Tiny Treasure: Eye Mask

August 21, 2013

Lovely eye mask

By Koseli. Lovely sleeping eye mask made by the Etsy shop Ruby and Joy.

It’s a simple thing.

But it wasn’t until I was two weeks past the point of total exhaustion two years ago that I got serious about sleep. (Hint: Stork dropped by.) I was willing to do anything — anything — to feel a little more like myself and a lot less like an evil queen as moody as a tween and fragile as delicate glass. My ever practical and experienced mother pulled out the complimentary Jetblue sleeping mask she’d received on her recent flight, snagged my sleepy baby from my arms, and pushed me into my bedroom to sleep. Until I woke up. For as long as I needed to.

Again, it’s a simple thing but I hadn’t realized how sensitive I was to the light that fills our bedroom throughout the day. Pulling that mask over my eyes felt like a literal “off” switch on my never ceasing anxieties and racing thoughts. It felt like magic.

Do you sleep with an eye mask, too? It always seemed too high maintenance or fancy to me, but I really don’t know what I was thinking. I think every person should have one. Throw in some chamomile tea, a bubble bath, and then some lovely ear plugs right before you climb under the covers and you’re sure to sleep extra deep.

 P.S. — I’m on the hunt for a mask that’s slightly less, ahem, practical than my Jetblue one. Any favorite online shops that sell them? : ) Also, you can find all the Tiny Treasure posts here.

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Love Links | in backyards
August 23, 2013 at 4:09 pm

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 anita August 21, 2013 at 7:13 am

I have simple one and loved . I sleep much better with a eye mask

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2 lindsay August 21, 2013 at 7:25 am

I’ve been sleeping with an eye mask for almost 10 years – ever since I moved to NYC. I love the Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask. It has cups (sort of like a bra for your eyeballs) so you can blink and there is no pressure on your eyes. It’s fantastic.

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3 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:30 am

I love the idea of a bra for my eyeballs. Sold, Lindsay.

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4 Allie August 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm

40 Blinks Sleep Mask is what I use too and I love it the most! Don’t know how I slept before it. I’ve converted several friends to The Way of The Magical Eye Mask as well and they agree it’s the best! (But anything is better than no eye mask)

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5 Jessie August 21, 2013 at 7:38 am

I love my eye mask! Ever since my second child was born I sleep with one on and one earplug in. I’m a side sleeper and the earplug goes in the ear that’s away from the pillow. My favorite eye mask is this one. It’s super comfy and keeps out the light.

Macks Dreamweaver Contoured Sleep Mask
http://amzn.com/B005L811OK

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6 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:43 am

Oh, thanks for the link, Jessie. I love earplugs too. This post was going to be about earplugs but eye masks are less gross to talk about. But yes, the combo of those two is magical.

Great new mom gift, right?!

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7 Miggy August 21, 2013 at 7:09 pm

Ever since I became a mom–in a one bedroom in NYC–I too have used a sleep mask and earplugs. I’ve actually tried to break myself of the earplugs because I think I should be able to hear when I’m asleep…but the fact is I just sleep better. I still wake up when kids cry, so I guess it’s fine. And when I don’t have an eyemask (if I forget when traveling, or when I lost one for a while) I use a soft t-shirt and put it over my eyes.

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8 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Miggy! Me too. Did you know I’m in a one bedroom with a little one in Brooklyn? So fun to hear you’re in the same boat. You really need these sleeping “tools” to handle the close quarters. We’re about to add another little boy to the mix and I’m telling you, I’m refreshing my ear plug supply in preparation. You can hear those cries loud and clear in our 700 sq. ft. :)

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9 Nichole August 21, 2013 at 8:01 am

I just started sleeping with an eye mask about a month ago. It was completely revolutionized my sleep. My husband hates sleeping in complete darkness and I can’t stand any light. I have no idea why it took me seven years, two children and countless arguments to figure this out!! Unfortunately, I am using the free cheap one from BA, so no good advice, but great suggestions above.

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10 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

Haha. Isn’t that crazy when the solution ends up being so simple?

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11 Anne August 21, 2013 at 8:09 am

I hate any light when I sleep and have to cover the clock radio, unplug the charging computer etc. I have never been able to nap because of the light. A Bucky eye mask is the best. It is comfortable and like a sensory deprivation chamber for your eyes. It works!

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12 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

Sensory deprivation chamber. I like that.

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13 Elke Govertsen August 23, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Yes on the Bucky. At home, on planes, if need to stay at the hospital! Best hospital gift ever. Comes with earplugs too. Saved my marriage. Total sensory deprivation. I use a bite guard, Bucky and earplugs when I really go for it. Zzzzz

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14 Pepper August 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

I need an eye mask!! Surprisingly, they don’t seem that easy to find…

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15 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

You do! You’ll love one after the baby is born. They are hard to find. Really, I’ve only ever used the ones you’re given on red eye flights. But there are some great recommendations from readers.

