The question often asked, is simply what are the benefits of using a sleep mask? Well, in short, using a eye mask can increase the production of melatonin, save you money, provide sleep flexibility, help fight wrinkles, help deliver REM, can aid in relaxation, can reduce swelling & headache pains and can protect your eyelashes whilst napping & sleeping!
Now that’s quite a lot to take in, but if you keep on reading not only will I fully explain the sleeping benefits from wearing a sleep mask in more detail, I will also explain little known health benefits certain sleep masks may provide.
Sleep Masks Greatly Increase The Production Of Melatonin
Now the first benefit eye masks offer is the ability to envelope you into total darkness. The moment your brain detects total darkness it signals to its pineal gland for the release of the melatonin hormone, which is often named the chemical of sleep, into our blood.
As a result of the increased melatonin within our system, we begin to feel less attentive which results in us gently drifting off to sleep. This has proved an excellent aid in combating insomnia.
The reason is that total darkness allows the brain to truly relax, which means any anxiety, excitement or general alertness all begin to gently drift away. Furthermore, it prevents you from glancing across at the clock or window which is an aggravating factor in insomnia.
Sleep Masks Save You Money
Another benefit of sleep eye masks isn’t physical, it’s financial. Given the average sleep eye mask that we recommend ranges from £5 to £9, you can enjoy virtually total darkness for a low price. Whereas the alternative would be to buy blackout curtains which typically range from £25 to £180.
This means you can enjoy total darkness without having to upset your bank balance or interior design.
Sleep Masks Deliver Sleep Flexibility
The next sleep mask benefit is flexibility.
What do I mean by this? Well, if you’re someone that works nightshifts, frequently travels or has a different sleeping pattern to your partner, you still need to get the sleep you deserve without imposing on your partners, friends or passengers.
For example, if you’re working nightshifts but your partner works from home or is a stay at home parent, you wouldn’t feel fair blacking out the living room or bedroom whilst you slept, so a sleep mask is the perfect alternative.
Furthermore, when travelling overseas, to combat jetlag many people try to sleep on the plane or train, to get the right amount of rest and ensure their body clock isn’t out of sync.
However, doing so can be troublesome, as some passengers may have their reading light on, their plane window shutter may be open or they have a brightly lit laptop or computer tablet.
This is where the flexibility of a sleep mask comes in, simply reach into your hand luggage, grab your sleep mask and enjoy total darkness.
Secret Silk Eye Mask Benefits
The next benefit actually relates to silk eye masks. To give you some background, the earliest example of silk fabric dates back to 3630 BC and since then as civilisations evolved so did the uses.,
For example, it begun as a scarce luxury across the world used for dresses and scarfs, but due to it being lightweight and not breaking on impact Genghis Khan issued it to all of his horse archers as any arrows imbedded in the armour could be removed without splintering or inflicting further wounds.
Now moving on from the history lesson, by wearing a silk eye mask you can enjoy anti-wrinkle fighting abilities. How does it fight those wrinkles? Simple, silk is a naturally breathable material which allows oxygen to flow freely into the mask which prevents the skin around the eyes from losing moisture.
The reason retaining moisture within your skin is so vital to fighting wrinkles is because when your skin becomes dehydrated your collagen, which is a predominantly water based protein, begins to crack and the collagen strands that have broken off clot together forming wrinkles.
Furthermore, it’s not just the free-flowing oxygen that retains moisture within the skin, it’s the proteins and amino acids that are rich within silk that lead to an increase in epidermal cell hydration – a major defence against infection and which regulates the amount of moisture released from the skin.
Silk eye masks are also naturally anti-bacterial and hypoallergenic which means various skin conditions such as rosacea, dermatitis and eczema are eased and the impulse to itch, which can often inflame these skin conditions, is reduced.
Sleep Masks Help Deliver REM Sleep
Another exceptional sleep mask benefit is the ability to deliver REM sleep, which is otherwise known as a deep sleep and characterised by rapid eye movement.
Wearing a sleep mask is crucial in securing an uninterrupted, restful sleep which refreshes and revitalises our body, health and wellbeing.
Entering a REM sleep allows your body to repair muscles fibres and tissue within the body, which is vital for anyone participating within an active job or regular exercise.
Furthermore, it is crucial to other benefit we touched upon earlier (melatonin production), as it allows your body to switch from serotonin to melatonin production.
All of the above doesn’t even touch the surface when it comes to discovering the other benefits of REM sleep involving mental health.
