Brothers and founders of Drowsy Thom and Rich Hemelryk share their journey on creating a wearable blackout shade.

What inspired you to launch Drowsy?

I was suffering from burnout running hospitality businesses which lead to chronic insomnia. My constant lack of sleep became a real problem in my life, affecting my health and energy levels. I decided to start living a “sleep first” lifestyle, where I put my self care above everything. The idea for Drowsy came during the pandemic when I realized how many people in the world were also suffering from stress, anxiety and sleeplessness. We wanted to create a brand that would help people have a moment of restorative daily self care where sleep always comes first.

Drowsy Sleep Mask

The mask is oversized in fit – talk us through the creative process ton crating this next level blackout shape.

Every product that we create at Drowsy is made to solve our own personal sleep problems. That’s always the starting point of our development process. I’m a big fan of luxury, especially when it comes to sleep. With every product we make, we start out by imagining what the most extravagant version of something would be. So with the sleep mask, we brainstormed how we could make something unlike any other sleep mask on the market, something that was irresistible to use. Once we have our first prototype developed, we go through many rounds of modifications based on customer feedback, until we are confident that we have the perfect design.

The material is the key component of each design, how do you source quality fabric and why is it important?

For me quality is everything. Investing in sleep is one of the best things you can do, as it unlocks so many benefits in your life. We always seek to use the best possible materials so that the sleeping experience is unrivaled. When it came to the sleep mask, we knew it had to be made from silk – the soft gliding touch is so calming and soothing on your eyes that it instantly relaxes you. We spend hours testing hundreds of different fabrics and ingredients for our products until we find the ones that outperform all the others.

Good sleep can have serious health benefits for your skin – tell us more.

Good sleep isn’t just a luxury; it’s a critical component of a comprehensive skincare regimen. Lack of sleep is a fast track to aging skin, puffy eyes, dark circles and tired looking colourless skin. When we sleep really well regularly, we allow our cells to regenerate and enable health collagen production essential for glowing skin.

Drowsy Thom and Rich Hemelryk s

What are your must-haves to your bedtime tool kit?

I love to follow a ritual that slowly helps my body and mind prepare for deep sleep. Part of this is setting the scene with very low lighting to help with melatonin production. I always light my Drowsy sleep candle an hour before bed, because it creates a lovely peaceful light and scent instantly relaxes my senses. My other must have is the Drowsy Sleep SOS pillow spray, which I take with me everywhere, especially when I’m traveling. I can’t get to sleep without it. And of course, my Drowsy silk sleep mask is something I just can’t live without. As soon as I put it on it’s like I’m shutting out the world so that I can sink into deep sleep naturally.

“Good sleep isn’t just a luxury; it’s a critical component of a comprehensive skincare regimen.”

How did your personal struggles with sleep problems influence the development of the sleep mask?

Light is my pet hate when it comes to sleep. Even the tiniest ray of light in the bedroom is enough to stop me sleeping well. So I wanted to create something that would guarantee I could sleep in total darkness every single night.

Can you elaborate on the 100percent blackout feature of the sleep mask and its importance for developing a healthy sleep routine?

Darkness signals to your brain to release melatonin, the hormone which helps you sleep. So the darker it can be when you drift off, the better you can enable healthy sleep habits. If possible you need to sleep in total darkness, as even a small amount of light can affect your melatonin production.

What are the key maintenance tips for the product?

Make sure you wash the mask on a low temperature to protect the integrity of the silk. And store it in the silk mask carry pouch when you’re not using it, to keep it safe!

Drowsy Sleep Mask

What are your future plans for Drowsy and the development of sleep-enhancing products?

2024 is going to be a very exciting year for Drowsy. We have exciting new launches in sleep wear, and luxury sleep supplements coming very soon to mention but a few things that we are working on. Watch this space for more info!
Make sure you wash the mask on a low temperature to protect the integrity of the silk. And store it in the silk mask carry pouch when you’re not using it, to keep it safe!

This is ‘The Authenticity Issue’ – how do you stay manage to stay authentic to your art?

Authenticity is a key brand pillar for Drowsy, and we always try to stay ahead of the curve by being different to everything else on the market. I read a lot and listen to various podcasts. I always look at brands in completely unrelated spaces for inspiration, rather than follow competitors. But generally most of my ideas come to me when I’m working out, or going for a walk and not even thinking about work. That’s my best time for creativity and coming up with authentic ideas, when my mind can just wander.

To prioritise your health and a perfect luxury antidote to stressful modern lives. Drowsy is available at

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Images: Supplied