Sleep Master: A New Kind of Face Mask to Help You Finally Sleep

We’ve talked a lot about face masks (“eye pillows”) here in the past. Having a way to block out light is quite often a life-saver for someone having a migraine attack.

Sleep Master in actionThere is one face mask that we haven’t talked about, and it has become very popular. I wanted to find out why, so I did a little investigation.

Out of almost 2000 customer reviews on amazon, the Sleep Master has a solid 4.1 stars out of 5. That’s very high for that number of reviews, considering that a face mask really is a very personal thing – there is no face mask which is perfect for everyone.

Now I haven’t yet tried the Sleep Master, but after reading reviews and watching some videos (I’ll include a couple below), I can tell you what customers are saying about it.

The Advantages of Sleep Master

Here are some of the advantages that this face mask seems to have over the competition:

  • Lightweight, and yet covers well. For a migraine patient, blocking out light is key – every BIT OF LIGHT. The design of Sleep Master is unique – it fits well over your nose (no matter how big or small it is!) and covers a lot more area than a typical eye pillow.
  • The wrap-around design keeps the mask over your eyes. I’ve tried quite a few face masks, and let me tell you – they slip and slide all over the place, especially if you’re tossing and turning in bed. Sleep Master velcros to itself, and so is not as likely to slip.
  • “Sound muffling”. Although I ear plugs are included with your purchase, this sleep mask muffles sound without them, because it goes over your ears. If you don’t like the feel of ear plugs, or you want to be able to hear some sound if necessary (for safety reasons), but muffle it, this is a great option.
  • Washable and durable. Unlike some of the more or less disposable sleep masks I’ve used in the past, Sleep Master can be washed and is high quality. A customer survey indicated that even with daily use it will last for many years.
  • Adjustable pressure. This is key for migraine patients. Some of us like a bit of pressure during an attack, others want to keep it at a bare minimum. Because of the way the velcro attaches, Sleep Master is adjustable. Nice!
  • Can even be used with CPAP.

Because Sleep Master wraps around your head, those with long hair actually claim that it keeps their hair style in place while they sleep. That’s something I won’t be able to test – but that’s the word on the street. :)

Sleep Master Sleep MaskNow, you may be wondering if this will actually work well for migraine patients – I was curious too. So I checked out the reviews again. The answer – almost every migraine sufferer who reviewed Sleep Master gave it 5 stars – even better than the overall reviews!


Where can I get Sleep Master?

I’ll leave you with a typical review, and the two videos I mentioned (for a good idea of what the mask is like, check out the first video).

Sleep Master is available in the USA at, and in the UK and some international locations at

Love this sleep mask. It is really comfortable and blocks out all light. Between my work shift and getting migraines, I have a lot of trouble sleeping and this has helped me immensely since I started using it. I have tried a few others with the elastic strap on the back that would pull my hair or slide off my eyes whenever I would move which would wake me up after I had actually fell asleep. The adjustable velcro strap allows me to loosen or tighten it depending on how I am laying and whether I have a headache or not. I have tried to use every style of earplugs but they would not stay in my ears and the ones that came with this mask do, even if I am not wearing the mask. The mask just gives a little extra holding power to keep the earplugs in. It is silky and slightly padded so when I roll around it is still comfortable and doesn’t stick to the pillowcase. I was concerned about the cost because others that I have tried were so much cheaper but that is just what they were, cheaper. This works and is comfortable so I have to admit that the cost of this would have been cheaper had I bought it before trying all the cheap ones that didn’t work or I wouldn’t use because they were so uncomfortable. My only regret about this mask is that I didn’t purchase it a long time ago. (Dawn on

Yep, this one is going on my wishlist!


Your Doctor Isn’t Ready – poll in the UK highlights global problem

It’s almost proverbial – going to see a doctor because you have a headache. But many people would be surprised at just how unprepared many doctors are to help you.

Statistics collected in the UK highlight this problem again – and it’s not just a problem in one country, it’s a global issue.

Remember now, 99% of us are going to have a headache sometime. In fact, most of us will get one this year. And although migraine attacks are more rare, about 15-20% of us will have a migraine attack sometime. And that means millions of attacks around the world every day.

Migraine has been called one of the world’s top ten disabilities.
Medical School - what is your doctor learning?
So during their years in medical school, just how much training are future doctors getting? Not just training about migraine, but all headache disorders?

In the UK, it’s about 4 hours. Yes, hours. Hopefully they had their coffee that day and stayed awake.

But in the UK there are specialist nurses who focus on headache conditions – they can support the doctor, right?

Sure. There are 23 of them in the UK. And about 8 million migraineurs in the UK alone.

There are doctors specializing in migraine and headache as well – but they also are hard for people to find in many cases.

We are thankful for the doctors who take headache conditions seriously, and who continue their study as they’re able, and who remain open to new ideas and new treatments.

But with a lack of funding, and a lack of training, the system does not seem to be supporting these doctors.

The fact remains that we as patients are ultimately responsible for our own care. But we also need to encourage schools and organizations and governments to take migraine and other headache disorders seriously.

Before you cast the next vote or write the next letter or attend the next board meeting, ask yourself – can I help fight migraine by being a part of the fix?

