As COVID-19 Anxiety and Depression Rise, Try These Sleep Aids to Relax and Recharge
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Right now, the dominant health concern in the United States and elsewhere continues to be the COVID-19 pandemic. But although it's certainly a menace, it may not be the biggest long-term threat to Americans' health. That's because the restrictions and isolation that have come as part of the response to the disease may be doing as much or more harm to a far larger segment of the population.

Already, public health experts have noticed a dramatic uptick in reports of depression and anxiety in a wide cross-section of the population. The data is still very preliminary, but there's already evidence of the conditions doubling compared to the pre-pandemic period. Although remote work has encouraged inclusion by being a solution for people who have PTSD, chronic diseases, and any other type of conditions, during these times, it's still challenging many employees to give their best. From the fear of getting the coronavirus, to the pressures and anxieties of working from home for the foreseeable future, there's no end to the ways that the crisis is wearing on people. And if those trends continue, it could have devastating effects on the populace.

The good news (if you can call it that), though, is that one of the most common early symptoms of those conditions is stress-induced insomnia. I say it's good news because it's one of the few symptoms that people can combat themselves if they take the right steps. And today, there's a plethora of solutions to help them do it. To help those in need, here's a rundown of the most effective non-medicinal sleep aids on the market today.

Kokoon Relax Headphones

For a while now, people have relied on noise-canceling headphones when they wanted to tune out distractions and relax. But other than the occasional nap on an airplane, not many used the technology as a means of getting some much-needed deep sleep. But now, there's a set of sleep-inducing noise-canceling headphones built just for that purpose. They're called the Kokoon Relax Headphones, and they deploy a mixture of noise-cancelation, a built-in library of relaxing sounds, and an array of sensors that lets the device tune itself to do whatever works best for your sleep patterns. In other words, it figures out what combination of sounds helps you to get to sleep and stay asleep - with almost no user intervention required.

Illumy Smart Sleep Mask

No matter how you look at it, one of the toughest places humans have ever had to fall asleep is in space. With no 24-hour solar cycle to let the body know when it's time to settle down for the night, astronauts require some other means of keeping their sleep patterns regular. Their solution of choice is a NASA-designed sleep mask that uses red and blue shades of light to simulate the light cycle on Earth. And now everyone else can join them by using the illumy Smart Sleep Mask. It uses the same astronaut-tested technology to help you get a good night's sleep without leaving the ground. And if it works in space, you can be sure it'll have you resting comfortably in your bed every night.

Simba Hybrid Pillow

One of the most important things to pay attention to when adjusting one's sleep environment is the ambient temperature of the room. Experts suggest that an average room temperature around 65 degrees Fahrenheit works best because it triggers the body's natural nighttime rest cycle. But if you ask anyone that's tried it, they'll likely tell you that their bedding temperature - specifically their pillow - matters a whole lot more. Enter the Simba Hybrid Pillow. It's a temperature-regulating pillow designed to stay at the right temperature, neither too hot nor cold. Plus, you can add or remove some of its nanocube filling to make it as firm or soft as you like.

Nanu Hot&Not Duvet

If keeping your pillow at a comfortable temperature is important, so too is it critical to make sure your body gets the same treatment. But that can be difficult for people who share a bed with their partner or spouse. That's because the right temperature for one person might not be ideal for the other. But with the Nanu Hot&Not Duvet, each person can have it their own way. It's a made-to-order dual-zone duvet that is tuned to produce your pre-selected ideal temperatures. All you have to do is pick your warmth level for each zone and soon both you and your partner will be sleeping soundly with no fighting over the covers.

Weighted Blankets

Sometimes having all of the right sleep conditions isn't enough to help an anxious person get to sleep. If you've tried everything else but still end up tossing and turning through sleepless nights, there's one more option that might work. In recent years, research has begun to highlight how effective weighted blankets can be for anxiety-driven sleep disorders. By applying gentle, even pressure on your body, a weighted blanket has a calming effect that lowers your heart rate and slows your breathing. Those two systemic changes are precursors to entering a sleep cycle, and by triggering them you have a far better chance to get some deep, uninterrupted sleep.

Relax and Rest Easy

Although there isn't anything we can do about the global health situation we find ourselves in, there's plenty we can do to stave off the worst side effects it's causing. In terms of reducing anxiety and depression, if you work from home, try to give yourself small breaks during your working hours by talking with your colleagues or simply going out for a walk. Also, getting the proper amount of sleep every night can go a long way toward increasing your well-being and helping you to cope with whatever the day brings. So if you're struggling, give these sleep solutions a try - and get the rest you so desperately need. 

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