The Simple Investment That Guarantees Your Ultimate Beauty Sleep

February 14, 2017

Wouldn’t it be great to wake up this way every day? Be less tired with an eye mask!

Gone are the days when one’s worth is measured by lack of sleep. It seems that everyone, even media moguls like Arianna Huffington, has opened their eyes to the biological miracle–one might say even instinct–of sleep: the way that lying down at the end of the day rejuvenates your mind and spirit deep down to the level of your cells and genes.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that sleeping 7-9 hours, the recommended amount for most adults, is easy. Our American culture at large has hardly caught up with valuing rest over productivity, and the ubiquity of digital entertainment makes the flow of information constant and compelling. Why turn off when you can turn on any number of screens (on average, Americans have 4 different devices) and find information, people to hang out with or chat with (IRL or not), or the kind of mindless content that’s purported to help you “unwind” or “shut down”? Even meditation–the anti-technology–has made its way into iPhone apps like Insight Timer and Headspace.

In the spirit of getting back to basics, I sought out a simple and surprisingly effective way to encourage more restful sleep, one of my goals for improving my well being this year: a sleep mask. This seemingly vintage accessory (read: Holly Golightly) may seem frivolous at first, as it did to me. Why do I need something else to shut my eyes when I sleep? Don’t I have eyelids? I always asked myself. But in my current bedroom setup, I sleep immediately adjacent to a wide window that’s constantly illuminated by exterior lighting on neighboring buildings, so light is constantly, albeit subtly, infiltrating my eyes every night without them being open.

The sleep mask, by simply blocking out extraneous light, prevents the body from sensing that it’s time to wake up–which is what the rising sun usually signals–and doing so. In one study, a mask plus earplugs helped sleepers experience more REM time while asleep and increased levels of the sleep hormone, melatonin. I myself tend to get up at least once a night to use the bathroom, and so being able to quickly resume sleep after being in a bright space, with my eyes open, has resulted in more restful sleep since I started using my mask. I wake up less tired and more in sync with my body’s natural rhythm–in other words, when it’s been rested enough rather than when my alarm, or the sunlight outside, beckons.

While my eye mask is a basic fabric variety, there are myriad options, some containing gels and essential oils with added benefits. If you suffer from sinus pain or puffy, tired eyes, a cooling eye mask can relieve symptoms–whether you sleep with them or simply wear for a few hours pre-bedtime.

If you’re in the sleep mask market, check out some of these chic yet effective varieties that will redefine your day-to-night style.

Earth Therapeutics Gel Mask


This two-in-one mask offers a cooling relief to tired eyes plus light-blocking for sleep.

SOL Cotton Eye Pillow


The combination of soothing lavender and clay beads, wrapped in organic, fair-trade cotton, alleviates stress and muscle fatigue.

Bamboo Breathe Eye Mask

bamboo breathe eye mask

Natural bamboo is cooling and soft, and the lightweight construction makes it comfortable and easy to pack for travel.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Eye Mask

holly golightly eye mask

Just for fun–a girl’s gotta look good all the time!

Which eye mask will transform your sleeping habits?

Holly Golightly

Channel your inner Holly and sleep like you mean in.

Also by Jennifer: Why a Bullet Journal ® Will Help You Conquer 2017 Like a Boss Lady

Related: 5 Stretches for a Good Night’s Sleep

Natural Beauty: Bedtime Ritual for Beauty Sleep

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Photo: Jennifer Kurdyla; Ulta; Thrive Market; Dream Essentials; Etsy;

Features Editor Jennifer Kurdyla is a New York City girl with Jersey roots and a propensity for getting lost in the urban jungle. An experienced publishing professional, yoga instructor, home chef, sometimes-runner, and writer, she adopted a vegetarian lifestyle in 2008 and became vegan in 2013. She has written for The Harvard Review Online, The Rumpus, and Music & Literature and maintains a wellness-based website, Be Nourished, which features original writing and recipes. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram @jenniferkurdyla, Twitter @jenniferkurdyla, and Pinterest.


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