Sleep masks solve all these problems related to intrusive light, granting the total darkness you deserve for great sleep. By sitting directly over your eyes, they can create a pitch-black environment in the brightest of bedrooms.
Even better, sleep masks tend to be more affordable than alternative measures, such as blackout shades. They’re also superior to blackout shades in one essential way: They can block out blue light from devices inside your bedroom.
Indeed, the blue light that emanates from your smartphone and other screens has been shown to disrupt sleep cycles, much like the light from outside sources. When it’s time to limit your exposure and drift off to sleep, a sleep mask can block out the phone’s light.
Actually, experts recommend them to ease certain painful conditions, such as migraines and dry eyes. Sleep masks can also offer cosmetic benefits, protecting the skin around the eyes and preventing puffiness.
Sleep masks can get a bad rap: They’re easy to dismiss as accessories for the picky and pampered. But scientific evidence suggests that sleep masks, which cover your eyes while you sleep to block out ambient light, could help virtually anyone enjoy more restorative rest.
Do these sleep mask advantages pique your interest? By understanding the upside of covering your eyes at night, you can make an informed choice about wearing a sleep mask yourself. Moreover, by learning about the functions and features of various sleep masks, you can decide which kinds might suit your nighttime needs.
Sleep Masks Block Out Light to Improve Your Sleep and Health
Light is a crucial factor in the regulation of your body’s circadian rhythm, the biological schedule that dictates sleep and wakefulness. In our prehistoric past, humans’ routines corresponded roughly to the amount of light available: Sundown signaled it was time to settle in for the evening.
In our modern context, however, we’re inundated with artificial light that can disrupt our sleep schedules. Even when we darken our bedrooms to the greatest extent possible, light from the street or other rooms has a habit of creeping in. Accordingly, our bodies receive mixed messages from the outside environment and our circadian rhythm suffers.
Aside from undermining our sleep quality, light exposure has been linked to a number of other troubling health problems. One recent study linked even tiny amounts of light in the bedroom to depressive symptoms among older adults. Other research suggests that intrusive light may elevate diabetes risk.
Sleep Masks Can Protect Your Skin and Prevent Puffiness
If you’re concerned about crow’s feet and other kinds of wrinkled skin around your eyes, certain sleep masks possess anti-aging powers. When you sleep without a mask in place, contact with your pillow can stretch the skin surrounding your eyes. Some sleep masks, made with silk or other extra-gentle fibers, protect this area of your face with a gentle caress.
Sleep masks can also address a perennial morning problem: puffiness or bags around your eyes as you awake. This is particularly likely to occur when you’re short on sleep, so a mask may help you simply by ensuring that you get more rest. But some sleep mask products use innovative technologies to go the extra mile in the fight against puffy eyes.
Certain masks use specific materials, such as charcoal, to reduce puffiness and dryness in the skin around your eyes sockets. Others use cool temperatures to address swelling: You stick them in your fridge or freezer, then let the cold work wonders as you sleep.