When I received the nodpod weighted eye mask for review, I was more than a little skeptical. It didn’t look like it could possibly be comfortable. Wouldn’t having something weighted on my eyelids disrupt my sleep or feel somehow claustrophobic? And the fact that the weighted sections wrapped around not just my eyes, but also my ears, seemed impractical — wouldn’t that get in the way of sleeping on my side?
So imagine my surprise when this eye mask became the single most essential addition to my (already obsessive and gadget-ridden) sleep hygiene. No one product has done more to help me fall asleep and stay asleep than the nodpod, so much so that I now always travel with it wherever I go.
Using polyethylene beads, nodpod molds to the contours of your face, creating a custom, light-blocking effect that’s much more effective than the dozens of eye masks I’ve tried over the years. But it’s not just that it blocks light better than other eye masks — it also really does help me fall asleep. The idea behind weight therapy, also known as Deep Touch Pressure, was pioneered by Dr. Temple Grandin. Gentle pressure calms your central nervous system, taking us back to being an infant. “It is the type of surface pressure that is exerted in most types of touching, holding, stroking, or swaddling,” Dr. Grandin defined, according to the nodpod website. When I slip the nodpod on, I feel genuinely safe and insulated from the outside world, from light getting to my eyes and noise to my ears. It’s become a genuinely Pavlovian response that I am “ready” for sleep.
The nodpod has two sides to it, which I appreciate as well: a cooler jersey cotton side (the one I use most) and a microfiber side. Most effectively-light-blocking eye masks are made of a harsher foam-like material, and it feels much better on my sensitive eyes to have cotton touching them. Also surprising is that though the nodpod wraps around my entire head, it doesn’t interfere with side sleeping for me at all. The weighted beads seem to adjust perfectly around any of my motions, and I only notice it around my ears insofar as it helps block out sounds.
Also important to me, the nodpod is washer/dryer safe and doesn’t break down over time the way I’ve found other eye masks have. While you can’t microwave the nodpod for some added heat therapy, you can put it in the freezer or fridge. I sometimes use it for a headache or lying down meditations as well.
I gush about this eye mask to anyone I know who has sleep issues. It is well worth trying out, even if you think it looks weird and cumbersome. And if for some reason it doesn’t work for you, they also offer a 30-day money back guarantee. So, sleep on it.
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