November 10, 2018
What’s small, slightly heavy, and can make you sleepy? As many yoga practitioners would tell you, an eye pillow! These small pillows are a traditional accessory for savasana, the final pose of many yoga practices. And, it turns out, for good reason, because using an eye pillow is a truly relaxing and restorative experience. So what is an eye pillow, anyway, and how does it work? Read on to learn more about these simple, luxurious sleep aids and the science behind their effectiveness.
An eye pillow is a small, rectangular pillow that you place over your closed eyes while lying down. Simple, right? But there’s more to the relaxing power of eye pillows than, err, meets the eye. They offer multi-sensory stimulation that can bring on a tranquil, peaceful feeling, perfect for drifting off to sleep. On a tactile level, eye pillows offer the sensation of whatever textile they are constructed from against the sensitive skin of your eye area. The best are made of smooth silk or soft brushed cotton. Think of them the same way you would of luxurious sheets or pyjamas, except for your face.
What's more, many eye pillows are scented with aromatics, which add an aromatherapy element to their calming qualities. In addition to psychological effects of favorite scents, which can relax and comfort us, a growing body of research supports the traditional reputations of certain botanicals to actually calm our bodies and bring on sleep. Wink & Rise’s signature eye pillows feature blends of sleep-inducing Lavender and Hops, and warm, calming Vanilla and Chamomile.
Finally, the highest quality eye pillows are filled with flax seeds—small, flat seeds that conform to the contours of the face to block out light; the darkness they provide can stimulate the production of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin. Flax is also well-regarded for its ability to retain temperature, which means that flax-filled eye pillows can be heated to provide soothing, muscle-relaxing warmth or chilled to provide cool relief. Finally, flax seeds are the perfect weight to provide gentle pressure against the eye muscles. This pressure is a key secret to the relaxing powers of eye pillows because it stimulates the vagus nerve to produce what is known as the oculocardiac reflex, which can decrease heart rate and bring on total-body relaxation (although if you suffer from low blood pressure, arrhythmia, or bradycardia, consult with your doctor before attempting to induce this reflex).
Eye pillows have gained a reputation for easing tension and stress (some people even find them helpful for treating migraines) and bringing about feelings of relaxation and tranquility. Using one transforms falling asleep into a truly indulgent experience. Wink and Rise offers a variety of luxurious eye pillows—why not try adding one to your bedtime or napping routine?
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