with 99% pure melatonin, and because this hormone creates the urge to fall asleep, it’s no surprise that it does its job so well. 

On the other hand, if price is a big concern, you may want to try one of the cheaper alternatives on the market. Many of these products also contain 99% pure melatonin and so could have the same effect for a lot less cash.

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​5)Zenwise Labs Sleep Support

Natural Sleeping Aid - Nighttime Sleep Support Supplement - With 100 MG 5 HTP + Magnesium to Fall Asleep Fast - Chamomile & Melatonin for a Calm & Restful Night - Non Habit Forming - 60 Capsules

Active ingredients: Melatonin 6mg, Magnesium 80 mg, L-Taurine 200 mg, L-Theanine 200 mg, Chamomile powder 150mg, l-Ornithine 5 mg, Valerian powder 150 mg, GABA 100 mg and 5-HTP 100 mg. 

The Zenwise Labs sleep aid is one of the strongest over the counter sleep aids on the market, which when you consider how many ingredients it has in it, isn’t all that surprising. It contains melatonin (6mg), magnesium, L-Taurine, L-Theanine, Chamomile, l-Ornithine, Valerian, GABA and 5-HTP – all ingredients which are believed to help with either relaxation or sleep. 

Zenwise Labs Sleep Support does help you to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep throughout the night. Plus, because there are no after-effects in the morning, it’s ideal if you need to rush off to work soon after waking up. It’s an effective sleep aid, but there are a couple of things you may want to consider. Firstly, 6 mg of melatonin is very high. 3 mg is the usual dose found in sleep aids. 

Secondly, because there are so many ingredients in this sleep aid, it has the potential to be a little too strong for some people. As such, it’s a good idea to try a half dose to begin with. If you only experience a feeling of light sedation, you can always increase the dosage next time.

Important considerations

There are some important considerations to make when it comes to taking over the counter sleep aids:

  • Consult your doctor. Although you don't need your doctor's permission to take over the counter sleep aids, it’s a good idea to ask him or her if they might interact with any other medications you’re taking, or underlying conditions you may have. They can also help you to determine the best dosage to suit your needs. Some sleep aids can pose a risk to women who’re pregnant or breast-feeding, so it’s definitely a good idea to speak to your doctor in this instance. Over the counter sleep aids may also pose risks to people over the age of 75 as they can increase the risk of stroke.

  • Keep precautions in mind. Over the counter sleep aids come with various precautions. Keep in mind that Diphenhydramine and Doxylamine are not recommended for people who have certain conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnoea, severe liver disease and digestive system obstruction. These drugs are also not recommended for older adults because they may increase the risk of dementia.

  • Take it one day at a time. Over-the-counter sleep aids are a temporary solution for sleeping problems. Generally, they shouldn’t be used for more than two weeks.

  • Avoid alcohol. You should never mix sleep aids with alcohol. Alcohol can increase the sedative effects of the medication, which can be dangerous in certain situations.

  • Beware of side effects. Over the counter sleep aids can cause side effects, therefore it’s important not to drive or attempt other activities that require you to be alert whilst taking them. As well as drowsiness, they can cause blurred vision, confusion and hallucinations.

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Over the counter sleep aids can be an effective way of getting the sleep that you need to maintain optimal health and wellbeing. They are affordable and can be purchased easily from reputable retailers. However, if you continue to have trouble sleeping, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor for additional help. Your doctor can recommend lifestyle changes that could help prevent sleeping problems, as well as behavioural therapy to help you adapt new sleep habits. He or she could also suggest ways in which you can change your sleeping environment so that it’s more conducive to sleep. The short-term use of prescription sleep aids might be recommended as well.

Over the counter sleep aids are a good place to start if you’re struggling to sleep and the best of these promise a good night’s sleep. They tend to be gentler than prescription sleeping pills, but it’s still important to take them in accordance with instructions. You should also keep in mind that most of these remedies aren’t intended to be taken over long periods of time. This can reduce their effectiveness. They are not a permanent solution to getting the sleep you need.

Sleep Test Report Discussions


Two weeks after doing your sleep test, your sleep report should be ready for your review. Depending on the type of sleep study you did, the amount of detail shown on your report will vary. This is the time when lots of patients I met are extremely anxious, they usually do not know what to expect, nor do they know which are the right questions to ask.

