Busy schedules and lengthy to-do lists can mean we often put a good night’s sleep on the back burner. However, sleep is integral to productivity, mental well-being and our overall health.
If you’re tired of tossing and turning all night long, you may be wondering: how can I improve my sleep quality?
Sleep masks have been around for decades, but are perhaps most commonly seen in Hollywood movies on the faces of glamorous actresses, often thought of as more of a fashion accessory than an actual sleep aid. But can a sleep mask help you to get better quality sleep?
In short, the answer is yes. In this post, we explore the reasons (and the science) behind the benefits of sleeping with an eye mask.
Block out the light
Let’s start with the obvious. If you’re wearing a sleep mask over your eyes, then you’re not going to be kept awake by any natural or artificial light. You’re probably wondering why simply turning off the light at night and investing in a pair of black out curtains isn’t enough. Whilst these things are highly recommended, chances are, some sunlight will still creep in during the early hours, or you’re still going to have some sort of blue light emanating from devices such as your TV or mobile phone. You may not realise, but even the smallest amount of light can cause sleep disturbance. A sleep mask ensures complete darkness.
But why is darkness so important to good quality sleep anyway? It’s a known fact that many animal species are nocturnal and therefore need to sleep during the day. Humans, however, are diurnal, meaning we’re supposed to sleep at night. Our brains associate darkness with sleep, and produce melatonin (the hormone that helps to control your sleep cycle) when sensing an absence of light. Sleep masks can therefore encourage deep sleep through the night. They’re also thought to help you to fall asleep quicker, reducing the amount of time spent lying awake in bed.
They can help to improve insomnia
We’ve all been there – the hours are ticking by, you’re wide awake and turn straight to your phone. This only creates a toxic sleep cycle as the blue light blocks the sleep hormone – melatonin – from being produced and this can then lead to habits that are hard to break. Wearing a sleep mask can be an effective way to stop you from seeking out distractions whilst lying in bed and from looking at the clock, essentially helping to flick the “off switch” on your brain at night.
They may prevent dry eyes
Depending on the time of year, you may sleep with either the central heating, air conditioning or a fan on during the night. Recirculating air blowing into your eyes can lead to dryness, and can stir up any dust or pet hairs too. This can particularly be a problem for allergy sufferers. Itchy or dry eyes will only keep you awake at night, and a sleep mask can help to prevent this by forming a protective layer against irritants that may be moving around the air in your bedroom.
A sleep mask is the perfect travel companion
Trying to get good quality sleep on a plane or train can seem like a pointless pursuit, but a sleep mask can greatly improve your chances of leaving your journey feeling refreshed. Your holiday sleep troubles may not end when you get off the plane either – many hotel rooms don’t have sufficient blackout curtains or blinds, meaning your sleep pattern is disrupted, and no one wants to spend a holiday feeling tired. Slip on your sleep mask and problem solved – plus, it won’t take up much room in your luggage!
Luxury silk sleep masks at Gingerlily
Our silk sleep masks are all made from the highest quality mulberry silk, with 100% mulberry silk floss filling and a wide elasticated strap for optimum comfort. Our pink silk sleep mask comes with its own drawstring pouch, making it super easy to pack into your carry-on bag for a long haul flight, or to simply protect it when not in use. Also available in black and navy, these pretty eye masks ensure you’ll be stylish even in sleep.
Silk sleep mask benefits
With so many different sleep masks on the market, why are silk sleep masks the best choice? While providing all of the above benefits, silk sleep masks are also very gentle on the eyes, due to having a high protein content. This means you won’t be left with creases or lines on the face when you wake up. Silk is also known to be beneficial for the skin, contributing to a reduction in wrinkles (thanks to its ‘gliding’ quality that allows it to move flexibly over the skin), acne and blemishes, so you don’t need to worry about your mask causing any harm to your skin. You can learn more about the benefits of silk in our blog post about how silk can help your skin.
Some sleep mask materials can cause irritation, rubbing and even clog the skin, but a silk sleep mask is light and breathable, meaning the skin gets the air it needs to prevent congestion. Anything you put onto your skin should care for it, including your sleep mask!