Though they won’t appeal to everybody, I have found sleep masks hugely helpful in falling asleep faster and also staying asleep. My preferred use though is for occasional 20-30 minute naps where I couldn’t block out the light with curtains or a closed door if I tried.
If you have a problem falling asleep or are a light sleeper and occasionally wake up, sleep masks are definitely worth a shot. You can usually tell within about two weeks if they work or not. The first 3-4 days, they take a little getting used to or at least did for me.
I’ve tried a bunch of these and I settled on the Sleep Mask by Bedtime Bliss. It’s got about 10K reviews on Amazon and for < 15 bucks I found it paid for itself rather quickly.
The other one I’ve tried is the one that Tim Ferris and some other popular bloggers have recommended. It’s about 10 dollars more: Sleep Master Sleep Mask. This one is better made IMO, but a little heavier. I think it’s all going to come down to personal preference.
As long as I’m typing I’ll weigh in on earplugs as well. I don’t use earplugs for sleep. I prefer to listen to audiobooks or podcasts to put me to sleep but I do occasionally use earplugs at cafe’s, on plane’s, and while trying to get work done during the day if it’s super noisy around me.
Like many others, I’ve found Mack’s Pillow Soft Silicone Earplugs to be the most comfortable that I’ve used and also have the best seal. The trade-off is pretty well known. There white and get a little dirty over prolonged use and they are a little sticky compared to the more traditional silicone ones. Beyond that there all about the same to me. You kind of get what you pay for here. (The little yellow ones work but after an hour they will start to hurt my ears.)