During the result discussion, a sleep therapist, or your family doctor/ physician may go through the report with you, but which sections of the report must we pay most attention to? What are the correct questions to ask?

Let’s talk about it!

​Questions you should always ask your physician

1. “What is my AHI?”

AHI stands for Apnea Hypopnea Index. In a sleep test report, this is always the number one thing physicians refer to. It gives them an idea of how severe your sleep apnea is. AHI also refers to how many times you stop breathing per hour, the higher the number, the more severe your sleep apnea is. Every time you stop breathing for 10 seconds, it will be considered as “one apnea”.

See following table for a guide:



​ 0-5

​ Normal

​ 5-15




​30 and above


Now you have understood what AHI refers to, you may realise the report sometime mentions another acronym “RDI”. RDI stands for Respiratory Disturbance Index. In general, your RDI would usually be a number higher than your AHI. While your AHI represents how many apnea episodes (stopping breathing) you have in an hour, the RDI is a combination of all your apnea, plus any respiratory disturbances in your airway.

For example, if there is a big difference in your AHI and RDI, you may be a chronic sufferer of hay fever or allergies, or you might just have a case of deviated septum. With an obstruction in your upper airway, your airways will naturally be narrower, creating a higher resistance in your airway; this will have an effect of how well you are breathing while sleeping.

Take note there is no universal consensus exists on whether the AHI or the RDI should be the standard index used to determine how severe your sleep apnea is. Some doctors may like to use the RDI index to obtain your worse case scenario, while most physicians stick to the general AHI number.

2. “What is my SpO2 Nadir?”

Firstly, lets put some definition into the question above.

SpO2 stands for “arterial oxygen saturation”, and Nadir means “the lowest point”. Combine them together, it pretty much means the “lowest amount of oxygen in your arterial blood”. The units for these are always by percentages. Remember the little finger clip thing you had when you did your sleep study? That’s exactly what it is recording.

To give you a reference, a healthy, conscious person would usually have their blood oxygen level sitting around the 95-96% mark. When we go to sleep and relax, it is natural for our blood oxygen level to drop down to maybe 92%, or 90% minimum. When it drops below 90%, this sometimes can be a concern, especially when it happens during one of your apneas. Oxygen level dropping more than 4% at one time will activate your body’s’ “flight or fight” response, causing your heart to beat faster to compensate for the oxygen lost, resulting in you overworking the heart and waking up tired and groggy. So if you feel groggy or have a case of daytime sleepiness, understanding the level of your oxygen level while sleeping may answer some of your questions.


Well, those are pretty much the two main questions I would like you to ask your physicians. Even if you chose to do the simplest pulse oximeter sleep test, should still be able to give you your rough AHI and SpO2 Nadir.

Now, if you did a more comprehensive test, say, a home based sleep study or an In-lab/ Hospital Polysomnography Test (PSG), your sleep test report should consist of about 3 pages. With the first page showing a full summary of your report, including a few recommended treatment options, second page giving you numbers and data such as amount of time spent sleeping and sleep efficiency, and on the last page, you may see a page similar to this:

The image above gives you a very detailed overview of exactly what is happening during the night, with the X-Axis showing the time, and Y-Axis giving you different parameters.

Let us break down each parameter and talk about it in more detail:


​Sleep Cycle

sleep cycle graph

The graph above represents a healthy representation of which stage of sleep you are supposed to be in during the night. We go through about three to four sleep cycles a night, and spend different amounts of time in each cycle too. Sometimes, by stopping breathing or having apneas at night, this may impede on how well you are sleeping and may mess up your sleep cycle.

The graph above shows a sample of what the report may look like for someone whose sleep cycle is very disturbed. As you can see, there are red bolded horizontal lines, and those represent your REM cycle. Ideally, we like to have about 3-4 cycles of unbroken REM sleep. From the diagram above, we can see 4 cycles of sleep, the second and fourth cycle occurring at approximately 11:50pm and 3:00am are very disturbed and broken up, this is possibly due to a disturbance from the patients’ apneas. The second cycle occurring at 1:23am is also being shortened by arousal/ disturbing episodes.

See below for a reference of how long we should stay in each cycle of sleep.

Stage 1


Stage 2


Stage 3+4





Heart Rate

A persons’ resting heart rate depends on your age and fitness level. On average, our resting heart rate should be sitting at around 70 beats per minute. If you are an experienced marathon runner, you may have a resting heart rate of 50 beats per minute. Overall, what the sleep test looks out for is a big jumps or fluctuation of heart rate. There is always a reason why your heart rate will spike in the middle of the night.