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16 Katy @ All Sorts of Pretty August 21, 2013 at 8:33 am

I love this idea! I like having wispy, thin, white curtains in the bedroom, but they sure don’t help you sleep like blackout curtains. An eye mask would certainly do the trick without having to redecorate. Good idea!

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17 norma August 21, 2013 at 9:07 am

I’m still using my tried and true Jetblue mask. It really does help with all the
wonderful Bay Area light that filters in through the bedroom windows and makes
sleeping more restful…and I actually catch a few more zzzz’s. That second sleep
if often really restful. Thinking of you. Take care and use some of that TLC that
you so generously share with everyone …on yourself.

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18 Aliesha August 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

I learned a few years back while visiting family out of state that ear plugs are my literal “off switch”. For quite a while I only used them when staying at other peoples’ houses, but as soon as my daughter was born I began wearing them every night. Now, I’m afraid, I’m addicted. I really can’t sleep well at all if I’m not wearing them – that was never my intention, but I can’t seem to wean myself off of them. If I’ve ever traveled and forgotten them – I’m out of luck! No sleep at all! So I’d like to learn to sleep without them again….not enough to sacrifice the sleep I’d have to lose to get there though!

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19 Elizabeth August 21, 2013 at 9:35 am

I love the ones I’ve found in the cheap bins in Target. They have ranged from sweet to sassy and they were all a $1. I bought several because overtime with washing (eyelids/eyes have bacteria and the thought of not washing them grosses me out) the elastic bands loosen and don’t block out all the light. Having multiple cute ones, solves all my problems and most importantly sleepless nights :)

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20 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Smart idea! I haven’t washed mine and I realize now how gross that is. I’ll pick up a couple in the $1 bins too.

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21 Camille August 21, 2013 at 9:49 am

Muji’s eyemasks are the softest! I really recommend them :) Plus the stripe one is really cute.

http://www.muji.us/store/cotton-jersey-eye-mask-brown-x-grey.html

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22 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Oh of course! I’m a huge fan of Muji, like everybody. I can grab one at the airport (JFK) before my next flight.

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23 Martha August 21, 2013 at 9:53 am

I can’t stand having anything on my face when I sleep. I wish I could! I just had my fourth baby, at the hospital they had a sweet little packet with an eye mask and earplugs. I thought it was brilliant!

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24 emily August 21, 2013 at 9:53 am

My friend just did an excellent post on banishing light while you sleep (and why it’s actually a health risk (EEP) to women!) http://slumbr.com/blog/need-to-sleep-banish-light-from-your-bedroom-or-get-blue-blockers/

As a light sleeper, I have to say I’ve tried a lot of different eye masks and Michelle is DEAD on with her recommendation. It’s the best. By far!

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25 Jenn August 21, 2013 at 10:10 am

I like the ones that are contoured so I can blink in them. I have one like this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0068PN5D0/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1, which is nice because it is also adjustable- elastic isn’t going to wear out as fast!

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26 Mary August 23, 2013 at 3:44 pm

This is the one I use, too. I have used them for at least five years and have collected three of them by now. They say to just wipe them clean but I have been known to wash them in the washing machine in the handwash or gentle cycle with my delicates. I just made sure to put it in a lingerie bag so the velcro closure didn’t snag anything.

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27 rubyandjoy August 21, 2013 at 10:31 am

hello! thank you for your wee link to our lovely little etsy shop! having never slept well without one, and having searched high and low for something pretty…we love these! x

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/rubyandjoy?section_id=13662950

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28 Fiona August 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

I made eyemasks as end-of-year gifts for teachers this year – they need to rest up over the summer right? My 6 year old likes to wear one and he gets to sleep much faster without distractions.

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29 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm

A teacher gift is such a great (and witty) idea, Fiona. I love that.

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30 Rachel August 21, 2013 at 11:13 am

Welcome to the club…I’ve used one for years! I recently switched to a contoured one: http://www.amazon.com/Dream-Essentials-Dreams-Contoured-Earplugs/dp/B000CCI4YU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377105076&sr=8-1&keywords=eye+mask

It’s supposed to facilitate REM sleep because it doesn’t sit on your eyelids. I can’t say if I’ve slept better for it but I do like that it isn’t sitting on my skin all night!

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31 Kiley August 21, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I sleep with a pillow over my head and I’m so particular about which pillow–has to be down and heavy. It blocks out the light and mutes noise with the added bonus of making me look like a crazy person. I’m always on the look out for a sleep mask that will allow me to ditch the head pillow. Someday….

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32 Amy3 August 21, 2013 at 12:58 pm

I just started sleeping with ear plugs recently and now you’ve sold me on the eye mask. I’ll be sleeping super soundly! Thanks!

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33 Margoulette August 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

I’ve been using the old Air France masks, but I totally agree with Camille, Muji is the place to get them, they’re super soft and comfy !

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34 Lindsay August 21, 2013 at 1:07 pm

My 4 year-old is wearing one right now. Of course she is also wearing a felt Christmas elf hat that she says is her “nightcap.”

