This week we take a closer look at the Brookstone Eye Mask.
Item: Brookstone Eye Mask
Price: $35 USD
Most of the adult population never seem to get enough sleep, yet we all know it has an immense impact on athletic performance and overall productivity.
Nowadays, there seem to be countless studies proving that the amount of shut eye we get, combined with the type of sleep we have, directly affects our sporting pursuits.
So these kind of studies call for remedies, especially for those unable to get enough worthwhile z’s in at night. Luckily, I have just the answer if you’re willing to experiment and persist past the teething phase.
So what is it that may assist you during those sleepless nights? It comes in the form of an eye mask. A high-end, high quality, innovative Brookstone Eye Mask.
Known to the consumer as the NapForm Eye Mask, it is uniquely designed with Viscoelastic memory foam, creating a “soothing sensation for tired eyes”, or so the company puts it.
After wearing the NapForm Eye Mask for awhile now I have noticed some promising results and felt it deserved a full review. So here I give you the finer details of the Brookstone NapForm Eye Mask.
Lights Out: The great thing about the eye mask is that it blocks out all possible light, which allows you to drift off and dream of happier places as soon as you hit the pillow. I didn’t realise how sensitive I was to light until it was completely blocked out. I have found that the mask has really helped me achieve a deep sleep because it inhibits all light.
Soft Material: The material on an eye mask can either make it or break it in my book. Fortunately, Brookstone have got it just right. The material is plush, smooth and furry on the outside making it pleasing to the eye and soft on the skin. On the inside the mask is made with Viscoelastic memory foam, which means it is always forgiving on the most sensitive of places, even when you’re thrashing about in bed with it.
Adjustable Strap: This eye mask thankfully has an adjustable velcro strap, which means it is always the perfect fit for the circumference of your head. This has to be it’s best features as most eye masks are held up by an elastic of some kind, which tend to be uncomfortable and not too forgiving on the skull. So in other words, you won’t tear this one off after 5 seconds and feel as if you’re blood circulation has been abruptly cut off.
Contoured Design: The Brookstone Eye Mask has a contoured design meaning there is little pressure placed on your eyes and face.
Colour: While this feature is of lesser importance to some, I think it really highlights just how sensitive Brookstone have been to sleeping needs, while also showing just how well designed the mask is. The Brookstone Eye Mask is a pleasing shade of deep blue, which is known to encourage sleeping. Being a cool colour, blue helps to relax the mind which makes for the perfect sleeping environment.
Spot washable: If you’re in the business of wearing mascara and happen to wind up in bed with a full face of makeup on after a big night out, you’ll be pleased to know that the fabric is spot washable, meaning you can clean it with a damp cloth and mild detergent (if necessary). No doubt an added bonus for the female population.
Oversized: This eye mask has to be the biggest I have ever seen. There is a large band that lies across the top of the forehead, which then leads down into the eye pockets making it wide. While this is only a minor issue, I have a small head and so it takes a bit of fiddling around to get it in the perfect spot without suffocating and invading the entire face.
Long Strap: While I realise that heads come in all shapes and sizes, I do feel as though the velcro strap is a tad long. Due to the length, the unused portion of the strap tends to bunch up over time, causing a faint irritation. I fixed that problem by simply cutting the extra length off. Having said that, the extra long strap may be a good thing for those only wanting something loosely placed over their eyes to reduce any unwanted pressure on the face.
Pressure: While I find the eye pockets a bonus it does mean that unwanted pressure falls to other places and for me it happens to be the nose. This may be a personal thing but I hate applying unnecessary pressure on my nose because when I sleep it often gets blocked. The added compression on the nose just means that I don’t breathe as easily as I would like.
Side Sleepers: If you are a fellow side sleeper like me, then I have to tell you this eye mask takes a bit of getting used to. Due to the sheer size of the mask when you roll over onto your side it does have a tendency to move around or fall off completely. But, I hear the best way to sleep is on your back anyway so wearing the Brookstone Eye Mask is probably a good way to adjust those bad and deeply ingrained sleeping habits.
I have always been a light sleeper, waking during the night to the faintest of sounds. Yet despite my disturbed sleep, I always manage to get a lot of it, averaging more than 8-hours a night.
In spite of the long hours I spent sleeping, I still felt the urge to indulge in a few too many cat-naps during the day. The issue was I always felt fatigued and drained in training, to the point where it was not uncommon for me to let out yawns mid snatch or squat clean (movements you really want to be awake for).
The first time I wore the mask, I won’t lie, I fiddled, fumbled and tossed about in bed with it so much so that I thought we would never meet again. But I persisted night after night in the hope it would relieve me of my light sleeping.
After wearing the Brookstone Eye Mask for a week, I became more comfortable with it. More importantly, I noticed that it reduced the amount of time I spent lying in bed trying to get to sleep. It also reduced the amount of times I woke during the night. I’m sure all of these good signs meant I was able to reach the deep stages of sleep (specifically stage 3 and 4, for those familiar with the ebs and flows of sleep).
Coupled with all of these promising signs was the fact I no longer felt the need to nap during the day, which had a huge impact on the way I was training. Since wearing the mask I have felt more energised in workouts and more refreshed during the day.
I have tried other eye masks in the past from cheap airplane freebies to more expensive kinds. But none of them offer the same quality and feel of this Brookstone one. The memory foam and the adjustable strap make it comfortable and contoured, which put it leaps and bounds ahead of its competitors.
At $34.99 USD, the Napform Eye mask errs on the more expensive side, especially considering you can pick up other no frills masks for under $2. However, you can rest assured it is a price well worth paying for the extra quality and comfort.
If you find yourself struggling to fall asleep and fighting to stay asleep I would unhesitatingly recommend the NapForm Eye Mask by Brookstone.