The graph above represents heart rate. It might be a little bit hard to see, but the graph is showing a resting heart rate averaging around 60 beats per minute (see Y-Axis). Every now and then, you will see a spike or two, this is most likely happening when you are having any apneas or a result of a drop in your blood oxygen level.


Sleeping Position

Your sleep test will also show which sleeping position you are in, with the terms “supine” meaning you are lying on your back, left side, right side, and “prone”, which means you are sleeping on your stomach. By comparing your sleeping position with the amount of apneas you have, it may suggest which sleeping position is the best for you. In general, sleeping on the side is always better than sleeping in the supine position, as your muscles at the back of the throat does not collapse directly onto your airway.

The graph above is showing the sleeping position of this patient. With the patient starting out sleeping on their back (supine), flipping onto the left side at around 11:03pm, turned onto their belly between 11:15pm and 1:00am, briefly sleeping on their left side again at 1:15am, then sleeping on their belly for the rest of the night.


 Snoring Index

With a sleep test, it will tell you your intensity of snoring. Some people have very intense sessions of snoring during the night, but it may not cause any damage or a drop in oxygen level at all.

On the graph above, it represents your snoring index. Every one of those black lines means you snored once. The longer the line, the more intense your snoring is.


Blood Oxygen Desaturation

This is probably the most crucial part of the report. It tells us how much oxygen we are deprived of during the night, and how many times it is occurring. The more times it occurs, chances are your heart rate will be elevated more often.

On the graph above, the Y-Axis has a value of between 80% to 100%, and as you can see, the average blood oxygen level across the graph is sitting above the 90% mark, however you can notice there is a drop in oxygen level in a few places here and there, chances are these drop are due to the patients’ apneas. Ideally, we will like our blood oxygen level to maintain above 90%. If it drops below 90%, the patient may feel symptoms such as migraines or headaches upon waking up.


There are four different types of apneas we need to be concern of.

1) Hypopneas

    This type of sleep apnea is the most common amongst all patients, it is when your airways are partially closed, but enough to cause a desaturation of your oxygen level. Shallow or slow breathing because of a partial obstruction in the airway causes hypopnea.

2) Obstructive Sleep Apnea

This kind of apnea is a little bit more severe than hypopneas. It is when your airway is fully shut down for more than 10 seconds. This is more common in patient who are overweight or obese.

3) Central Sleep Apnea

Central Apnea occurs due to a communication fault in the nervous system. This is when your nervous system is telling you to breathe, but your muscles are not responding to its’ command. This type of apnea is not as common as hypopneas or obstructive sleep apnea, but by using the right treatment option, it is as easy to treat as hypopneas and obstructive sleep apneas.

4) Mixed Sleep Apnea

Mixed Apnea is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea. It typically starts with central apnea episodes for about 10 seconds, followed by obstructive apnea events. (Brain telling body to breathe but it is not following instructions, followed by a complete shut down of the airway.) A majority of patients with mixed sleep apnea have both obstructive and central sleep apneas.

To see which kind of apnea you have from a sleep test, a graph similar to this one may be shown on your sleep test report:
Macintosh HD:private:var:folders:cp:vxcfkn452bx_5qmphq37pxv80000gn:T:TemporaryItems:sleep-apnea-diagram.png


The graph above represents a patient with severe hypopnea events with Central Apneas. With each respective vertical line showing one apnea event.


Type of Sleep Apnea




Obstructive Sleep Apnea


Central Sleep Apnea


Mixed Apnea



Arousals are also known as “wake events”. This occurs when your body enters a “fight or flight” mode due to your apneas. It is a self defence mechanism in the human body where it tries to wake us up so we can start breathing properly again. Arousals can both be conscious or unconscious to the patient. Some people may experience events such as waking up in the middle of the night feeling “panicky”.

In the figure above, you can see multiple blue vertical lines. Each and every one of those lines represents one wake event. This patient is constantly being aroused during the night, not getting enough good quality sleep. The patient will most likely experience symptoms such as daytime sleepiness.


