Light is a natural way of telling your body that it’s daytime and time to wake up. We’re designed as human beings to fall asleep when the sun goes down and wake up when the sun comes up again. It’s a part of our core biology.
We can’t see very well in the dark so this mechanism has served us well for thousands of years, but unfortunately, the comparatively modern invention of electric lighting can cause havoc to our biological clock. Thankfully though, we have eye masks.
Eye masks are great to use to block out any streetlights, block out the sun when working shifts, or to use while trying to grab some sleep on an airplane.
Here’s a quick run down of some of the best eye masks for sleeping, what you should look out for, and what’s best to avoid.
Earth Therapeutics Sleep Mask
The Dream Zone eye mask from Earth Therapeutics is one of the most highly rated eye masks on Amazon.com.
It’s made from a 100% natural blend of silk and cotton, and comes with a faint hint of lavender, which is a nice touch, but the smells soon fades away after a few nights’ use.
It’s got a wide velcro strap so you can so you can achieve a perfect fit, while the mask’s large surface area makes easy to comfortably block out as much light as possible without putting too much pressure on your face or eyes.
Imak Eye Pillow
The Imak eye pillow is bulkier than most eye masks, made from a mixture of cotton and lycra with a beanbag-like filling.
The beads inside the mask (called ergoBeads by the manufacturer) are freezable, so it’s the perfect eye mask for headaches, migraines and eye pain.
It feels a bit weightier than most eye masks but it features large cups around the eyes, so they don’t feel at all compressed.
The beads help contour the mask around your face, creating a good fit to block out light without requiring too much pressure.
Daydream Sleep Mask
This eye mask is sort of like a combination of the two eye masks above. It feels soft and isn’t too weighty, but has the benefit of a removable cool pack. Just put the cool pack in the freezer for an hour before bed, slip it back in, and it’ll stay cool for a good number of hours.
Because the cool pack is made from a special gel, it stays cooler for longer than the Imak Eye Pillow’s ergoBeads. It’s also more convenient since you don’t have to find room in the freezer for the whole mask, just a small thin pack.
It’s a perfectly good eye mask even without the cool pack. It performs very well at locking out light and comes with two adjustable straps.
Glo to Sleep
According to the manufacture, this eye mask “blends Eastern meditation techniques with modern technology” and claims to “retrain your mind by calming active Beta brain waves”. Their marketing department obviously had a field day with this one.
In plain English, Glo to Sleep is a bulky foam eye mask with large eye cups that contain four glowing strips of blue light.
To use, hold up to a light source for 30 seconds, this activates the light strips, which will then gradually dim over time. The idea is to focus exclusively on these fading blue lines, and hopefully fall asleep.
It essentially works like a very basic visualization, which aims to take your attention away from any nagging thoughts, and onto feelings of relaxation and sleepiness.
It’s a very simple product which certainly doesn’t justify the fact that Glo to Sleep costs around 4 times what you would normally pay for a regular eye mask.
The basic concept behind the glowing blue lines is a good one, but after a few nights practicing a good visualization technique you’d be able to fall asleep far easier than staring at a bunch of overpriced glowing blue lines.