Trouble Sleeping? High-Tech Masks Can Help


Trouble Sleeping? High-Tech Masks Can Help

These eye shades use light therapy to help reset your body clock so you can rest easy

By Rebecca Dolan Updated July 25, 2018 2:41 p.m. ET

THOSE EXTRA HOURS of summer sunlight may galvanize early risers, but can wreak havoc on sleep schedules for the rest of us. Without blackout curtains to shun the sun (as irksome as they are to install), many bedrooms don’t get the recommended 8 hours of darkness. To the rescue: new high-tech sleep masks that can help ensure slumber, especially if you’re looking to reset your body clock or need to combat jet lag.

The Lumos Smart Sleep Mask, available for preorder in August ($175, lumos.tech), is intended to let night owls readjust their circadian clocks by delivering light pulses while they sleep. Using the jet-lag setting on its Bluetooth-connected app, travelers can create a sleep schedule to prepare their body clocks for the next time zone. And if strapping technology to your eyelids sounds uncomfortable, the Lumos is barely thicker than a standard eye mask.

The methods might seem counterintuitive, but sleep therapy often employs bright light, said Dr. Shelby Harris, a behavioral sleep specialist in White Plains, N.Y. “We time it properly based on someone’s specific sleep scheduling.”

Though it otherwise mimics the Lumos, Dreamlight, a smart sleep mask funded on Indiegogo ($300, dreamlight.tech), costs a bit more and out-bulks its slimmer rival—think “face cummerbund.” On the plus side, the mask’s ample wraparound design includes infrared lights meant to treat wrinkles, sensors to track your heart rate and movement, and embedded headphones that pipe in audio-meditation and sleepy soundscapes.

If you’ve recently had your DNA analyzed by a company like 23andMe, the Dreamlight app can use the results to personalize a sleep schedule. The feature is based on a 2011 Stanford Sleep study connecting the dots between sleep and genetics.

A less expensive model, Sound Oasis’s Illumy mask ($100, soundoasis.com) offers standard light-therapy features but isn’t as technically equipped or comfy, and lacks Bluetooth. In any of these options, you won’t look your sexiest come nightfall, but for chronic light sleepers and frequent jet-setters, bionic bedtime style might be worth a refreshing 8 hours.

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