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A small pillow shaped sack filled with light plastic beads that rests on the eyes while trying to engage in short term sleeping, commonly referred to as napping. Most eye pillows come in soft material, such as silk, satin or other like materials. Often they are scented with aromas that have been known to work. (See: aromatherapy). Such aromas are lavender and jasmine, and have been rumored to promote REM Sleep.

The medical benefits of these ancient Chinese creations have not been confirmed or denied by the medical community, but have been used for millennium upon millennium to much satisfaction. A deeper look into the supposed medical benefits of the eye pillow are far reaching. It is said to cure or alleviate such common problems as: migraines, relief from anxiety, stress, minor headaches, mild depression, and insomnia.

People who mediatate also commonly use eye pillows as a way to block out unwanted light that can bypass the eyelids and disturb the desired darkness.

Alternative uses of the eye pillows are the freezing and subsequent use for swollen or tired eyes, which also leads to relaxation of the muscles surrounding the eye socket.

My personal testimony is that if you are into recording your dreams, these are an excellent tool to do so. Also, it is great for sleeping in a car, airplane, or other place where distracting noises are the norm.

These are fast and easy to make. They're fun to give as gifts, and VERY inexpensive. They're one of those last minute gifts that can be made with stuff from home and mean a lot because they're handmade.

1. Cut any type of cloth into 7x7 inch squares. Old silk shirts are great for this, or worn out and outgrown clothes.

2. Measure 2/3 cup rice (not instant) into a bowl and add 5-10 drops of essential oil to it. Stir and let set for an hour, so the oil will soak into the rice. Dried flowers or herbs can be added as well. I like to use lavender flowers, but be aware that some people are allergic to lavender.

3. Fold the fabric in half, with the bright side down. Sew along the long side and one end to form a pouch. Using a sewing machine is easier, but if you are sewing by hand, make sure your stiches are small so the rice and/or flowers don't leak out.

4. Turn the pouch right side out and fold the open edge in on itself about 1/2 inch. Iron it so it holds the crease.

5. Fill the pouch with the rice/herb mixture.

6. Sew the open edge shut.

7. Print a nice instruction sheet, and either package the pillow in a zip-lock baggie to retain the scent longer, or wrap it in tissue paper. The instruction sheet could say something like: "Relaxing Eye Pillow with Lavender: Lie down, place pillow over closed eyes, and relax. Eye pillow may be chilled in the freezer for use over the eyes or forehead to help ease a headache or hangover. If fragrance fades, revive with a few drops of essential oil along seam.

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