Who Needs a Sleep Mask?
Anyone who struggles to fall asleep or remain asleep may benefit from a sleep mask. The people who tend to benefit most from sleep masks are those who work shifts at night and need to sleep during daylight hours. Nurses, factory workers, and service professionals who work late night shifts often have difficulty sleeping during the day because of how light affects sleep. Farm workers, and those who get up very early in morning for work, but most also go to sleep while the sun is still up can benefit from sleep masks as well. People who regularly get migraines — where light increases their pain — can get relief from a sleep mask.
Even in rooms with “black out” windows, there always seems to be a little light that shines through around the edges. Total darkness is best for deep restful sleep and a sleep mask can provide that where other tools and technology fails.
Frequent flyers also benefit from sleep masks. It helps block out the lights from the plane and from the windows as you fly through various time zones during your travels. Even sleeping in hotels can prove problematic for people especially sensitive to light during sleep. Sleep masks help block out light that would otherwise prove disruptive.
How Does the Sleep Mask Work
Your brain has the ability to sense darkness. And when it does, it begins to produce melatonin, which is a chemical that helps promote sleep. When you block out light, your chances of falling asleep — and staying asleep are improved. Adding earplugs to the mix to block out both light and noise helps increase your chances of a great night’s sleep even more.
Sleep Mask Considerations
Buying the right sleep mask will make a world of difference in regards to how often and how well you use the mask. Understand that it may take buying a few masks before you find the one that works best for your sleep needs. A few points you might want to consider include:
- Nighttime movement – if you move a lot during sleep, or sleep on your side, you might need a mask that is designed to fit close to the face and bend a little so that it doesn’t become dislodged every time you roll over during the night.
- Eye placement – some people like a little gentle pressure on their eyelids while they sleep. Others will be disturbed if so much as an eyelash brushes the fabric of their sleep masks. It may take a little trial and error to determine if you need a deeper eye cavity in the sleep mask you purchase. Getting this one right may be all the difference in the world in a good night’s sleep or abandoning sleep masks altogether.
- Quality construction – it doesn’t matter how well the eye mask works if it isn’t built to last. You need to find a mask that’s well constructed and made to last more than a month of daily use.
Most people are a little surprised to learn how widely beneficial sleep masks can be. If you’re having trouble going to sleep, or even staying asleep once you get there, you might want to consider adding a sleep mask as part of your bedtime ritual to see if it makes a difference in the quality and quantity of sleep you’re able to get.
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