Did you know? There are five stages of the sleep cycle and each sleep cycle lasts roughly 90 minutes. Over the course of one night’s sleep, the length of each stage changes and even adjusts to the time of day or night. We tend to get more deep, non-rapid-eye-movement (non-REM) sleep in the earlier hours of our rest and spend longer time in REM sleep during later hours. For the nights you find it tough to stay asleep, it can be helpful to have some sleep-aid items in a bedside drawer as insurance. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Headphones and a calming playlist or meditation queued up on a device, or a small, inexpensive sound machine
    Tip: Neatly wrap your headphones with something as simple as a bread-bag tie, a clothes pin or chip clip.
  • Eye mask or washcloth
  • Essential oils and a diffuser or calming lotion
    Lavender is known for its calming characteristics.
  • A notepad, notebook or journal with a pen or pencil
    Some of the most creative ideas or solutions come to the forefront when we first rest our heads on our pillows and begin to relax. Keeping something to jot these thoughts down on can ease your mind and ensure your idea won’t be lost.
  • A paperback book (not an e-book)
  • Your phone and a charger
    Keeping your phone at a distance in your nightstand drawer (rather than under your pillow) while sleeping might encourage the beneficial effects of “unplugging.” If you can, try mounting or creating a way for your phone to charge from the drawer so it remains out of sight but you have it on hand in case of emergency.
  • Self-charging flashlight
    In case of a power outage or emergency, remove a layer of stress and store a self-charging flashlight in your sleep drawer. You’ll never be out of luck with old batteries – especially if seasons pass before you call on the flashlight.
  • Your vehicle key fob
    Fobs have the panic button that doubles as an alarm in case of emergency. Having this backup security item close by may help put your mind at ease so you can rest well.

Slumber Science:
Once asleep, you cannot be awoken by a smell – pleasant, nor foul.

While it sounds dreamlike, the scent of freshly brewed coffee won’t ease you awake in the morning, according to a Brown University study.

Most importantly, the study reminds homeowners of the importance of smoke detectors – we cannot rely on our sense of smell to awaken us in the case of an emergency, such as a fire.

Have a sleep drawer recommendation? Find us on social media and share your suggestion!


“Your Sleep Cycle Revealed,” Amie Gordon, physchologytoday.com, July 26, 2013.

“Scents Will Not Rouse Us From Slumber, Says New Brown University Study,” sciencedaily.com, May 18, 2004.