PLMS (Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome)

​The sleep test also checks out for Periodic Limb Movement Syndrome (PLMS). PLMS is when your legs or arms move involuntarily when you are asleep. If you have PLMS, this may happen every 10 to 60 seconds and is out of your control. There are various ways this can happen such as flexing of the toe or foot, bending of the ankle or knee, or twitching of the hip. Patients who has restless leg syndrome may experience more of these compared to a healthy individual. These are all involuntary movements, and can disrupt your sleep quality. Patients with numerous amounts of these events may wake up feeling groggy or tired.



This parameter only exists for people who were previously diagnosed with sleep apnea, and this is another additional study used to assist with their treatment. The purpose of this parameter is to find out the perfect amount of pressure needed to open up an airway for a patient. You do not need to do this study if you are tested negative for sleep apnea.

With the assistance of a sleep technician, the patient will be wearing a mask during the night (instead of nasal cannula and oral thermistor), which will be hooked up to a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. During the night, the sleep technician will manually regulate the amount and intensity of air pressure pumping into the mask. The general rule of thumb is, if the patient is snoring, the pressure should be increased, and vice versa. The pressure is constantly being fluctuated up and down to get the most comfortable and perfect pressure for the patient.

The graph above represents a titration study. As you can see, the horizontal blue line represents the amount of pressure with the unit of cmH20 (centimetre of water), the pressure always starts at the lowest setting, to allow the patient to fall asleep before it is increased. The vertical red line on top represents the type of Apnea.


The sleep technician slowly increases the pressure up to a point where all the apneas are eliminated, and then slowly titrate up and down as needed during the night to get the perfect pressure.

In the morning, they would have achieved the most suitable pressure for the patient, and this gives the physician an idea of what settings the CPAP treatment machine needs to be set at. Depending on the sleeping position, the amount of pressure you need may be different too. It is up to the sleep technician to find out the perfect pressure for the patient.

This parameter may seem confusing or hard to understand for some people, we have not gone into detail as much, but we will explore more about CPAP machines in the next article.


It may take some time to interpret your sleep study report, but it will  definitely help you stay aware of what is going on during your daily sleeping routine and work on ways to fall asleep.

On the next article, we will talk about the various types of treatment option for different severities of sleep apnea, as well as their pros and cons.

The Sleep Apnea Test Definitive Guide To At Home Or Overnight Tests

The Sleep Apnea Test Definitive Guide To At Home Or Overnight Tests

Now that you have understood what side effects sleep apnea could lead to, you are probably wondering how you can get it tested.

The general term for a sleep test is also known as a “Polysomnography Test”, or in short term, a PSG study. These test, or studies, uses many different parameters as a diagnostic tool for sleep apnea. They are conducted overnight, and generally, one nights’ worth of data will be enough to determine if you are diagnosed positive for sleep apnea or not.

There are actually many different ways to get tested for sleep apnea on the market, so which one is better? How and why are they different? Are there any preparations we need to be aware of?

​1) Simple Oximeter Home Sleep Test

This is the simplest of all sleep studies, and it only uses 2 parameters to determine if you have sleep apnea.

- Finger Pulse Oximeter– To monitor the level of oxygen in your blood

- Heart Rate Monitor –To look out for elevated heart rate

This type of test kit could be picked up from any good pharmacy or chemist (make sure you call and make an appointment first!).

Who is best suited for this kind of study?

Patients who suspect they are MOST LIKELY positive for sleep apnea, or have very obvious signs and symptoms such as constant daytime sleepiness and snoring could benefit from this study. This test is also better for candidates with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 25.

This test kit usually comprise of a small machine that straps onto your wrist, with a clip that’s going to be attached to one of your fingers. It monitors for a drop in blood oxygen level, and a rise in heart rate during the night. It is not the most accurate test kit available for patients who have mild symptoms of sleep apnea.


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    You can do it in the comfort of your own home

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    Simplest and most affordable study
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    ​You can wear the device and still be physically mobile
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    ​Able to eat, drink, and brush teeth while wearing the device.
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    ​Able to get up and use bathroom at night with ease.


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    Least accurate results
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    May produce false negative results

Preparations for this study:

There really is not a lot you have to be aware of before commencing this study. You will be given a pre-sleep questionnaire to complete. Remember to sleep enough so there is sufficient data to generate a report. Remove all nail polishes, and do not over indulge in alcohol before doing this test. Stick to your normal sleep/ wake time as close as possible. After waking up in the morning, remove the device and return it to the chemist for analysis. The turnaround time for this test is generally 8-10 days. We will talk about interpreting test reports in the next article.

