Sleep mask won't stay put. Argh!
February 9, 2012 6:36 AM   Subscribe

How do I keep my sleep mask from slipping off my face while I sleep?

So I really need my sleep mask at the minute thanks to environmental light issues. The mask works really well at blocking light but always slips off my face during the night, leading me to wake up at 5am thanks to the sunrise.

I move around the usual amount when I'm sleeping, I'm not turning cartwheels in my sleep or anything outlandish. But the damn thing always ends up slipping either up into my hair or down around my neck.

I am not a happy bunny. This is my third day in a row of being woken up early and I feel like hell. There must be some way of securing the damn thing to my face? Can anyone help?
posted by Ziggy500 to Grab Bag (17 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Black t-shirts stay on. They're also cuddly.
posted by Namlit at 7:09 AM on February 9, 2012

Why not just get light-blocking curtains or shades instead?
posted by mareli at 7:19 AM on February 9, 2012

What about using a neck pillow to minimize head movement?
posted by seriousmoonlight at 7:23 AM on February 9, 2012

It might seem a bit extreme, but you can either use a bit of eyelash glue or first aid/bandage tape. Right along the brow line is the best place because it gives you the flatest area for adhesing.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:27 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I bet you can knit a cap with a flip down eye covering system. I have seen them for babies but my google-fu fails me now.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:33 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Zoe B on the go sleep hat. Maybe you can find an adult version?
posted by PorcineWithMe at 7:35 AM on February 9, 2012

What is the strap like on the mask? I have one I use every night that stays on perfectly. It has a velcro strap that comes apart. I can make it tight enough that it doesn't slip down. I also put the strap over my ears so it's not strapping my ears down.
posted by Sal and Richard at 7:48 AM on February 9, 2012

I used to have a sleep mask with two straps, which criss-crossed from my left temple to below my right ear, and from right temple to below left ear. It stayed on really well, even with lots of tossing and turning, but it was lost in a move and I cannot for the life of me find a replacement. So maybe have a seamstress friend make you something like that? And one for me?
posted by SeedStitch at 7:51 AM on February 9, 2012

Sal and Richard - mine is also a velcro strap that comes apart. When I put it on at night, I make it quite tight.

In the morning I end up with
(1) a sleep mask that has moved away from its original position

Thanks for your comments! I'm going to try a black tee-shirt next.
posted by Ziggy500 at 7:51 AM on February 9, 2012

I just sleep in a sort of slightly-too-big sleep cap so I can go to bed with it just on my head and then in the morning pull it down over my eyes and get some more rest. If I'm feeling flip-flip-flippy at night, I may anchor it in place with a hoodie but that is usually just if I'm also super cold.
posted by jessamyn at 8:10 AM on February 9, 2012

You need to get higher tech with your sleep mask! Find one made out of foam, with contours for your eyes and nose. This will be more comfortable (because your eyes can move freely) and will fit better and block out all the light. Here's one example. I used to have a similar one, and it was almost scary, it was so pitch black.
posted by yarly at 8:47 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

You might try the Tempur-Pedic sleep mask. I've only used mine while flying, but it seems a lot more secure than the other sleep masks I've tried. It's expensive, but I think sleep is one of those things where spending a little extra money is worth it.
posted by brianogilvie at 12:25 PM on February 9, 2012

I've been using a sleep mask for well on 5 years now, and this slippage happens every night, although I do have a velcro-backed one and really crank it tight like you do. After about a month, I got to a point where I can wake up from sunlight, find the thing around my neck/atop my head, and slip it back into place without waking up all the way.

I saw your linked model- I've found the ones without the molded places for nose and eyes tend to move less frequently, although it blocks light less effectively, so maybe try that for your next one. I usually end up going through 2-3 a year, as the elastic on the bands stretches out and becomes useless.

I also think the ones with shorter velcro pieces (like only covering 1/2 inch-1 inch from the end of the strap) tend to stick less in my shoulder-length hair. The current mask I have has really long velcro (about 3 inches) and it sticks worse than any one I have owned prior.
posted by holyrood at 4:02 PM on February 9, 2012

I've never had luck with the molded-style of sleep masks. The ones that have a lot of extra padding at the bottom work a whole lot better. I know they sell them at Bed Bath and Beyond but I haven't found anything like that online.
posted by The Lamplighter at 4:59 PM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have gotten my extra-padded sleep masks at Rite Aid. Check a pharmacy near you. The extra pillowing under your eyes REALLY blocks light. I wish I could find a picture online, but if you pick up a package, you can usually see there are pillows under the eye sockets.

I will say that I thrash back and forth constantly at night and while my mask may wiggle a bit, I am generally not waking up from it moving off my face.

I have also used the black T-shirt method. It was a pretty weird way that I did it-- I'd made a T-shirt into a skirt and kind of draped it over the top of my head, tucking the bottom of the shirt into the sleep mask below my eyes. You look silly as hell, but that worked too.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:56 PM on February 9, 2012

Try getting a wide stretchy headband and sliding it on over your mask. These no-slip ones might do nicely.
posted by platinum at 12:44 AM on February 10, 2012

Ah, I finally found the one I used to have here. It's made out of really thick, squishy foam with cutouts for your eyes. That means you can get it really snug around your face without hurting your eyeballs, and it COMPLETELY blacks everything out.
posted by yarly at 1:17 PM on February 10, 2012

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