Showing posts with label sleep aids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sleep aids. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Sleep Better with the Amtooch Sleep Mask: A Review

The Amtooch Sleep Mask Really Does Block Light


I'm a night owl who generally tries to sleep between 2 am and 10 am. I have a rechargeable power failure nightlight in my room and lights from many electronic helpers which charge next to my bed at night. One of these is my new Galaxy Note 9 Smartphone. I charge it next to my bed because its Relaxio App helps me block out noise and get to sleep faster. In the morning when the sun rises, it sends bright light through the mini blinds over my east-facing window.

Sleep Better with the Amtooch Sleep Mask: A Review
Amtooch Sleep Mask and Ear Plugs with a Case for Storing Each


I finally bought a sleep mask a couple of years ago that helped block out most of that light. (See A Review of Products that Help Me Get a Good Night's Sleep.) I used that Bedtime Bliss sleep mask for three years, but the elastic in it finally got so weak it no longer fit snugly enough to do its job properly. So this year I decided to replace it. I choose the Amtooch mask instead because it does an even better job of blocking light.

What I Really Like about the Amtooch Sleep Mask



  • It has a really snug fit. 
  • It's comfortable
  • It does a great job of blocking light
  • It comes with a convenient attractive carrying case
To completely block light, a sleep mask has to have a snug fit. Although both the Bedtime Bliss mask and the Amtooch mask are contoured to be three-dimensional, the nose opening is different. Unless your nose is the exact size as the indentation in the Bedtime Bliss mask, it will let a little light seep through no matter how snugly the elastic strap fits. 

The Amtooch mask doesn't attempt to fit your exact nose size. It has a slit for the bridge of a nose to fit through. When you adjust the mask properly, the indentation adjusts so there is no space for light to come through. Look closely at the top photo in the image below. That mustache-shaped foam around the nose helps seal the light out. The Bedtime Bliss is flat around the nose and some light seeps in. (I increased the exposure on that image so you could see the nose spaces in more detail. The bottom part of the top photo shows the inside of the Amtooch mask and the outside of the Bedtime Bliss mask. The outside view of both masks shows in the bottom photo. 

Sleep Better with the Amtooch Sleep Mask: A Review


I was really impressed with how snugly the Amtooch mask fit me without making my head feel like it was in a vise. The masks use two different types of elastic and have different ways of adjusting. The Bedtime Bliss strap closes with Velcro with no way to make it tighter. When the elastic starts to go, you can't adjust it any tighter.  The Amtooch strap adjusts by pulling the elastic through metal adjustment slides until the mask fits your head exactly. Because it is tight enough for a firm hold to my head, it doesn't slip and let light in when I sleep on my side and the mask connects with my pillow.

Who Needs the Amtooch Sleep Mask?


Anyone who needs a darker sleeping environment needs this. That includes day sleepers, those who need to sleep in a work environment or in a hospital. I used my Bedtime Bliss mask when I was in the hospital after surgery in 2014. I still had a problem with noise, but at least it was dark enough to sleep, and that helps. This also would have helped when I shared a dorm room with someone whose habits were different than mine. (Or helped my roommate when she went to bed first.)

I take both the sleeping mask and my Marpac noise machine if we need to sleep in a motel when we travel. Motels often have lights coming through the window and doors banging in the hall or outside in the parking lot. There is also electronic light in motel rooms from the television, a charging phone, or, in my case, my husband's CPAP machine he needs to help him breathe when he's asleep.

Maybe you know someone who needs a sleep mask as a gift. There's no gift quite like better sleep. Get one for someone you love. 

A Note about the Ear Plugs Included in the Package


Before there were any alternatives, I think I tried every kind of ear plug available to sleep through my husband's snoring. It was so loud that when we were at family camp on Catalina Island, I could find my way in the dark to the cabin from the beach, a walk of at least a block, late at night, just by listening. I always was a night owl.


 The only ear plugs I ever found somewhat effective were the Mack's Silicone Putty Earplugs. I could mold them to the shape of my ear and they stayed in. Eventually all ear plugs began to cause pain in my left ear and I stopped using them in favor of white noise. I never found any ear plugs that completely blocked noise. The best just lowered the volume.

I tried the ear plugs that came in the package with the Amtooch mask by putting them in my ears for a few minutes. I realize that's not a really fair trial. But they are made of foam, and foam ear plugs have never done much to even lower the volume of the noise a little. These didn't do much either. I just consider them an extra that was in the package so I could get the mask. You may have better luck. If you really need to get rid of disturbing noises at night or any other time, either use the Mack's EarPlugs if you prefer ear plugs, get the Marpac white noise machine, use the free Relaxio app on your smartphone, or find another source of white noise. White noise not only covers up most annoying sounds, but it often is soothing and relaxing.

I wish you a great night's sleep. 

Sleep Better with the Amtooch Sleep Mask: A Review
Have Mask, Will Sleep. My photo edited with PicMonkeyBasic




All photos not included in Amazon's ads were taken by me of products I have purchased. I used both PicMonkey and Fotor editing programs to assist in editing these images.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep


Do You Have Trouble Getting a Good Night's Sleep?




I find it hard to fall asleep. Not only am I very distracted by any sounds that aren’t relaxing, I’m also pretty wound up before I go to bed. I do most of my writing at night, and often the ideas are still buzzing around my head when it hits the pillow. Many times I’m not even sleepy. I’m only going to bed because I know it’s past time. 

A Review of Products That Help Me Get a Good Nights Sleep
My Son Asleep on Floor of Motel Room, © B. Radisavljevic

Some people, like my son in the picture, can  fall asleep almost anywhere, as he did on this motel room floor. My husband is another one who can fall asleep the minute he puts his head on the pillow. Sometimes he even falls asleep in his chair. Not me. 

