Adults should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but your quality of sleep will significantly decrease if you are tossing, turning, and waking throughout the night. A sleep eye mask that soothes you, comforts you, and keeps light out from disturbing your slumber can be extremely helpful in putting you to sleep and helping you stay asleep.
A calm environment is crucial for a good night’s rest. Blocking the light out and sending a signal to the body that you are safe and at peace is one of the biggest benefits of wearing a sleep mask.
Let’s get into all the reasons why you need to add a sleep mask to your night routine, from making your skin more youthful to having a better relationship with your partner. Keep reading to find out more!
What Is a Sleep Mask?
A sleep mask is a piece of fabric that goes over the eyes and is used for sleeping benefits. These masks have been around for generations. Blocking out artificial light caused by lights on inside, lights from outside, or sunlight seeping in through your blinds can help you stay asleep longer and remain undisturbed.
From improving your meditation routine to helping with insomnia, sleep masks can bring you down from a place of stress and feeling wired to a state of calm and relaxation.
1. Wind Down Before Bed
It can be hard to just switch the “off” button after a busy day of appointments and work. Many adults suffer from insomnia because they carry the day with them as they get into bed. A great way to relax and get in the bedtime mindset is by setting your intentions and making the deliberate decision to pull your sleep mask on and wind down.
Pull Up the Covers: Putting a sleep mask over your eyes tells your body that you’re turning off for the day and getting your much-needed rest. Wearing a sleep mask to bed is a great way to turn bedtime into a conscious routine. Step one: eye mask. Step two: the best sleep of your life.
2. To Help With Meditation
Here’s a benefit you can reap from wearing a sleep mask for when you intend on staying awake! As a kid, you’d have nap time to take a little break throughout those ‘tough days of being a toddler.’
As an adult, we are no longer afforded this luxurious break due to our busy and often hectic schedules. Although we don’t give ourselves nap time, it is important to take some time out of our day to take a breather.
Taking a break for stress reduction is a key move to help manage life when it seems oh so overwhelming. Some people like to call it meditation, a break, quiet time, or whatever they feel comfortable with. The point is, simply stepping back from your to-do schedule and finding a moment of peace can bring you solace in a seriously beneficial way.
Eye masks can be the perfect excuse to chill out for a minute. Cutting out the light and allowing yourself to just relax can give your mind a rest and put you in the perfect mindset to continue forward.
3. It’s Like a Cuddle for Your Eyes
We’ve heard of weighted blankets, but what about weighted eye masks? Pressure on your body is proven to calm and soothe your parasympathetic nervous system. It lowers your heart rate and mimics the feeling of being swaddled like a baby!
This is sometimes called “pressure therapy” and is used by professionals (like occupational therapists) to calm children on the autism spectrum. It relaxes adults and children alike.
Deep Pressure Stimulation: Ever wake up under the weight of a warm blanket and feel incredibly calm and at peace? This is just a small taste of what Deep Pressure Stimulation (DPS) can do for the nervous system. It is the process of applying pressure with hands, massage tools, or weighted products that you can wear or wrap around yourself for an added sense of pressure.
Some sleep masks can be used for DPS and put you in a state of calm, helping you to fall asleep faster.
For Better Sleep
Intrusive light has a major negative impact on your sleep cycle. Your body’s circadian rhythm can be interrupted by sunlight or artificial light which, in turn, affects your body’s natural levels of hormone production.
4. To Block Light
Maybe you’re not the type to wake up when the rooster crows, or maybe you are a night owl and nighttime is when your creative flow is at its peak—whatever the reason for you sleeping when the sun is up, a good sleep mask that blocks sunlight may just become your next best friend.
Why You Need To Block Light: Exposure to light at night time disrupts your body’s internal clock and your melatonin production. Your internal clock helps your body regulate your sleeping and waking patterns. Melatonin is the chemical that signals your brain that it is time to go to sleep.
Light exposure while you are trying to sleep—whether it be streetlights, car headlights, the television, or sunlight—sends the wrong signal to the brain. These intruders can make your body think it’s actually time to wake up.
5. To Wake Up When You Want To
It’s rare to have a partner who wakes up at the same time that you do. People have different work schedules and priorities. If you use a sleep mask, the fact that your significant other wakes up at the crack of dawn doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker.
6. To Improve Quality of Sleep
Since sleep masks can help the body fall asleep faster, they may help you get more sleep. Sleep isn’t celebrated enough for all it does for your body. Undervaluing sleep can cause many health issues.
