3 sleep aids that actually work, according to a sleep expert

There's plenty of sleep gadgets on the market; these are the ones worth investing in

We can all agree on the importance of a good night's sleep. But what if you're not one of those people who's blessed with the ability to drop off the minute their head hits the pillow? There are plenty of sleep gadgets and products that claim to fix the issue. Some people find curling up under one of the best weighted blankets helps promote deeper sleep, for instance. Others find using a sunrise lamp to wind down does the trick.

Other gadgets take a more experimental approach. We spoke to sleep expert and Beingwell founder James wilson – also known as the Sleep Geek – which products he recommends to help you fall asleep faster and get a better night's sleep... and one that's probably not worth the money.

#1. QuietOn Earbuds


(Image credit: QuietOn)

A common thing that can cause sleep issues is background noise. While traditional earplugs can help, they aren't always that effective. QuietOn's Earbuds aim to provide a better solution.

"I work extensively with elite athletes, and one of the issues athletes have is creating a consistent environment in terms of noise as they are sleeping in lots of different environments with lots of different noise levels," says James. "These earbuds from QuietOn use active noise cancellation technology to mask sounds, and they are particularly good at masking low frequency sounds which traditional foam earplugs struggle to block out. If you travel a lot, or sleep in a particular noisy environment, give them a go." 

One of T3's writers also gave them a go – read about her experience with QuietOn 3 Earbuds here

#2. Eight Sleep’s Pod Pro

Eight Sleep Pod Pro

(Image credit: Eight Sleep)

"Being at the right temperature is one of the most important factors in us falling and sustaining sleep, and waking up feeling refreshed," says James. Tackling this issue head-on is the Pod Pro from Eight Sleep, a revolutionary mattress with built-in plumping to cool or heat both sides of your bed to your exact preferences. 

"It is something of a game-changer for many of us, particularly those who wake in the night because they are too cold or too hot," he continues. "I am not a massive fan of the way they brand the product, it is a really nifty piece of tech, but I am not sure what 'sleep fitness' actually means. Do not let that put you off. It is a great product if temperature issues impact your sleep."

This one is quite the investment – although there are occasional Eight Sleep discount codes and deals to make it a bit more affordable. The mattress itself is only available in the US at the moment, but the Pod Pro Cover, which can be added to a regular mattress, is now available in the UK too. T3's US editor tested one out for our Eight Sleep Pod Pro mattress review – he thinks it's one of the best mattresses you can buy.

#3: A silk pillow

A few years ago, the Somnox Sleep Robot caused quite a stir. This is a robot you can cuddle as you drift off, which claims to slow your breathing and lower your heart rate. In theory, it's not a bad idea, says James. "The science is sound, a lower heart rate and that relaxed feeling are incredibly important to sleeping well," he explains. 

However, there's a much cheaper alternative that'll do the same job. "I find buying a silk pillow (silk is the material that feels most like skin) and spraying it with your partner’s aftershave or perfume creates this effect, and at a fraction of the price," adds James. Check out our guide to the best pillows for some comfy options. 

Ruth Hamilton

Ruth is a lifestyle journalist specialising in sleep and wellbeing. She has tested more mattresses than her small flat can handle and will talk at length about them to anyone who shows even a passing interest, and has had to implement a one-in-one-out pillow policy for fear of getting smothered in the night. As well as following all the industry trends and advancements in the mattress and bedding world, she regularly speaks to certified experts to delve into the science behind a great night's sleep, and offer you advice to help you get there. She's currently Sleep Editor on Tom's Guide and TechRadar, and prior to that ran the Outdoors and Wellness channels on T3 (now covered by Matt Kollat and Beth Girdler-Maslen respectively).