Like all good things in my life, I was introduced to my beloved weighted eye mask by my mom. About five years ago, I first noticed I was having issues with shutting down after a long day at work. Until then, aside from occasionally waking up in the middle of the night, I never really had any serious sleep problems. But with a job that keeps my eyes glued to my phone or a computer screen, the near-constant stimulation meant that shutting off for the night felt impossible. That is, until I slipped on the IMAK Compression Pain Relief Mask and Eye Pillow ($14), which is “designed by an orthopedic surgeon to provide relief from migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus pain and eyestrain,” but does so much more for me.
When I told her that the room-darkening shades in my bedroom were no longer doing the trick, my mom reminded me that she and my sister had been using a weighted eye mask for years. I finally got one of my own, and slowly but seamlessly it became a part of my evening routine. Simply wearing it around my head as I brushed my teeth puts me on the right track to a good night’s sleep. Once under the covers, as I ready myself for bed, if I don’t have anything over my eyes, I’m be tempted to reach for my phone. But the weighted eye mask is something that signals to my body, “Okay, once your mask has moved from you forehead to cover your eyes, it’s officially time to go to bed.” Essentially, the perfect mental off switch to a long day.
To add something extra special, I keep mine in the freezer for the most soothing release at the end of a long day. I’ve grown to love it so much that I have four or five in the freezer, so I know there’s always a cold one waiting. I put it on about an hour before I go to bed. And when I’m ready to turn in for the night, when I finally shift it to my eyes, the cooling tingle it’s absolute perfection.
What’s so different about this weighted eye mask is that it’s made with tiny compression balls. This isn’t a flimsy decorative sleep mask. It conforms and molds to your face so that no light gets in. I’m the kind of person who need to block out, you know, everything in order to get some shut-eye. When I travel, it even helps to cut out everything from turbulence to chatter to the bad rom-com playing on the screen next to me.
I’ve never been one to maintain a sleep routine. Taking fifteen steps just to unwind feels like too much of a commitment. But I’ve consistently maintained my low-effort ritual for years. And the benefits of a good night’s rest cannot be overstated. When I put on my chilled and weighted eye mask, I know it’s time to take things down a notch and just relax. It’s such a simple way to take care of myself.
As told to Mary Grace Garis
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