- Weighted sleep masks are designed to apply soothing pressure to your eye area in order to help you relax and drift off faster.
- Wearing an eye mask to sleep can help to boost alertness the next day.
- If you’re short on time, and just want to cut to the chase, our pick for the best overall weighted sleep mask is the Gravity Weighted Sleep Mask ($40).
If you’re someone who struggles to fall or stay asleep, chances are you’ve been told to try a weighted blanket at least once or twice.
According to the Sleep Foundation, weighted blankets use “deep pressure stimulation, which is thought to stimulate the production of a mood-boosting hormone (serotonin), reduce the stress hormone (cortisol), and increase levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep,” for an improvement in overall sleep quality. Various studies have also proven their ability to significantly improve sleep maintenance, raise daytime activity levels, and reduce daytime symptoms of fatigue, depression, and anxiety (1).
But the lesser-known weighted sleep mask category is also worth looking into. The concept is similar; weighted sleep masks are designed to apply soothing pressure to your eye area in order to help you relax and drift off faster.
New research also suggests that wearing an eye mask of any variety to sleep can boost alertness the next day. This is thanks to its ability to block ambient light like digital displays, street lamps, city lights, or sunlight (2).
In the study performed by researchers at Cardiff University, participants were asked to wear eye masks to sleep for several nights, followed by the same number of nights without a mask. They then took three different tests after waking to measure cognitive function. The results showed that people performed better on cognitive and reaction time exercises after having slept with an eye mask versus not.
The study’s author, Viviana Greco, a Ph.D. candidate at Cardiff University concluded that wearing an eye mask to sleep could be an “effective and inexpensive solution” to improving alertness and work performance.
Whether you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, or you’re looking to optimize your zzzs, here are 10 of the best weighted sleep masks to try.