A good night’s sleep can improve your:
- Irritability and overall mood
- Reaction times
- Sexual function
- Situational Awareness
“You look tired...” Is there anything worse than hearing that? Obviously, if you get a great night’s sleep you will wake up looking well-rested, which in turn will make you look younger and refreshed. But sleep masks with qualities such as a silk material or cooling functions can contribute even further to your beauty regimen.
7. To Maintain Youthful Skin
Although it is recommended to sleep on your back with your face up (Sleeping Beauty style), it’s not the most realistic life change for the side sleepers and stomach sleepers of the world. When you sleep with your face and eyes rubbing against your pillowcase, this causes friction and pulling on the sensitive, delicate skin around your eyes. Sleeping this way can cause premature wrinkles.
You can protect your skin by wearing a gentle eye mask, like this one made of synthetic silk. Silk is the best material to choose when it comes to the well-being of your skin because its delicate fibers are gentle and slippery. Synthetic silk is smoother and straighter than real silk, which means it’ll protect your skin and falsies even better.
Sleep is the time when the body repairs itself. It repairs the skin just as much as the brain and muscles. Your skin is an organ, and it works to rebuild collagen when your blood flow increases. This takes place while you sleep. This function works to repair damage from UV exposure, therefore reducing wrinkles and age spots.
8. To Calm Puffy Eyes
Ever wake up in the morning after a less-than-decent sleep and are shocked by the ‘pillows’ now resting beneath your eyes? Lack of sleep can cause a rise in cortisol levels which directly affects the body’s salt level. Changes in salt level lead to water retention, and therefore, eye bags.
Cooling Sleep Mask: To combat puffy eyes, you have another accessible feature with a sleep mask: cooling abilities. Ice rolling is a new trend in the beauty world because the cool ice soothes and depuffs the skin. You can get those same benefits from using a cooling sleep mask. You can wear it throughout the night or grab it out of the freezer to wear as you sip your morning coffee.
9. Better Sleep Means Clearer Skin
Our bodies perceive lack of sleep as stress, and those stress signals cause breakouts! Stress releases cortisol, aka the stress hormone. Getting a better night’s rest with the help of a sleep mask may make your skin clearer, smoother, and...okay let’s face it, prettier!
10. For Your Bedtime Ritual
Having a routine helps you to cultivate daily positive habits to prioritize self-care. Creating a routine for yourself and practicing it daily can improve your mental health, help you cope with change, and reduce your stress levels.
Try creating a bedtime ritual you can stick to. You can start small and take it one day at a time until it becomes a habit you can’t go without.
Ways To Create Your Bedtime Ritual
- Journaling: Opening up a notebook before bedtime gives you a chance to reflect on your day. You can consider decisions you’ve made and reactions you’ve felt or experienced from a new perspective. It gives you the opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. Start slowly by thinking of one to three things you learned that day until you get more comfortable writing your thoughts.
- Introduce a Skincare Regimen: Whether it’s an aromatherapeutic body lotion or a bedtime moisturizer, taking care of our skin is an ultimate act of self-love. Pampering the body that gets you through each day is a way of saying “thank you.” To make things more fun, gift yourself items like reusable makeup rounds, a cute headband, and some pimple patches.
- Put On Cute Pajamas: Why should we settle for sleeping in ripped t-shirts that belonged to our exes and gym shorts? Putting on cozy silk or cotton pajamas can make you feel like a brand new person as you slip into bed.
- Drink Sleepytime Tea: Having a hot tea before bed will definitely help you wind down. Look for teas that consist of chamomile or lavender, as they are shown to induce feelings of calmness and help you fall asleep easier.
- Wear a Sleep Mask: Slipping on your sleep mask can be the final step in your bedtime routine. You will be signaling to your body that your day is complete, you’ve accomplished the day’s tasks, and it is time to rejuvenate for the next day.
There are so many benefits and positive effects of wearing a sleep mask. You can make the choice to make a significant change to your regular sleep pattern. Whether your habits include sleeping with the TV on, waking up prematurely once the sun rises, or being interrupted by your partner getting ready for work, a sleep mask can help.
Considering the average person sleeps for approximately one-third of their lifetime, don’t spend it tossing and turning! Get the sleep of your dreams and wake up well-rested and ready to tackle the day with the help of a sleep mask.
National Sleep Foundation-How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? | Sleep Foundation
Genius Ways to Prevent Wrinkles Overnight | Health.com
Effect of Light on Human Circadian Physiology | National Institute of Health