2) Home Based Sleep Study/Ambulatory Home Sleep Study

This is also a sleep test that can be done at home. It is usually a machine that’s attached to the centre of your chest, with wires and electrodes coming out of it. Compared to the Simple Oximeter home Sleep Test, this is a bit more extensive. It uses a few more parameters:

- Electroencephalography (EEG)/ Electrooculography (EOG)-Measures brain waves and eye movements

- These electrodes are usually situated on the lateral corner of your eyes, the centre of your forehead, and on the bony structure behind your ear. They are used to see what stage of sleep you are in.

- Respiratory Belts– Measures breathing movements

- Nasal Cannula– Detects for nasal breathing

- Oral Thermistor– Detects for mouth breathing

- Finger Pulse Oximeter– To monitor the level of oxygen in your blood

- Body Positioning Sensor – Records if you are a side or back sleeper

Who is best suited for this kind of study?

This study is usually recommended for people who are able to follow simple instructions at home. This is also suitable for all patients who suspect they may have sleep apnea.



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    You can do it in the comfort of your own home

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    ​Able to talk, eat, and drink while wearing the device
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    ​Able to get up and use bathroom at night, although not as easy as the simple oximeter home sleep test.


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    ​You will have to ensure all leads are placed in the correct position
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    If any of the leads comes off at night, the study may fail

Preparations for this study:

This study requires you to attach all the gadgets onto yourself. Prior to setting up the sleep study kit, complete the pre-sleep questionnaire provided for you. I would highly recommend you start attaching the sleep kit 30 minutes before bedtime. An instruction card in words and pictures will be provided. The whole set up generally takes about 15 minutes to put on, but make sure you give yourself some time to relax so you are nice and comfortable before heading to bed, it’s not a bad idea to put the machine on first, then relax and watch TV/ read before bed. Remember to remove all nail polish and stick to your normal sleep/wake up time. Return the sleep study kit the next morning for analysis. Generating reports for these kind of studies are generally longer, about 2 weeks turnover time.

​3) In-Lab Polysomnographic Sleep Study

This is the most extensive sleep test one can pick from. The chances of this sleep study failing is pretty much close to zero, unless the patient have troubles falling asleep. In this sleep study, you will be admitted into the hospital for one night, a sleep technician will be working with you to ensure all signals and electrodes are in the correct position. During the night, an infrared night vision camera will also be used to monitor your sleeping patterns.

The parameters for this test will be the most comprehensive, including:

- Finger Pulse Oximeter - To monitor the level of oxygen in your blood

- Nasal Cannula - Detects for nasal breathing

- Electroencephalography (EEG)/ Electrooculography (EOG) -Measures brain waves and eye movements. In this study, there will be 2 pairs of each electrode.

- Oral Thermistor – Detects for mouth breathing

- Respiratory Belts– Measures breathing movements, one on the upper chest, one on the level of your belly button.

- Electrocardiogram (ECG)– Monitor heart rate and monitor for irregularity heart rhythm

- Body Positioning Sensor – Records if you are a side, back, or tummy sleeper

- Electromyography (EMG) – Electrodes placed at your jaw muscles to detect for teeth clenching and grinding.

- LegEMG – Similar to the electrodes placed at your jaw muscles, except these are placed on your leg muscles to detect for restless leg/muscle twitch.

- Snoring Sensor– A small microphone placed on the neck to detect for vibrations and snoring

- Infrared Night Vision Camera- Camera used by the sleep technician to oversee the study

Who is best suited for this kind of study?

This study is suited for everybody suspected with sleep apnea, it is extremely accurate and especially good for people who require additional assistance in the middle of the night such as bathroom breaks, it is also good for the elderly who are unable to conduct home sleep studies themselves.



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    ​The sleep technician will ensure all the leads are in the correct position and recording correctly, giving you peace of mind.

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    If any electrodes detaches at night, the sleep technician will come in and fix it for you.


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    Someone will be watching you during the night, you may feel uneasy.

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    You will need to be assisted if you require a bathroom break.

