I do not have the possibility of a pitch black bedroom setting, so I decided to invest in a sleep mask.
I'm wondering what are your experiences with these things, on what should one be on a lookout when buying (materials and stuff) and if you have any specific product recommendations.
Thank you and be well
I'm a nurse and work nights and have been using a sleep mask for daytime sleeping for probably seven years now. I find it essential for staying asleep during daylight hours. If I fail to wear it, I'll wake up after an hour or two and have a hard time getting back to sleep. The ones that I use (I have 4) my wife received as "free gifts" with the purchase of some girly god-knows-what from some department store but they very closely resemble these cheap masks at Amazon.
The feature that I find most important is the strap - particularly that it is a thin and two piece so that one strap can go above my ear around the crown of my head and the other can go below my ear around the base of my skull. (This is similar to how we wear the N95 respirators in the hospital.) Single strap masks I've tried just will not conform to my head enough to keep the light out and tend to be uncomfortable to me as the straps are thick and too tight. Other than that, you'll have to experiment with a few and see what you like best. Some shapes may irritate the bridge of your nose more than others but a lot of it is just going to come down to personal taste.
Whichever ones you choose, don't forget to wash them periodically or you'll end up with zits or worse. You sweat more in your sleep than you may realize, and eyebrows and eyelashes are home to a lot of little mites in about 50% of us. A buildup of those mites in the mask may inflame allergies or asthma. I wash my masks in an old tied-off pillow case so that those little straps that I love don't get destroyed in the washing machine.
I find that stuff touching my face is distracting and irritating. Once I get used to it, I do fall asleep, but by the time I wake up, the thing is always no longer on my face. I must be removing it somehow during sleep.
Besides, I am not yet sold on the need to have a pitch black sleeping environment. When the moon is out, the outside light is brighter than the little bit of light from the nightlight and the LED in my clock so I find it hard to imagine that Grok would not be able to sleep well in comparable lighting. Plus when the Northridge earthquake hit and all the glass broke in my room, and I could not find my darned shoes in the pitch dark (all power went out) with all the junk from my shelves now littered all over the floor, well let us just say that I wished really bad I had one of those emergency power outage nightlights plugged in right then. And now I DO have one of those and still sleep just fine (except for when the cat jumps violently onto my stomach..I guess Grok would probably have eaten the cat by now..) -Eva
I've tried a few different ones and never found one that completely blocks out all light and lets me sleep on my side. However this is the best one I've found so far and the one I use.
It has inset bits so it doesn't touch your eyes, manages to stay on me most of the time and blocks out almost all light. The first one I had lasted about 10 years before it started looking abit worn.
Edit: I don't think it affects my duration of sleep much but it helps me get to sleep and prevents the sun disturbing my sleep. Here in Scotland the sun is rising before 5am now. My bedroom has two large windows with thin curtains and there are many city lights shining in.
I used this one in the past (from Amazon). http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CCI4YU/ref=wms_ohs_product
It blocks light well, is comfortable and stays on, but husband made fun of me and called it my Batman mask.
I now use this one from Ulta (Earth Therapeutics Sleep Mask): http://bit.ly/brpBey
It's fuzzy and comfortable, and does what I need. And is much more attractive than the Batman mask. Comes in a non-threatening tan color too.
How about the safety for your eyes as in oxygen deprivation? Any comments on this. I love my eye mask but notice that my eyes may be dryer and my vision may be a little less sharp, needing to blink more often with a little more blurring.
Any suggestions or directions out there?
I have 2 sleep masks. One I got at Brookstone; is fuzzy and comfy, but made for smaller heads. I like the feel of the snugness thought, and the pressure helps w bags. I have a satin one that is looser and is comfortable, but not as good as blocking out the light. with my insomnia, I would never get a wink of sleep during the day if it weren't for my Brookstone eye mask.
This is my fave:
Filled with Lavender, but I have washed it and air-dried it and it seems fine. I wore my first one out after two year & just replaced it.