10 Gifts for Your Loved Ones Who Need More Sleep and Less Stress
This year, give unique and thoughtful gifts for your friends and loved ones that will promote better sleep, downshifting, and stress release. Stress and sleep are related, as is everything else in the Blue Zones Power 9 (lifestyle habits of the world’s longest-lived people in the blue zones). Enjoy these gifts that keep on giving!
Finger Labyrinth Meditation
If you have never heard of a finger labyrinth before, it is based off of a traditional labyrinth you walk through. It may look like a toy but it is a tool for meditation and prayer. By tracing the finger through the path, the mind relaxes into a meditative state making it easier to focus and concentrate. Adding a meditation practice into daily schedules can promote longevity and slower ageing.
Helpful review: “I use this product in my classroom. When students find themselves out of control or upset, I give them the labyrinth, they trace the labyrinth, leave their negativity in the center. They return out of the labyrinth, better able to focus and learn.”
$32 on Amazon
This Buddha Board was inspired by the Zen idea of living in the moment. This beautifully simple water board painting set uses only water and drawing board as you create beautiful works of art that fade away as it dries. Using the Buddha Board kit can help you bust stress and improve your calm.
Helpful review: “For people out there that like to make stick figures and never share your work because you think it is a Picasso and everyone else scoffs at it, this is for you. I made so many perfect pieces of art that were then graded by an Art Teacher as a C. I enjoy my A work on the Buddha Board. Enjoy your work too.”
$38 on Amazon
Morphee Non-Digital Wooden Sleep Device
Morphee is a non-digital, stunningly designed sleep aid that combines meditation and sophrology techniques to help you drift off more naturally. Designed for relaxation, stress relief, and sleep.
Helpful review: “I introduced my 2 young daughters to meditation and since I acquired the device we have been doing 8-minute meditation sessions every day just before going to sleep. They enjoy being able to choose the theme and then surprisingly, when the session starts, they follow the instructions very attentively and enjoy this peaceful moment of focus on their own body and breathing.”
$99 on Amazon
Manta Blackout Sleep Mask
This soft mask with adjustable eye cups is designed for deep sleep in any environment.
“Recommended by other emergency room doctors, this sleep mask is wonderful for those of us who do shift work. It is so comfortable and completely customizable. It blocks out ALL light. My only regret is not buying this sooner.”
$35 on Amazon
Calming Hibiscus Tea
A delicious, caffeine-free herbal drink that naturally soothes and enriches the body, mind, and soul. Studies show hibiscus tea helps to naturally lower blood pressure and has a calming effect; some people use it to help manage their anxiety.
This antioxidant-rich Blue Zones tea is perfect on its own or throw it in a gift basket with other Blue Zones items and specialized tea tools.
Helpful Review: “This is a nice herbal blend. It has no caffeine. I can enjoy this any time of day and it does not affect my sleep. I love the flavor. It seems to make me a little more focused. I also love that this is certified organic.”
$9.89 at thebluezonesstore.com
Baby Dream Machine
The sleep machine for kids that their parents end up using too. It’s a 5-in-1 device that combines scientifically proven methods that help your child fall asleep and stay asleep, naturally. With a night light, red light therapy, sound machine, cool-mist humidifier, and aromatherapy, parents report 93% of children sleep better and longer, which means parents get more sleep too.
Helpful review: “Honestly, I was skeptical and didn’t have really high expectations but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well the dream machine has been working for my son (who will be 3-years-old next month). He really likes the bear and bedtime has been MUCH easier since we started using it.”
Starting at $109 at thebabydreammachine.com
The Mindfulness Card Game
Give the gift of mindfulness that the whole family can enjoy. This deck of cards was designed by a group of teachers to help build awareness and communication skills. It is stacked with activities that are engaging for any age. Cultivate the practice of living in the moment, self-improvement, and focus with this feel-good game. Every purchase donates a portion of the proceeds to charity. For the one on your list who loves to give back.
Helpful reviews: “Confession: I am a therapist who HATES the word “mindfulness”. I think it is overused and misunderstood and often synonymous with sitting quiet and still. I work primarily with middle schoolers who can’t sit still in a residential setting. THIS IS PERFECT. It is fun and engaging. You move around, you connect with peers, you face challenges. It really makes mindfulness fun without sacrificing the objective. It helps kids understand mindfulness and why we do it and how it helps us and helps our brains. It demystifies mindfulness and dispels those common misconceptions like “you have to sit still and be quiet to be mindful”.
“I bought these for work but I am considering taking it to game-night with my friends. :)”
$20 on Amazon
Furry Weighted Blanket
The cozy gift that comes with multiple benefits. Science has found that a weighted blanket can produce more serotonin throughout the body by using “deep pressure touch”. Those using weighted blankets have felt more relaxed, reduced anxiety, and improved restlessness.
Helpful review: “I recently lost my emotional support dog and this blanket helped me get through the grief.”
$50 on Amazon
Live Moss Framed Circle
Having plant-life indoors that sustain makes all the difference during the winter months. Research shows that plants can lead to feelings of calmness and reduced stress. Immediately enhance someone’s environment by gifting a handcrafted live moss piece. They are created with rescued wood and live premium moss.
This craftsmanship comes with a price but is worth the ease of being maintenance-free. Planthropy’s preservation process makes the real moss live on, even without proper lighting or water. The recipient can enjoy the benefits of having fresh and alive greenery indoors without constant upkeep.
$95 at planthropy.co
If you are running out of time and money, then other plant options on Amazon:
Costa Farms Live Indoor Hoya Heart, Succulent-Like Plant
Costa Farms Money Tree Pachira
Cork Massage Balls Set for Tension Relief
A mini massage that can be used on the go for the whole body. Made from cork that is eco-friendly and easy to clean, these cork massage balls can bring relief to tension and stress or deep massage action to sore muscles. Make them extra personalized by choosing one of the fun offered designs.
Helpful review: “I woke up with a kink around my shoulder blade. Figured I slept wrong and it would go away in a day. That was nine months ago. Since then, I’ve been to a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, massage therapist, physical therapist, and three doctors (one of whom was a spine and nerve specialist). All of whom said they had seen this issue before and it was very treatable…and yet, here we are nine months (and a few MRIs) later. I watched a video by a doctor in New Zealand who described my exact symptoms and a different way to treat them: with a hard cork ball. Once bitten, twice shy, I thought. But I also thought it’s cheap, why not try? I may update later, but I’ve been using them for just two days and have noticed a marked difference. I will say it hurts like the devil when using it (for me at least), but instead of feeling like I have a mystery spinal injury afterward, it feels like I have very sore muscles. If this sounds like you, please try this. I was becoming resigned to the fact I would be in mild to moderate pain all the time. It’s worth a try at the very least.”
$21 on Amazon