Sleep Tight

Traveling can be hard on your body – and your body clock.  Different time zones, the excitement of a new city, the stress of crowds and noise all can take a toll.  Getting enough sleep can make a trip much more enjoyable but sometimes that’s easier said than done.

A sleep mask can be helpful when trying to catch some ZZZs on a flight or to combat that light streaming in through the curtains of your hotel room or if you are trying to nap when the sun is still up.  There are a lot of options and I’ve tried them all and here is my review:

1.  These flat types are very inexpensive and can be found everywhere.  The airlines put them in the kits they hand out in business class of international flights.  This particular one came with a cashmere blanket as part of a travel kit.  They are fine if nothing else is available but they are not very comfortable.  Too flat and that presses against your eyes in ways you are not accustomed to making it hard to truly sleep.

2.  This one sold in many specialty stores even came with a set of earplugs (more on those later).  The adjustable strap is nice as is the padded bumper that fills the gap on either side of your nose along your cheek but overall, it’s just too heavy and not flexible enough to be comfortable.

3.  Sold by Bed, Bath & Beyond among other retailers, this is one of the best of the inexpensive (under $10) options.  It’s super soft, lightweight and has the padded area for the cheek area to keep light from creeping in and to keep the mask from pressing as hard on your eyes.

4.  There are lots of these fun and cute options but they are mostly fun and cute  rather than functional.  

5.  This is the BEST sleep mask I’ve ever found.  Sold by Magellan’s, a catalog and on line travel retailer it’s just under $15 (less if you buy several).  It’s super lightweight with an adjustable head strap but the best part – the eye “pockets”.  Shaped like a bra for your eyes, the cups don’t push on your eyes giving you freedom of eye movement and the most comfortable fit of any sleep mask I’ve ever tried.

Sometimes darkness is not enough.  Quiet is also important which is where ear plugs come in.  The stiffer, bullet shaped ones that often come with masks as part of a set or are sold in packages in your neighborhood Walgreen’s are NOT ideal.  Neither are the ribbed plastic ones also widely sold in drug stores to help relieve pressure from flying.

My favorite are the ones typically found in sporting goods stores or shooting ranges.  Individually packaged, they are an ear conforming foam and shaped.  This combination makes them easier to insert, comfortable to wear and less likely to pop out while you are sleeping.  Look in a container near the cash register at Cabela’s or even the sporting goods section of Wal-Mart.

Armed with your Magellan’s “Good Night Sleep Mask” and a package of ear plugs you should be able to get some much needed rest to make your trip less stressful and more fun!


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One Response to “Sleep Tight”

  1. Dominic Says:

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyways, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

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