The delights of the dark side

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The older I get, the less I like middle-of-the-road. Wishy-washy. Half measures. Stuff that isn’t quite one thing or the other. Most recently this has manifested itself as a loathing of all things lukewarm, be they people (love me or hate me – just be consistent); food and drink (piping hot or properly chilled pur-lease); and baths (I like mine hot enough to poach an egg in). Another pet bugbear is light while I’m trying to sleep. I prefer my slumber environment to be darker than an episode of Breaking Bad. I should have shares in blackout blinds.

My desire for darkness causes me plenty of problems on planes. In vain have I experimented with dozens of sleep masks, of every design and material known to Mann. Not a single one a) blocks out the light effectively or b) stays in place for longer than, ooh, seven minutes. Tops.


So you can imagine my excitement on encountering interdutyfree’s new Sleep N Say Sleep Goggles. They are claimed to deliver complete darkness, helping passengers to rest during a flight and, as a bonus – thanks to an interchangeable ‘message patch’ – communicate with crew members WHILE STILL SLEEPING. Genius.

The products are the brainchild of experienced travel retail executive Marc Mansour (ex- Wolford and L’Occitane), who explained: “Our objective is to offer exclusively to airports and inflight channels new brands and products which help passengers to enjoy an enhanced journey. We put ourselves in passengers’ shoes to find out what would make their flight better, and to create new and innovative products deigned to improve a flight.”

The Sleep Goggle in action. Selfies are tricky when you can’t see anything…

The Sleep Goggles are comfortable, fully adjustable and, most importantly of all, they sure do make it dark. I’ve yet to road-test (or should that be fly-test?) them on a long-haul flight but – sociable creature that I am – wore them during a dull car journey last week (no, I wasn’t driving) and dropped off quicker than Chris Ashton’s form.

I think the different message patches (which include “Do Not Disturb”, “Wake Me Up For Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner”, “Sorry If I Snore”, “Beauty Sleep” and “Logged Out”) are a good, quirky touch – not to mention potential incremental revenue (extra patches retail at a very reasonable €4.90, while the Sleep Goggles themselves – including one message and a carrying pouch – are priced at €24.90). Best of all, they don’t actually touch your eyes so there’s no irritation – and your make-up stays put while you sleep. Seriously, what’s not to like?

As ever, I pointed them at my kids – usually a great benchmark in terms of assessing the potential of virtually anything – and the ensuing fight over who got to wear them first pretty much convinced me this brand has legs. The product is fun, effective, different – and ideal for gifting or self-purchase. Sleep N Say’s Sleep Goggles might just turn out to be a dream product for frequent fliers – and the retailers who service them.

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  • Suits you well, Rebecca!

    One can say that the message is clearly put through, and legible without spectacles ! 🙂

    Have a good sleep on your next long haul flight, probably to Dubai soon?