A recent study suggests your brain begins removing accumulated toxins from the brain that occur during the day, which if unchecked lead to the decline in brain function.
Additionally, research by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has also shown that continued lack of sleep can lead to depression, which is why securing REM sleep is essential to combatting this unfortunate mental health issue.
It is not only depression that a restful sleep tackles, they have suggested it can help fight anxiety, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.
Finally, a deep sleep allows us to process our memories, reduce stress, develop new skills or information taken in throughout the day, leading you to wake in a positive and logical mood compared with the night before, hence the expression, “sleep on it”.
Sleep Masks Aid Relaxation
Another advantage to wearing a sleep mask is the added relaxation they provide. By blocking out the light (and sound, if coupled with ear plugs) you immerse yourself into a state of near ‘Zen’, for total relaxation.
By relaxing, your body’s anxiety levels begin to decrease, allowing your worries to gently fade and decreasing the probability of panic attacks.
And by relaxing one study suggests you’ll experience a sense of calmness, which can lead to an increase in confidence and focus for the task at hand or future situations. This sense of calmness found can improve your coping abilities which translate to you being alert and effective in troublesome situations.
Some research suggests another great benefit of sleep mask relaxation is the tendency to lower your blood pressure and increase blood flow. By lowering your blood pressure not only do you reduce the chance of heart problems such as angina (chest pain), artery diseases (build-up of fatty deposits, restricting blood supply), heart attack, you also reduce the risk of stroke.
Finally by lowering your blood pressure through relaxation you can potentially improve your vision. By reducing your blood pressure, the strain placed upon the optic nerve (which is the nerve responsible for your ability to see well) is greatly reduced.
It is worth noting that medication for lowering blood pressure will have a more stable and noteworthy result for lowering blood pressure and you shouldn’t rely entirely on relaxation, we recommend consulting with your doctor to ensure you’re getting the treatment you require.
Gel Sleep Masks Reduce Swelling & Headache Pains
Another positive benefit derives from the gel sleep mask designs which can reduce swelling and headache pain. In order to unlock this benefit, ensure your gel sleep mask is placed in the fridge for a minimum of 45 minutes but 60 minutes if you want a deep cold.
The cold gel reduces swelling by reducing blood flow into the eyes and surrounding area, which in-turn can significantly reduce inflammation. This is absolutely ideal if, like many others, you work within an office environment and stare at a computer screen for the majority of the day.
Focusing on a screen for prolonged periods of time can cause undesirable eye strain which left unchecked can lead to sore, itchy and watery eyes. You may also experience blurred vision or even burst blood vessels which can cause real discomfort.
Finally gel sleep masks can help reduce headache pains by constricting blood vessels which aids the reduction of neurotransmissions of pain directed to the brain.
Contoured Sleep Eye Masks Protect Eyelashes
One of the main complaints from women when wearing eye masks is the crushing or displacement of their eyelashes, which isn’t what you want, especially when enjoying a quick, refreshing nap.
The reason traditional eye masks crush and otherwise damage eyelashes is because of their shape and build. For example, the standard eye mask just rests across the bridge of your nose, which if you have a small or flat nose will cause the eye mask to place strain upon the eye lashes and eye lid, thus resulting in misshapen or damage eyelashes.
Don’t worry though, by purchasing a contoured sleep mask, the eye mask will shape around the curvature of your face, allowing your eyes to move freely and not feel restricted. Not only does it mould to your eye line better and protect your eyelashes, it actually prevents light from seeping in through the bottom of your nose gap, allowing total blackout.
Sleep Mask Benefits Conclusion
So there you have it, by wearing a sleep mask you’ll experience an increased production of melatonin, allowing you to drift off to sleep. Furthermore you won’t have to compromise your wallet or interior design to achieve total darkness when sleeping and you can experience this while travelling or during awkward nightshifts.
Let’s not forget by using a silk eye mask, you can potentially fight wrinkles by increasing the oxygen flow and moisture within your skin, protecting the vital strands of collagen.
Of course, by utilising a sleep mask, you can unlock a true deep sleep (REM) and total relaxation which boasts so many benefits such as improved mental health, blood pressure and increased concentration.
Finally with certain eye masks you can enjoy unique benefits, such as cooled gel eye masks for reducing swelling and headache pains and contoured sleep masks that protect eyelashes.
If you’re looking for tried and tested sleep masks, then browse our categories and discover the sleep mask benefits for yourself.