Warning: once you start using an Ethel Studio weighted eye pillow, there's no turning back.
By now, we all know how important it is to get plenty of rest and a full good night’s sleep, yet they are hard to achieve these days. With enough deep rest, we can elevate our mood, have better cognitive functioning, memory, and hormone regulation, we can lower stress levels, and so much more. Yet, why can it be so hard to relax and get quality sleep? Let’s dig into how using a weighted lavender eye pillow can help you!
Light pollution is more than just annoying: it also has negative impacts on our health. Bright light from screens, new LED street lights (which are more energy-efficient but give off more hormone-disrupting blue light), and general city glow through our windows at night can really add up. Light pollution disrupts our body’s natural circadian rhythm which includes melatonin production, brain wave patterns, hormone regulation, detoxification, and other essential daily biological activities the body is up to at night. Melatonin, the hormone our bodies produce when we are in darkness, is needed to feel tired, and go into deep sleep each night. If we aren’t in a dark environment each evening, the result is disrupted sleep, insomnia, anxiety and depression, and a vast number of diseases and conditions down the line that you don’t need me to list here. Blue light is especially disruptive to our circadian rhythms, which we are constantly exposed to in our screen-dominated modern world. Luckily, our eye pillows are here to help block out light to help your body and mind function as they were meant to.
Stimulating the Vagus Nerve
The vagus nerve is the system of nerves making up the parasympathetic nervous system which controls functions like digestion, heart rate, the immune system, etc. which are often referred to as the “rest and digest” functions of the body. The vagus nerve runs from the brain down to the large intestines.
Our weighted eye pillow, filled with just the right amount of organic flax seeds, gently applies pressure to the vagus nerve, signaling to the nervous system to relax deeper, initiating the oculocardiac reflex. When using an eye pillow you may be able to breathe deeper, sink more into the floor or whatever surface you’re laying on, and experience a deeper feeling of letting go. We spend so much of our modern lives in “fight / flight / freeze” sympathetic nervous system functions. Many of us need some assistance to access our body’s rest and digest mode: whether practicing yin or restorative yoga, enjoying a sound bath, taking a 5 minute meditation break between meetings, or relaxing into sleep at night. The gentle weight of an eye pillow can also help relax the muscles of the face since we can carry much stress there.
(Optional) Aromatherapy from Organic Lavender
The organic dried lavender herb in our eye pillows also offers gentle aromatherapy to the senses and has been known to calm the nervous system, uplift mood, enliven the spirit, and even lower blood pressure. Warming it up in the microwave gently (try a minute at time at first to be safe, checking to see when it reaches your desired warmth level) or freezing it in the freezer can also heighten the sensory experience of an eye pillow. By using organic lavender and organic flax seeds, we avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals from reaching your skin and eyes. Lavender isn’t for everyone, so we also offer an unscented option too!
Alternative ways of using an eye pillow
Try placing your eye pillow on your chest, forehead, stomach, or wherever you could use a little comforting weight. Explore and discover what feels good to you! Giving some gentle attention to your body can bring big shifts in your experience.
Our eye pillows are made from fabric scraps of natural fibers and have a removable, washable outer shell for easy care, cleanliness, and longevity. We sew them in our St. Paul, Minnesota studio and offer them at an accessible price point (just $32) because we believe that everyone should have access to supportive tools that help them live a better, more restful and healthy life. May our eye pillows bring you comfort, relaxation, and deep well-deserved rest as a part of your daily routine.