Here's What I've Done to Start Falling Asleep Faster


Nutritional Supplements that Help Me Fall Asleep

For some time now I've been taking a couple of nutritional supplements that have helped me relax if I take them about half an hour before bed every night. One is Natrol® Melatonin 5 Mg, 250 Fast Dissolve Tablets Strawberry Flavor. It has worked better than any other Melatonin product I've tried, and I've tried a lot of them. I usually buy mine at Costco, but I have linked to Amazon here in case Costco isn't convenient for you. I also take an amino acid, Nature's Plus L-Tyrosine with B-6 500mg/50mg - 60 - Capsule. I'm  not so fussy about the brand for this. This combination helps me relax. 


Noise Blockers


I am also very sensitive to noise, and noises can keep me awake even when I'm relaxed and very tired. Before I moved here, my computer was in my bedroom and I didn’t like to turn off more than the energy- hogging display. If I tried to put it to sleep, it didn’t do any good, because for some reason I haven’t yet figured out, it suddenly woke up anyway. So as I was trying to sleep, I heard my computer working in the background, making those distracting little clicking sounds. Sometimes there were animal noises outside or the neighbor on the hill was having a very late party. Now that I've moved to the city, there are even more outside noises, as well as clicking sounds from my windows when the sun comes up. 

It seems the thing that relaxes and soothes me most when I am lying in bed is the sound of rain on the roof. It doesn’t matter how loud the rain is; it’s like a lullaby to me. I finally got the bright idea that I should look for CDs that make rain sounds. But they were hard to find. Almost all the nature sound tracks I found had more than rain in them. They had orchestral accompaniment, bird song, and other things included that although meant to enhance, only disturbed me and broke the steady sound of the rain falling.

It was only after I’d bought and tried about five other CDs that didn’t work for me that I saw Rain and Relaxation on Amazon and bought it. It’s made a great difference. If I go to bed tense or still full of creative fervor that wants to leap back to the computer and write more, I just play the CD, which I keep loaded in my CD player in my clock radio. All I have to do is press the button in the dark to start the process of calming down enough to sleep.

This also works after my early morning bladder wake-up call. At 6 AM the sun is about to rise or has already risen. The birds start making noise outside my window swamp cooler, and sometimes the neighbor’s dog is barking. Later my husband is in the kitchen making his breakfast or talking on the phone. I want to keep sleeping until about nine after my late night writing, so I play the CD again, loudly enough to block out the other noises.

I highly recommend this solution to others who find it hard to fall asleep at night or who fall back to sleep in the middle of the night after using the bathroom. It’s made a great difference in the quality of my sleep. It’s also made a great difference in my temperament in the morning when I wake up.


When Rain Alone Doesn't Do the Trick

Sometimes I need something a bit different than rain alone to put me to sleep. I have shared some of the other recordings I have used below. Although you may also feel the need for white noise, maybe something different like ocean, night nature sounds, or even electronic relaxation is what you need to do the trick. Check  these out, as well as some others that may be suggested as you look at them. 

One more hint. I have a repeat function on my CD player, but it only repeats one track. It really helps to get a CD with everything on one track. The last suggestion here, Summer Evening Serenade, is the one I currently use, since my rain cd wore out and I haven't remembered to replace it yet. It has everything on one track, and I keep it repeating all night. It used to be when a CD ended, it would wake me back up with its whirring sound as it shut off. When it keeps repeating, it doesn't do that. Some of my suggestions below are also available in digital downloads if that works for you.  

Recently I also decided to buy a white noise machine that does a fantastic job of blocking out louder sounds than the CD's  can cover up. Read my review of the Marpac DOHM-DS. 



If you have a way to watch a video on your computer until you fall asleep, I would suggest this one. When I try to put it on my computer the display goes out and I can't hear it anymore, either, so I need to use the CD's.




If You Need to Sleep During Daylight


If you sometimes need to sleep after the sun is up, I have found another useful product. I have had two  surgeries in the last year that required me to move into a one-story house to heal. Fortunately I inherited one I was mostly using for storage and entertaining from my mother , but it's in a neighborhood in the city limits, unlike our rural home. It is much noisier than in the country, and my CD's have become even more important with noisy vehicles parking outside my window and then leaving before even the roosters wake up.

This house also has lots of windows in my bedroom and they face east. Once the sun is up the room is flooded with light. After many mornings trying to keep my head under the covers to block out the sun, I finally broke down and bought this set of eye shades that comes with ear plugs -- Bedtime Bliss® Contoured & Comfortable Sleep Mask & Ear Plug Set. Includes Carry Pouch for Eye Mask and Ear Plugs - Great for Travel, Shift Work & Meditation.

I could kick myself for not getting it sooner. When I had my second surgery last December, I took them to the hospital, and you know how hard it is to have it dark there. The sleep mask was a great help in keeping light out of my eyes, though it couldn't keep the nurses from waking me up. I wasn't quite as happy with the ear plugs, but I've tried every ear plug I've been able to get my hands on, and none of them do much for me.

Begin Now To Sleep Better and Longer


If you have trouble getting a good night's sleep, I hope one of the ideas or products reviewed above will help you. Before you take any supplement, especially if you are on any prescription medications, it's best to check with your doctor first. Just because something is right for me might not mean it's right for you. The sleep mask and music I believe would help anyone. Why not click some of those links now and begin sleeping better very soon. Believe me, a good night's sleep is worth every penny it takes.  


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.