Last week, we revealed tips for getting your best shut-eye yet. Here are some more tips for a relaxing night’s sleep.
Turn to Tech … Then Turn It Off
Meditation apps that guide you through breathing and relaxation exercises can be great tools to get your mind in “sleep mode.” Be sure to switch off phones and tablets at least 30 minutes before bed, though, as a device’s blue light can lower your melatonin level. Activating “Night Shift” on your phone can help reduce blue light after dark, too.
Lab lowdown: Our Media & Tech Lab likes Calm (from $13 per month, calm.com), a subscription-based app featuring guided and unguided meditation sessions from three to 25 minutes long. It also has dozens of sleep stories, soothing sounds and breathing exercises.
Upgrade Your Mattress
When choosing a new mattress, consider how you sleep. Stomach sleepers need a firm surface, side sleepers need a soft surface and back sleepers need something in between to keep the spine aligned. If you’re stuck deciding between two, go for the firmer one — you can always add a mattress topper.
In-store shopping is great if you want to try the mattress before you buy, and stores usually also offer removal of your old mattress, but price comparison can be a challenge. Online shopping is for people who hate to shop. There are fewer options per brand, and your new mattress will arrive in a few days. Most come with a guarantee that you can get your money back even if you just don’t like them, but you’ll typically have to deal with ditching your old mattress.
GH Lab Mattress Picks: Casper Wave Mattress ($1,850 for queen, casper.com); Stearns & Foster Reserve Mattress ($3,499 for queen, stearnsandfoster.com).
GH Seal Pick: i7 Sleep Number 360 Smart Bed ($3,499 for queen, sleepnumber.com).
Soothing Laundry Add-In
Wash sheets with Ultra Downy Infusions Sweet Dreams liquid fabric conditioner (from $5, downy.com) for the touch-activated scents of jasmine and vanilla.
Lab lowdown: Our Lab pros love that this softens fabrics and helps protect them from fading and fuzzing.
LunaGuard’s Nighttime Dental Protector ($45, lunadentalguard.com) reduces pressure from grinding.
Lab lowdown: For a custom fit, soften in hot (not boiling) water, wait until the plastic turns clear, then bite for five minutes. Make sure to brush the guard with standard toothpaste, not whitening.
Sneak In A Catnap, Not A Coffee
Exhausted? Napping for 60-90 minutes is a better brain booster than caffeine, according to University of California researchers.
Lab lowdown: Use a sound machine to help drown out passing cars or chirping birds and get into the nap zone. Our Media & Tech Lab experts liked the Dohm Elite White Noise Machine by Marpac ($50, bedbathandbeyond.com). The sleek gadget is simple to use — just plug it in and adjust its soothing, natural sounds to your preferred volume.
AllerEase’s tightly woven fabric keeps dust mites, pet dander and other household allergens from accumulating in your pillow and comforter.
Lab lowdown: Both can be washed in hot water and are dryer-friendly for better germ-killing.
GH Lab Picks: Allerease Hot Water Washable Allergy Protection Pillow and Comforter (prices vary; aller-ease.com).
ON ANOTHER MATTER …
Jolly Time Superfood Snack
Our longest-standing GH Seal star (since 1925!), this 100 percent whole-grain popcorn is a nutritious treat that our Nutrition Lab stands by.
Why It Earned the GH Seal
Jolly Time is a go-to for our registered dietitian and food experts, thanks to its simple ingredients and great taste.
No added fillers or fake flavorings here! Easy to pop in the microwave, the Simply Popped line is made from four ingredients — corn, butter, sea salt and oil — and nothing else.
Fill up with one serving — four cups when popped! — for only 140 calories. It packs plant-based antioxidants and about 2g of protein and 4g of fiber to keep you satiated.
It’s perfect for at-home family screenings or “brown-bagging” a snack — it’s lower in sodium and saturated fat than butter-loaded, movie theater-popped versions!
Made in America
It was the first branded popcorn to launch in the U.S., and the company sources millions of pounds of non-GMO kernels a year from local farmers throughout the Midwest.
The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, (800) 638-2772. Only some cars or trucks recalled are affected. Contact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recall. The dealer will tell you what to do.
Vilo Home Marseille dining benches, sold at Amazon.com, Wayfair.com, Hayneedle.com and various home-furnishing stores nationwide from June 2017 through September 2017 for about $150.
The foam seat cushion and base can crack in the middle and cause the bench to collapse, posing a fall hazard. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled benches and contact Vilo Home for a full refund. Consumers can contact Vilo Home toll-free at (833) 321-2715 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, or via email at service[at]vilohome.net.
Nissan 2017-2018 Infiniti QX30
The driver’s air bag may unexpectedly deploy due to insufficient grounding of the steering components if an electrostatic discharge occurs and the air-bag clockspring is broken. If the driver air bag inadvertently deploys, it can increase the risk of injury and a crash. Nissan will notify owners, and dealers will add sufficient grounding to the steering components for free. Interim notices informing owners of the safety risk were mailed throughout December 2017. Owners will receive a second notice when remedy parts become available in Spring 2018. Owners may contact Infiniti customer service at (800) 622-6200, Option 7.
© Hearst Communications Inc.; Distributed by King Features Syndicate
—GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Tried and tested: More sleep-better secrets–