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Natural Sleep Aids to Try When You Want to Avoid Medications

Natural sleep aids are a homeopathic, affordable, and efficient way to get you to la la land, even when you’re on a plane.

From natural sleeping pills to sleep-inducing apps and sensory-deprivation tools engineered to make you sleepy, here are ways to get a few REM cycles without a prescription.

A Sleep App

young woman with earbuds eyes closed.

Pop in your earbuds and power up your phone when looking to shut down with the help of sleep apps. The highly rated Pzizz app (iOS | Android) uses sleep-research findings to curate the right mix of music, voice, and sound effects to help users fall asleep and wake up feeling refreshed. The app is free (paid enhancements available), and has three different modes: sleep, nap, and focus.

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Sensory Deprivation

ostrich pillow hood woman.

From the makers of the Ostrich Pillow comes the Ostrich Hood, which aims to provide sensory deprivation. Unlike its pillow counterpart, however, the hood does so without the embarrassing Martian-looking headwear. The Ostrich Hood is made with thick, washable fabrics and is larger than a regular hoodie, providing greater noise-blocking and privacy coverage.

So, it’s just a hoodie, you might say, but where’s the rest of the sweatshirt? Yes, it’s literally just a hoodie—there’s no sweatshirt attached to it. But what a marvelous hoodie it is. The Ostrich Hoodie helps cancel out environmental noise and peripheral distractions, setting up for a restful zen zone.

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Travel Pillow

huzi infinity pillow grey.

Regardless of what other strategies you employ, you won’t have much luck sleeping if you can’t get yourself into a comfortable position. Set yourself up for success in even the most challenging of places—like the airplane middle seat—with the use of a travel pillow.

The best travel pillow I’ve encountered is the Huzi Infinity Pillow. Instead of the common U-shaped pillow variety, the Huzi is a long infinity pillow that’s moldable, so you can tuck it and pull it around your neck, low back, or over your head. It’s made with a very soft fabric, and unlike most other travel pillows, it’s machine washable.

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Supplements for Sleep Aid

woman taking pill to help sleep.

Biohack your sleep with the calming effects of natural supplements. Oral supplements commonly stashed in the medicine cabinets of frequent travelers include melatonin, valerian root, I-Theanine, magnesium, and for those in legal states, CBD. Don’t forget lemon balm, chamomile, lavender, and other calming herbs that easily pack when in dry tea form.

Comfy Outfits to Wear While Traveling

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Senior Editor Patricia Magaña Figueroa writes about travel. Follow her @PatiTravels.

Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product.

By Patricia Magaña

Always on the lookout for value-oriented travel, Senior Editor Patricia Magaña has trekked throughout the States, Latin America, and Europe. Follow her on Instagram @PatiTravels.

Since joining the editorial crew in 2005, Magaña has pounced on incredible deals to Amsterdam, Madrid, and San Pedro Sula—each for less than $300. Her favorite travel experiences involve discovering street art while meandering a city, chatting up locals, and day drinking.

Her stories have appeared on USA Today, Huffington Post, Yahoo!, TripAdvisor, AirfareWatchdog, and other publications.

Email Patricia at editor@smartertravel.com.

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