Source: Shock poll fuels migraine crisis – NHS bosses warned to boost aid for GPs (The Migraine Trust)


10 Highlights from the past 3 Months (September 2015 edition)

It’s always interesting to see which posts have been most popular with you, our community. This time around, it was very clear that four topics had jumped far up ahead of any other. So I’m going to post a little summary of the first four (actually, five) so that you can see what has generated all the interest, before you click through for the full story.

As usual, the three posts with the most Facebook likes are in bold. This is still a top ten list, even though it only goes to 9 – two posts are lumped together. :)

  1. The Migraine Brain: Very “Connected” – a brand new study is giving us insights into how the brain of someone with migraine is different, and how this may explain key migraine symptoms.
  2. Dizziness – Migraine – Could they be Dysautonomia Symptoms? and Dysautonomia and Migraine – do you feel weak, dizzy or faint when standing up or lying down? It could be a sign of an underlying condition that is making your migraine symptoms worse.
  3. A Review of Icekap – Icekap has generated a LOT of interest. It’s a new product that applies an old non-drug therapy for migraine in a new and up-to-date way.
  4. Botox and CGRP – and the Future of Migraine Treatment – treatments related to CGRP are perhaps the hottest thing in migraine research today. Could our study of Botox treatment and CGRP treatment provide a key to better “customized” treatment of migraine in the near future?
  5. Headache Waking You Up? Could Be Hypnic Headache.
  6. Are we ruling out hemicrania continua too soon?
  7. Are Solar Flares Giving Me A Headache?
  8. Is Your Medication Being Absorbed? Gastroparesis and Headaches
  9. Warning Flag: Do you have non-headache pain?

Is this Study a Step Closer to Migraine Blood Tests?

A new study has led to a flurry of media interest in blood tests for migraine. But what is the study really telling us?

The study was published online this month in the journal Neurology. 52 women with episodic migraine were in the study, along with 36 controls. Each woman had a blood test, which was checked for a group of lipids (molecules including oils, fats, and waxes) which regulate inflammation in the brain.

Migraine checklistThe results were actually quite remarkable. Certain lipids, known as a ceramides (waxy lipids), were low in women with episodic migraine. Women with migraine tended to have less than 60% the ceramides of the controls. The more ceramides, the lower the risk of migraine.

Two other lipids were the reverse – higher levels meant an increased risk of migraine.

So would it be possible to tell who has migraine just from a blood test? Well, the researchers tried it, taking 14 of the participants at random and doing a blood test – and yes, they were able to tell who had migraine and who did not.

The immediate question is – of what use is that?

Frankly, these women already knew they had migraine – the symptoms are a dead give-away.

This study raises some of the same benefits and challenges as other research already has.

First, is a blood test really going to be more useful in diagnosing migraine than a few specific questions? Probably not in the near future. But what if the test could differentiate types of migraine, or differentiate between migraine and other headache disorders? Now we may have something useful.

Another question is – why these differences in lipid levels (or whatever the difference may be in a given study)? Is this being caused by migraine? Or migraine medication? Or is it part of the biology that leads to migraine in the first place? Could migraine be predicted – even prevented?

Back in 2011 we discussed another type of blood test for migraine. This test seemed to show a possible trigger, related to high levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine. In this case, people with certain levels may benefit from a specific treatment (for example, taking certain B vitamin supplements).

That’s not an overall test for migraine, but it’s useful for some people.

This most recent study was very small, and is not going to lead to immediate changes in treatment or testing. More studies need to be done to confirm the results, and perhaps most importantly to compare different types of migraine and other headache disorders such as cluster headache.

But this line of research could lead to more easy ways to customize treatment in the future.

Read more about the study in this press release from the American Academy of Neurology: A new marker for migraine?


Headache Waking You Up? Could Be Hypnic Headache.

You’ve noticed it’s starting to happen on a regular basis. All of a sudden, you wake up with a headache.

You didn’t have the headache when you went to sleep. Where did it come from? It may just be mild, but it could be severe – you might even feel sick.

Hypnic Headache - waking you up?Now that you’re awake, the headache lasts for a few minutes – but could even last up to four hours.

And it’s happening several times a week now – twice a week, maybe four times, or even every night.

It’s possible that you have a rare kind of primary headache known as hypnic headache.

But don’t jump to conclusions too quickly. This headache, sometimes known as the “alarm clock headache”, really is quite rare. It tends to happen in people over the age of 50, and it can easily be misdiagnosed.

The reason is that there are many other reasons why you may wake up with a headache. Sleep apnea is a common trigger of certain headaches, for example.

If you wake up feeling restless, it probably isn’t hypnic headache. A hypnic headache generally won’t last for more than 4 hours. And it will wake you up quite often – more than twice a week, often every day.

If you suspect you have hypnic headache, your doctor will want to ask some questions to try to find an underlying cause. Chances are she will give you a different diagnosis. Like I said, it’s rare.

However, if you are diagnosed with hypnic headache, there are some excellent treatments.

A recent study suggested that lithium is the best treatment for these types of headaches. Oddly enough, caffeine consumption upon waking is the second-best treatment. Melatonin or indomethacin may also be tried if these are not effective.

For more information about hypnic headache, check the links below: