Sleeping Masks – Are They Safe & Do You Actually Need One?

Chances are high you know about sleeping masks. However, what is all the fuss around them? And are they safe for you in the first place? Ignoring what naysayers say about sleeping, it is among the most important components in your life. It has a major role in maintaining your mental, emotional and physical health, and you cannot have a healthy life without it. Unfortunately, many people today are deprived of sleep, and they are not getting the sufficient rest their body requires for daily optimal function.

On average, an adult needs seven to nine hours of sleep per night, but many will admit they do not feel well rested when they wake up. This will affect their mood for the rest of the day, as well as productivity levels. While many ways exist of improving the quality of your sleep in your daily routine such as using a high-quality mattress from Tuft & Needle, face masks or eye masks are among these ways. Using them on a regular basis can actually assist you to achieve restful and long sleep throughout the night, in addition to achieving relieving of sleep. If you are doubtful as to the reason sleep masks are beneficial, read on.

What is a sleeping mask?

This is an inexpensive tool that is made from fabric. It works by blocking out any light so that you are in darkness – and this helps in regulating your sleep patterns because they are undisturbed. They also have comfortable elastic bands that can stretch around your head.

Do they actually work?

In order to understand the importance of blocking light, you need to understand how the presence of light affects your sleep. The body produces a hormone, melatonin – and this is responsible for regulating your sleeping cycle. The brain generates more melatonin in darker conditions, therefore resulting in feeling sleepy when it gets dark, and it produces less when it is light, making you feel less sleepy.

Using a sleep mask can, therefore, result in a more satisfying sleep routine, especially when you use them with earplugs to help you tune out the surrounding noise. They can also help if you are a light sleeper that is constantly awoken by noises, light or other disturbances around you.

Even though they may take a number of nights to get used to them, you get used to them gradually and will want to use them more often. However, you might not like them if you do not wake p easily in the morning – this is because the brain will release cortisol, the ‘waking’ hormone – when light enters the back of your eye in the morning. When you lack that natural wake-up call, you will find you take a longer time to wake up in the morning and feel fully functional.

In addition, if there are other underlying reasons behind your insomnia such as suffering from sleep apnea, sleeping masks may not help, even though they are inexpensive.

 Are sleeping masks safe?

If you are among the people that are worried they may damage your eyes, you do not need to worry anymore. There are plenty of sleep masks that do not put additional pressure on your eyelashes or eyelids, but instead rest over the face while being secured by the elastic band.

Benefits of sleep masks

1. Reduces swellings

If you are among the people that wake up in the morning with puffy eyes, sleep masks might help with that problem. according to the online health column by Columbia University, using a soothing or cool eye mask may help reduce puffing around the eyes.

Store gel-filled masks in your refrigerator, and you can use it whenever it is needed. Some of these masks also contain essential oil fragrances like lavender to enhance the relaxation process.

2. Reduces pain from sinus infections

If you are among the people that suffer from sinus infections, you are very familiar with the uncomfortable and painful feeling they leave you with when you are trying to breathe in your sleep. People with chronic sinus infections experience headaches as well.

A gel eye mask can help with this. Float it in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes, and apply it to your eyes to help with soothing your nasal cavity. In addition, it is important to sleep with your head propped up by a pillow to help with your breathing. 

3. Can help keep your makeup fresh

When you wear a sleeping mask, it can actually help your makeup stay fresh, if you have somewhere be soon after waking up. One of the reasons it is not advisable to sleep with makeup on is because of the constant rubbing of your face on the beddings – this can smear on the bed pillows leaves a whole mess when you wake up.

The sleep mask will prevent the cases of possible smudges and smears on your bed, and will also stop you from rubbing your eyes when you are sleeping or just waking up.

Cons of sleep masks

Everything that has an advantage comes with a disadvantage, and sleep masks are not different from this. No matter how good they can be, they may present some problems. These include:

1. Danger of oversleeping

The body naturally has a certain urge to wake up when the sun is up, and this is due to the brain reducing the production of melatonin. A sleeping mask will block any light from coming into your eyes, and the brain, therefore, will not know when to reduce the production of the hormone – leaving you at danger of oversleeping.

When you are using a face mask, ensure you have your alarm clock near you just in case – it may help you to wake up when you are supposed to.

2. They can press on your eyelashes

It is important to make sure a face mask fits you well before you purchase it. Some masks can press on your eyelashes and eyelids, making your sleeping time very uncomfortable.

The alternatives would be foregoing sleeping masks altogether or buying a more expensive one that has a better design.

Final thoughts

Sleep masks incite man debates on the possible benefits and cons they have – but when you have a problem with insomnia, they can help in managing your sleeping patterns.

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