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The Alaska Bear Sleep Mask is a $10 luxury you need in your life

Eight hours of sleep per night? No problem!
Woman laying in bed wearing a black sleep mask
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/ Source: TODAY

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I recently heard in a mattress commercial that humans are the most sleep deprived species on earth. That might have just been a ploy to get listeners to go mattress shopping, but it's still pretty relatable.

The resting zombie face I've had over the last few weeks was finally enough motivation to try one of Amazon’s bestselling sleep masks. This $10 eye cover from Alaska Bear worked for over 9,000 five-star reviewers, so how could it not work for me?

Alaska Bear Sleep Mask

When I pulled the mask out of its packaging, I felt like I was pulling out a piece of a cloud. Despite being only $10, it’s softer than the 100% cashmere sweaters in my closet, the 500-thread-count sheets on my bed and the expensive body butter in my bathroom.

Unlike most eye masks you buy in airport shops, this one is soft on both sides. The brand says it's made of hypoallergenic “100% skin-friendly mulberry silk,” and though I'm not overly familiar with my silks, mulberry is often referenced as the highest-quality silk consumers can buy. On the mask’s packaging, Alaska Bear calls it “the fabric of the emperors.” (It’s also the fabric behind the bestselling pillowcases that prevent bedhead.)

It's surprisingly cool and comfortable

I have a fear that sleeping with anything over my face creates a breeding ground for bacteria. This mask doesn’t feel like it’s trapping heat — but if it ever did, I could loosen it with the adjustable headband. Unlike the Velcro straps of other eye masks I've used, this one has plastic adjusters that don’t stick to my hair.

It's darker than any blindfold

When I was growing up, my bedroom had one window the size of a laptop and the closest city lights were seven miles away. As a result, I prefer my sleep environment like my best friend likes her coffee: black.

Fast forward a few years and I now live in a city with plenty of lights outside my window. I invested in a new pair of blackout curtains and though they're great, they don’t do me any good when I’m traveling and my seat-mates have reading lights on. Fortunately, I’m finding this mask is basically blackout curtains for my eyes.

The mask is so dark that when I’m wearing it and still have my eyes open, I sometimes forget I have my eyes open! In fact, it blocks out so much light that I recommend using it instead of a blindfold at parties with piñatas — it will definitely make the game last longer.

You have to hand-wash it, so I have another in my cart

As a lazy germaphobe, I don’t like that I can’t just toss the sleep mask in the washer, but I realize that’s a small price to pay for sleeping with silk. The washing instructions for this mask call for hand-washing in cold water with a mild soap or silk detergent. They also recommend dry cleaning — but there’s no way I’m making a special trip to the dry cleaner downtown for a $10 eye mask. Luckily, the price is so affordable that I don't mind just ordering another once it gets too dirty.

Now that I know what it's like having back-to-back nights of a full eight hours of sleep, I can’t imagine going to bed without this mask.

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This article was originally published on Aug. 21, 2018.