Sparkles and rays of light radiate from a smiling woman wearing an eye mask which is simultaneously blocking out all of the light

How This Sleep Mask Actually Improved My Sleep

Last updated: October 2021

Over the years of struggling to sleep, I've tried shielding my eyes from the light in a variety of fashions. I've done everything from pulling the covers up over my head to burying my face in a pillow, using extra pieces of clothing, to using my hands to shield my eyes.

Ultimately, none of these tactics made a real difference in my ability to fall asleep or stay asleep.

Enter the sleep mask

A few years ago, I bought an eye mask. It was cute and had a cliche saying on the outside, and I thought it was worth a try. At the time, I didn't realize that the shape, contour, and material of said sleep mask would make or break its success.

This first one was aesthetically pleasing but not productive. I liked how it felt, but it didn't actually block out the light, and it didn't improve my sleeping in the least. However, I was intrigued by the possibility.

The first mask I actually loved

In the time since, I’ve experimented with a plethora of eye masks for sleep. I first fell in love with the Lewis N. Clark Comfort Eye Mask and Earplugs Set from REI.

It was soft and padded, had an extra bit of coverage in the under-eye/nose bridge space, and was not too expensive. I used this one for a while, but it didn't wear very well, and then my dog got into it.

When I was looking to find a replacement, I stumbled across THE sleep mask. The one that has made a pretty decent difference for me.

Discovering the compression pain relief eye mask

The IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask (a weighted eye mask pillow) was designed originally to provide migraine relief. Instead of being filled with cotton or polyester, this mask is filled with ergo beads, which provide both gentle pressure and almost a massage effect while also featuring innovative stitching to alleviate pressure directly on your eyes.

While soft and slightly weighted, my favorite part about this mask is that it conforms to my face to truly block out all of the light.

This was a game-changer for me.

Pitch black benefits

Truly pitch black sleeping space allowed me to focus on the music or meditations I play before bed without letting my mind run so wild. With the mask on, I'm less likely to pick up my phone to look up one thing, which means I'm less likely to accidentally spend another hour scrolling through social media.

Less trouble staying asleep

Also, sleeping in pitch black means that I've been having better success staying asleep during the night.

Although I still have to get up to use the restroom a few times, I put the mask right back on upon getting into bed. And rather than staring into the abyss of my bedroom ceiling or again, into the blue-light-filled screen of my phone, it's usually more successful for me to fall back to sleep.

Bonus relief!

And, an added bonus of this particular sleep mask? It can be stored in the freezer in order to provide soothing relief for tired or puffy eyes. This cooling effect also helps me fall asleep faster when I've been struggling.

If you use a sleep mask/eye mask, I'd love to hear what features you appreciate and which you'd prefer to leave behind!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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