The Amazing Benefits of a Sleep Mask
Want your sleep analyzed each night so you can figure out what to do differently? There’s a wearable for that! Looking for the perfect tunes to lull you to sleep? There’s a curated playlist for that!
But, what if the best solution to our sleep problems lies not within today’s advanced technologies, but within a simple item invented more than 90 years ago? We’re talking about the sleep mask.
- They block out artificial light. Unless you are camping out in the woods, it’s difficult to get away from artificial light these days. Whether it’s the light from the streetlamps outside peeking in through the crack of your curtains, the blue light from your partner’s phone, or the hint of the hall light coming through the door, artificial light can disrupt your brain from preparing for sleep. A good sleep mask will block out all artificial light from your sight so you and your brain can wind down for the night.
- They help you produce melatonin. Biology plays a huge role in your ability to fall asleep at night thanks to melatonin, the sleep-producing hormone that signals to your brain when it’s time for sleep. Exposure to artificial light sends the opposite signal to your brain – because you are programmed to associate it with being awake and active – which in turn can slow down the production of melatonin.
- They help you stay asleep longer. Without a sleep mask, something as simple as a flash of blue light from your partner’s smart phone or the door opening and exposing lights can wake you from a peaceful sleep, forcing you to go through the process of relaxing and falling asleep all over again. With a sleep mask, you can block out this light so you can sleep undisturbed.
- They help reset your internal body clock. Long before the smartphone and even before the traditional clock, the human body relied on the rising and setting of the sun to know when it was time to sleep and wake. Using a sleep mask can help you restore this natural setting by blocking out light during sleep and signaling to your brain that it’s time to wake up once exposed again to natural light.
Not only do sleep masks help you fall asleep faster, but they also help you stay asleep undisturbed so you can wake up feeling refreshed! With consistently improved sleep, you can experience other health benefits such as improved mood, better cognitive function, more energy to exercise, and increased metabolism*.
That said, not all sleep masks are created equal. It’s important to find one that has the right fit and fabric for you. Some even offer bells and whistles like heating/cooling, adjustability, and machine washable fabrics. If you need a little guidance, check out this list of top sleep masks from Wirecutter here.
- Americanstar US