Preparation for this study:

Prior to arriving at the hospital, have dinner and make sure all nail polish are removed. Remember to bring pyjamas, toothbrush, shampoo, soap, and all your amenities required for cleaning up the next morning. Most hospitals will provide you with your own private room and a bathroom attached to it, towels and water are usually provided too. Admission time is usually around 8-9pm. After settling in your room, you will be greeted by a nurse, who will double confirm your details and the reason you are admitted into hospital. The nurse will also take clinical observations such as blood pressure and body temperature. After the nurse has completed all the administrative tasks, they will pass you onto the sleep technician. From here on, you will be under the care of the sleep technician until the morning.

The sleep technician will introduce themselves to you, you will then be asked to complete a pre-sleep questionnaire, after completion of the questionnaire, brush your teeth and then change into your pyjamas, you are welcome to relax on the bed, read (if you brought a book), or watch TV while the sleep technician prepares their equipment.

After a while, the sleep technician will enter your room and proceed to attach all the electrodes for you. This will take approximately 45min-1 hours. You will be seated on a chair, you are definitely welcome to read a book, watch TV, or just have a casual chat with the sleep technician while he/she is hooking you up. A well-experienced sleep technician will not be disturbed and they do not mind at all.

After the sleep technician is done hooking you up, he or she will move you into bed and work with you to complete some final calibrations to make sure all the signals are recording properly. You may be asked to do some simple exercises such as blinking a couple of times, roll your eyes to the left and right, do a few breathing exercises, and flexing your foot a few times. Bedtime will approximately be 10pm, you are allowed to watch TV or read before sleeping, and there should be a light switch within arms’ reach for when you are ready to sleep.

I would highly recommend you using the bathroom prior to the hook up, but if you need the bathroom in the middle of the night, you will need to be unhooked from the machine with the assistance of the sleep technician. If you require the bathroom, simply click on the bell provided or raise your arm to gain attention.

During the night, if any electrodes fall off, the sleep technician will enter the room. They will attempt to fix it without waking you up, feel free to ignore them if you are accidentally disturbed/ woken up.

Wake up time is usually 6am-6:30am, the sleep technician will take about 20 minutes to unhook all the electrodes. You are then asked to complete a post sleep questionnaire. Breakfast may be provided, and you will have an option to stay and shower or go straight home.

Your report should be ready in approximately 2 weeks time for a review with your doctor.

​4) In-Lab Titration Polysomnographic Sleep Study

This study is very similar to the previous in-lab study we talked about, and this study is usually offered to people who are already diagnosed positive to sleep apnea, and are wanting to use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine (we will discuss about CPAP in the next few articles). The purpose of this study is to help find out the settings needed to treat sleep apnea.

All the parameters recorded will be exactly the same as the In-Lab PSG Study. The only difference is you will lose the nasal cannula and oral thermistor, in exchange for a CPAP mask. The sleep therapist will help you try on a few masks to ensure you are fitted with the most comfortable one for you.

During the night, the sleep therapist will remotely adjust the amount of CPAP pressure needed to eliminate all apnea events.

By the end of this study, the sleep technician would have found out the perfect and most suitable pressure in order to alleviate your apnea events.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I NEED a sleep study to start sleep apnea treatment?

Technically, no, especially if you have severe symptoms of sleep apnea. However, I would definitely do a sleep study first to confirm my suspicions, also for a peace of mind.

I wear a mouthguard for teeth grinding, do I wear it during the test night?

If you usually wear a mouthguard, wear it during the test. I have seen cases where people mentioned they do not snore as much with the mouthguard on, wearing the mouthguard while doing the test will tell us how severe your apneas are while you have it, and if addition treatment is required.

I have medications, should I stop taking them?

You can take all your medications as normal.

Can I sleep on my sides?

You can sleep any way you like during the night, just keep in mind the electrodes may fall off if it’s a home sleep test.

I’m doing a home sleep test, what happens if the leads fall off?

If you realise any of the electrodes have fallen off, do not panic, just put them back on as best as you can. Losing signals for 20-30 minutes (sometimes up to an hour) will not be a big issue at all, however, it’s best to have it attached in the correct position for the bulk of the night.

How much data will we need?

Technically we only need about 4 hours worth of data, this will give us about 2 cycles of sleep and is generally enough to produce a fairly accurate report. However, the more you sleep, the more data we get, and the report will be more accurate for you.

I have the flu and a blocked nose. Can I continue on doing the sleep study?

It is best to postpone a sleep test in this case, as a blocked nasal passage may cause additional discomfort. It is best if we could get a more accurate clinical picture.