The Best Sleep Masks For A Good Night's Rest

Nothing feels quite as satisfying as letting your head hit the pillow, pulling the covers up over your shoulders, and tucking yourself into bed after a long day. This is especially nice if you've indulged in a bedtime ritual or two. Like taking a warm bath, enjoying a hot cup of chamomile tea, meditating, or getting lost in a good book — all of which the Sleep Foundation says are great practices to help clear your mind and relax. They also say prepping your bedroom by setting the temperature between 60 and 71 degrees, turning off electronics, and using an aromatherapy diffuser can help ensure you sleep soundly.

Another tool many people use to usher them into dreamland is a sleep mask. Dr. Daniel Rifkin told MindBodyGreen that being exposed to light at nighttime is like the brain taking in a sunrise when it should be registering it setting. Using a sleep mask can help block out even the tiniest particle of light that prompts your brain to stay awake.

How to find the right sleep mask for you

When shopping for a sleep mask, the first thing you want to take into consideration is how well it blocks out light, according to Radice. (That's the whole purpose, right?) This is particularly helpful if you work nights and have to sleep during the day or if you're just trying to catch an afternoon power nap.

Fit is also important. According to Nest Bedding, being as comfortable as possible means your body will be relaxed so you can fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Every aspect of the mask from how it settles over your nose and around your ears to whether or not it's disrupting as your eyes move during REM should be considered. Sleep masks are usually made of silk, cotton, polyester, or fabric. Make sure the fabric of the mask you choose doesn't irritate your skin crease around your eyes.

Dr. Smita Patel told The Zoe Report that weighted eye masks apply evenly distributed pressure on the eyes that can have a relaxing effect, but they're definitely not for everyone. If a weighted mask feels too heavy, opt for a fabric-only sleep mask instead.

Finally, technology is a factor in choosing the right sleep mask for you. Some sleep masks come equipped with sensors, light therapy, aromatherapy, ambient sounds, and other features. Be sure the mask you choose comes with all the bells and whistles you think you could use.