If there’s one thing we’ve been (not-so-subtly) reminded of over the past year, it’s that there’s nothing more important than health, which sleep plays such an integral role in. We may be biased, but we’re pretty sure there’s no better way to tell mom you love her than giving her the one thing she really wants and deserves this Mother’s Day: a good night’s sleep.
That’s why we put together this gift guide that, in true Proper fashion, leans heavily into the science of sleep—from cooling PJs made with Moisture Transference System (MST) microfiber technology, to non-alcoholic spirits, to self-dimming lights that won’t disrupt your circadian rhythm.
Seedlip is the world’s first distilled, non-alcoholic spirit based on original remedies published in 1651 in The Art of Distillation. The sugar-free spirits are made with carefully sourced herbs, spices, peels, and barks such as blood orange, lemongrass, ginger, oak, mandarin, cardamom, and more.
The science behind alcohol + sleep
Although alcohol can be relaxing, it may have adverse sleep effects if consumed too close to bedtime (within 3-4 hours), including fragmented and non-refreshing sleep, increased snoring, delayed onset of REM sleep (the dream stage), and more frequent bathroom breaks. (1)
Seedlip is a great alternative. It allows mom to enjoy the experience of sipping a cocktail without adverse sleep effects.
If you suspect that stress is keeping mom up at night, a weighted blanket may be exactly what she needs. This one from Luna is sewn using OEKO-TEX ® 100 certified cotton. And because it has a patented layered construction with air panels, it’ll keep air circulating—ideal for those who tend to get hot at night. The deep pressure-touch stimulation beads are designed to release serotonin and melatonin, two hormones that support sleep. Bonus points for the fact that it’s machine washable!
The science behind weighted blankets + sleep
Weighted blankets mimic what’s called “Deep Pressure Stimulation,” a technique that uses hands-on pressure to calm the nervous system and relieve anxiety. In a recent study, participants using a weighted blanket for four weeks reported clinically significant reduced insomnia, along with improved sleep maintenance and reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety. (2)
Felix Gray’s glasses protect eyes from blue light and eliminate glare in order to reduce symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (dry eyes, eye fatigue, headaches, blurred vision). Unlike other blue light glasses, Felix Gray’s don’t distort color—the blue-reflective coating is so subtle that it’s virtually unnoticeable. They also apply AR and UV protection for each lens and, for what it’s worth, are stylish too!
The science behind blue light + sleep
The light receptors in the eyes are linked to the timekeeper in the brain that regulates when we sleep and when we are awake (aka our circadian rhythm). Blue light confuses this signal and may keep us awake when we’re exposed to it within 1-2 hours of bedtime. (3) In a 2017 study, researchers found that lenses filtering blue light almost doubled nighttime melatonin levels and reduced awakenings. (4)
Treat mom to 100% natural, skin-safe, therapeutic-grade essential oils that are free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and toxins. With white sage, lavender, and bergamot, the “Calm” blend is formulated to soothe nerves, quiet the mind, and relieve stress—making for the perfect addition to a pre-bed wind-down routine.
The science behind lavender + sleep
Lavender has been shown to increase the percentage of deep sleep (also known as slow-wave sleep). (5) During this stage, which supports the functioning and restoration of the immune system, the brain is releasing low-frequency, high-amplitude delta waves that cause heart rate and respiration to slow down.
As the name suggests, Sacred Acoustics offers calming sound recordings...but with a twist. Embedded in the recordings are audio signals that help calm the mind to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus, and support sleep. The “Sleep Bundle” contains five recordings, three for daytime naps (60 minutes, 45 minutes, 30 minutes), one for nighttime (60 minutes), and one for morning wake-ups (10 minutes).
The science behind music + sleep
In a 2015 meta-analysis, researchers examined the effect of listening to pre-recorded music for 25-60 minutes over a period of 3-5 weeks, concluding that “music may be effective for improving subjective sleep quality in adults with insomnia symptoms.” (6) Additionally, in a survey of over 500 patients suffering from sleep disorders, over 50% reported using music as a sleep aid—making it the most prevalent of all the integrative medicine approaches evaluated. (7)
With 3,000 on-demand yoga videos across 12 different styles (vinyasa, hatha, yin, kundalini, and restorative included), Glo is the perfect way for mom to start (or continue!) her yoga journey.
The science behind yoga + sleep
In a study of adult men and women (average age of 63), those who participated in yoga had significantly fewer sleep disturbances, shorter sleep latency (amount of time it takes to fall asleep), and decreased use of sleep medications. (8)
Headspace is a guided meditation app that’ll teach your mom mindfulness skills to “put her mind to bed.” There are hundreds of hours of content, with recordings to suit different moods and lifestyles. Your mom can choose the session length and easily replay her favorites to help quiet racing thoughts, sleep soundly, and wake up refreshed.