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35 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

hahahahaha! Lindsay. Your 4 year old sounds awesome.

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36 kelli August 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I slept with a thin t-shirt over my eyes FOREVER! finally purchased an eye mask at the old navy checkout (!) and never looked back. Its a life saver for sure!

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37 Ann August 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm

I can’t wear an eye mask for some reason. I don’t like having eyes covered but my husband can sleep with a pillow on top of his head and an eye mask! It was sent to me with a cool paper promotion years ago! I don’t remember who sent it to me now. We also have black out shades in all our bedrooms which helps a great deal with keeping out light when you need rest.

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38 Shannon { A Mom's Year } August 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

My nine-year-old sleeps with one. Seriously. She got it as a gift. I may have to give it a try myself. :)

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39 Liz August 21, 2013 at 3:16 pm

I have worn eye masks for 15 years maybe. I have tried ditching it in the winter since it stays dark longer but I found I was so accustomed to wearing it that I couldn’t sleep without it! I have tried many but usually stick to two variations found at Bed Bath and Beyond.

This one with stars is SO plush and soft. It also has extra padding at the bottom so light doesn’t sneak in the gaps around your nose.
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/1/1/17695-sleep-mask.html

They also have an eye bra version that doesn’t touch your eyes. (couldn’t find it online)

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40 val August 21, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I use the Muji one as well. It’s seriously needed here. I live in a glass house… literally. Anyhow, I love that brand, the fabric is so soft and can’t live without their recycled socks.

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41 Erin August 21, 2013 at 4:59 pm

I have tried fancy eye masks and I CHOOSE to use my jet blue one! I love it because its thin and lightweight so I don’t notice it and push it off in my sleep. (I’m currently on vacation abroad and brought it with me!)

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42 Koseli Cummings August 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Yay Erin! JetBlue eye masks forever! :)

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43 Kaely August 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

I slept with one on vacation this summer and loved it. But during the school year I use an alarm clock that wakes me up by getting gradually brighter simulating dawn. I vastly prefer it to waking up to a loud alarm noise, so I can’t wear a sleep mask on days when the kids have school.

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44 CP August 21, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I like this Bucky one: http://joyfulsleep.ecrater.com/p/1441019/bucky-shades-sleep-mask-eye
Because of the way eye area is constructed it feels less claustrophobic to me. And it has a little pocket for earplugs. The Bucky 40 Blinks one is pretty good too but better if you’re a light sleeper or you’ll knock it off.

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45 Tasha August 22, 2013 at 9:45 am

As a light sleeper also bothered by any light at night, why haven’t I ever purchased one!?!?
Bucky pillows are great!
I used to have a small travel pillow in silk material with a light lavender scent…adding to the list:)

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46 Emilia August 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm

http://www.featherlight.com.au/
They are the most beautiful, lovely products to use :) Including the eye pillows. I have 4 ! In amazing coloured silks.
They come in a large range of colours , and two sizes with an adjustable strap. I couldn’t recommend the quality and feeling of using featherlight products enough. I also never considered an eye mask or an eye pillow until more recent years. They truly feel supportive in having deep sleep.

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47 Meagan Claire August 24, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Ive never been a good sleeper, and I started sleeping with earplugs a few years ago after moving into an all concrete and brick converted loft space. Everything my neighbors did echoed and I had an obnoxious neighbor who would whistle as he walked down the hall to leave in the morning (only an hour before my alarm – seriously??). Shortly after, I got in the eyemask train. Previously, I had taped pieces of paper over every speck of night light, but there was no blocking out my enormous wall of loft windows. Sleep still comes difficultly, but my quality of sleep is deeper and longer, and I can catch a nap during the day.

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48 Lauren August 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm

A few months ago I binge-read that whole lot of articles coming out about how the blue light from cell phones and other gadgets disrupts sleep and decreases the amount of melatonin released in one’s brain and became SUPER SENSITIVE to light at night.

My husband did not read the articles and has continued to bring his cell phone to bed and screen read while I’m trying to fall asleep — usually I’m thinking, “I can just FEEL the melatonin not releasing!!!” thus rendering me stressed and not sleeping (and acting like a faux-scientist).

In short, this post made me go: “Oh. I should get an eye mask. DUH!”

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49 hairyshoefairy August 27, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I’ve used a sleep mask for nearly 10 years now. When I’m completely relaxed my eyes open slightly (yes, it’s freaky and totally creeps people out) so light has always bothered me. I lived in a basement bedroom most of my life so it wasn’t a big deal. When I got married our first apartment had heavy drapes and blinds so it wasn’t bad but when we moved to an apartment with big beautiful windows I could not sleep past dawn. It was terrible, especially since I’m a night owl. After a few months of terrible sleep and waking up at the crack of dawn I decided to give a sleep mask a try. I can never go back. It’s the best thing ever. Over the years I’ve had a number of masks but a couple of years ago my little brother gave me the same mask Jenn (above in comment 25) linked to and it has been my favorite style.

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