I've never been a good sleeper on the move. Each year my parents and three brothers would pack into our station wagon and head off for a two day car ride to P.E.I. I was often crammed in the backseat of our Safari wagon between a car seat, the door and a seat belt that slowly constricted into my stomach. These are not my favourite memories of my childhood. Ideally, if I had been able to sleep in a moving car, I could have bypassed hours of our trip in a soft slumber. If only!
This problem has haunted me for life. Every plane ride, train ride and car ride I've ever taken has ended with me wishing I could just close my eyes and sleep off the duration of trip. I was never entirely sure why I wasn't capable of sleeping on the go, but since my Mother also didn't sleep in the car I've assumed it was genetics.
Last year, my friend Sarah told me that she never goes to bed without wearing an eye mask. The thought of totally blacking out the world seemed a little intense to me, and I didn't like the idea of having something touching my eye lashes as I slept. Never-the-less, I added an eye mask to my Christmas list and my Mom bought me one which read, "Sleep-In Beauty" on it. I thought the line was pretty perfect considering that my favourite Disney movie as a child was Sleeping Beauty. The mask was meant for me!
Within one use, I knew what she was talking about. I'll be totally frank: Everyone needs a sleeping mask. Night-to-night I don't always use it, but the second I want to have a good sleep-in on the weekend, I have my mask on. It's amazing how not having any direct light on your closed eyes can be so soothing and make sleeping during the day or late morning feel like it's the middle of the night.
When you go sleep at someone's house, you never know what the blind situation will be or whether you'll be sleeping in a sunroom or living room. With my eye mask it doesn't matter! I can throw it on, and even if the sun starts shining in at 6 a.m. I can blissfully sleep unaware in the dark cave under the mask. It's also perfect if your partner wants to read or watch t.v. after you've gone to bed. Lights out = sleepy time!
I prefer a very light, silk eye mask lined with fleece which can apparently be purchased at the Dollar Store (who knew!) over an official vinyl travel mask from Walmart. There are many fancy kinds of masks that look like padded bras as well. These are for people who really hate the feeling of anything on their eyes, but seem a tad intense for me.
With my new mask I was able to sleep almost the entire flight from Montreal to Rome (with the help of some Gravol). This was a HUGE obstacle for me to overcome. I am now usually the driver on long car rides, but there is no doubt in my mind that blocking out the sunshine, and curling up in the backseat would do the trick for me.
The holidays are soon to be here, and with it comes lots of eating and drinking, visiting with relatives and sleeping too little. Do yourself a favour and treat yourself to an eye mask for the holidays. It doesn't matter where you are sleeping, or what time a day, you'll be able to have a restful sleep with your eye mask on!