The science behind meditation + sleep
Various studies have shown that meditation enhances the body’s melatonin levels, as well as the precursors of melatonin (serotonin and noradrenaline). (9) Considering the role that this natural hormone plays in sleep maintenance, it’s safe to assume that because meditation enhances melatonin levels, it also supports sleep quality. (10)
This self-dimming, warm light starts out bright enough to read a book. Over the course of 45 minutes, it gradually dims and lulls you into deeper sleep before it shuts off completely. If mom is ready to go to bed before the 45 minutes is up, she can simply flip it over to turn it off. Alternatively, twisting it will amplify or reduce the brightness. By mimicking the setting sun, it signals to the circadian rhythm that it’s time to sleep.
The science behind light + sleep
For humans, circadian rhythms are controlled by two factors. On the one hand, you have proteins produced in the digestive system based on the timing of meals. And on the other hand, hormones produced by the endocrine system based on energy expenditure. Together, proteins and hormones control our circadian pacemaker, which shoots out signals from the hypothalamus area of the brain—the suprachiasmatic nucleus (or SCN). SCN is sensitive to social activity, temperature, and exercise, but nothing is as important as light. This is why circadian rhythms are so closely linked to day and night. (11)
READ MORE: The Proper Guide To Circadian Rhythms
Art Of Tea’s Egyptian Chamomile blend is packaged in an eco-friendly, biodegradable sachet. It has a light floral smell with a subtle hint of sweetness—perfect to help mom wind down after a long day.
The science behind chamomile + sleep
Chamomile is rich in flavonoids, a group of natural plant chemicals (aka phytonutrients) that, in addition to contributing to the vivid hues of fruits and vegetables, also contribute to its sleep-promoting effects. Clinical trials (12) suggest that it functions as a central nervous system relaxer (similar to valerian). Chamomile extract has been shown to improve sleep quality and may be effective and safe for supporting general anxiety. (13-15)
READ MORE: The 15 Best + Worst Foods For Your Sleep
Your mom’s sleep issues require a modern, individualized, and holistic approach—which is exactly what Proper provides. Our two-part sleep solution includes PhD-developed natural sleep supplements in addition to personalized coaching. Not sure which supplement is best for mom? Gift her a Discovery Trial Pack (with or without CBD) so she can sample our most popular supplements and decide what works best for her.
The science behind Proper + sleep
Years of rigorous research went into developing supplements that directly support areas of our mind and body that impact sleep quality. Each ingredient is backed by multiple human clinical studies verifying its efficacy—with no conflicting findings. All were double-blind and placebo-controlled.
- Core Sleep: Powered by Venetron®
Venetron® has been shown to impact multiple stages of sleep—including N1 and N2, where it has been clinically shown to help sleep initiation, and N3, where it has been shown to enhance non-REM sleep time. (16-17)
- Sleep + Restore: Powered by MicroActive® (MA) extended-release melatonin
Standard melatonin supports the initiation of sleep, while MicroActive® (MA) extended-release melatonin has been shown to provide support throughout the night. (18)
- Sleep + Clarity: Powered by Cognigrape™
In a human clinical study, 250 mg/day of Cognigrape™ significantly improved subjects’ cognitive performance. (19)
- Sleep + Immunity: Powered by Wellmune®
In a human clinical study, 250 mg/day of Wellmune® was shown to reduce the number of upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) symptoms. (20)
- Sleep + Calm: Powered by L-theanine
L-theanine has been shown, in clinical studies, to support relaxation without drowsiness. It works by causing a reduction in excitatory stimuli. (21-22)
Not-so-fun fact: there’s usually small amounts of caffeine in decaf coffee (yes, decaf!). That’s why we recommend Swiss Water, which uses a patented, chemical-free process to gently remove 100% of the caffeine while preserving the coffee’s original characteristics.
The science behind caffeine + sleep
Caffeine has a half-life of 5-6 hours (or longer depending on how fast you metabolize it). Sensitivities vary, but because it’s a stimulant, it may cause difficulties in the onset of sleep if it’s still in the body’s system come bedtime. In fact, one study examining the effects of 400 mg of caffeine 30 minutes before bedtime found that it reduced sleep efficiency by 5%, prolonged sleep latency by 12-16 minutes, and reduced total sleep time by 25-30 minutes compared to the placebo group. (23)
These cooling PJs from the aptly-named Cool-Jams are specially designed with polyester microfiber material that’s engineered to feel like soft cotton—but with the added bonus of fast wicking and drying properties. Initially developed for the Canadian armed forces who needed temperature-regulating material, the Moisture Transference System (MST) microfiber technology helps pull moisture away from the body to keep mom cool and comfortable all night long. While anyone can rock Cool-Jams, it’s particularly helpful for those experiencing hot flashes/night sweats during menopause.
The science behind temperature + sleep
Exposure to heat has been found to increase wakefulness and decrease both deep, slow-wave sleep and REM sleep. (24)