Top Reasons To Wear A Sleep Mask: Your Guide to Better Rest
From fictional characters like Blair Waldorf in the television series “Gossip Girl” to frequent travellers and busy professionals, sleep masks have recently become really popular in today’s world. Beyond being a style statement, these simple yet effective tools have gained a reputation for having tangible health benefits. Most of all they are one of many things which can help you get better rest. In this article, we look at the history of sleep masks, the reasons for wearing one and very importantly, how to look after a sleep mask
The Health Benefits of Using a Sleep Mask
Achieving good restful sleep is a vital to our well-being. Good sleep contributes to physical recovery, cognitive function, and a balanced mood. Aptly described as “beauty sleep,” a good night’s sleep also aids skin regeneration. To optimize sleep quality, there are several things you should bear in mind:
- A comfortable room temperature, ideally no higher thna 20-22 degrees
- Fresh air circulation
- Minimal noise
- Complete darkness
Darkness is particularly significant, as the release of the “sleep hormone” melatonin is highly dependent on it. Melatonin helps regulate our circadian rhythms, leading us from wakefulness into sleep. When sleep is interrupted by light, our melatonin production halts, triggering the release of the “wakefulness hormone” serotonin. Consequently, you may find it difficult to fall back to sleep.
This is where sleep masks come into play. Also known as eye masks, they provide the darkness necessary for melatonin production, making them especially useful for those with sleep disorders, frequent travellers, individuals suffering from headaches or migraines, or anyone needing overall relaxation.
A Brief History of Sleep Masks
Although sleep masks may seem like a modern invention, their roots trace back to ancient times. Historically, people used natural materials like leaves and animal skins to block out the light while sleeping. With the advent of the 20th century, commercial sleep masks started to appear, often featuring in Hollywood films of the 1950s. Today, the sleep mask market is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars globally, demonstrating the widespread resurgence of the humble sleep mask.
What to Consider When Making a Purchase
Choosing the right sleep mask involves taking into consideration g a variety of factors – not just the aesthetics!
Fit and Design
A proper fit is essential for a sleep mask’s effectiveness. Opt for designs that fit snugly around your nose to prevent light from seeping in. Some models even feature longer flaps at the bottom to ensure a secure fit.
Different masks use various methods of attachment, including Velcro fasteners, elastic bands, or flat rubber bands. An adjustable head strap ensures that the mask fits comfortably while not putting pressure on the eyes or wrecking your hair!
The choice of material can affect both your comfort and health. Breathable fabrics like cotton are popular because they feel soft and are opaque. Silk masks offer additional benefits: their smooth surfaces help retain skin moisture, serving as an anti-aging tool.
Some sleep masks offer cooling capabilities, beneficial for those with swollen eyes. When considering this feature, opt for masks that are BPA-free to avoid harmful substances.
Maintenance: Keeping Your Sleep Mask Clean
Just as you would with a pillowcase, it is really important to clean your sleep mask regularly to avoid the build up of bacteria and possible infections. For masks made of natural materials like cotton or silk, hand washing with lukewarm water and mild detergent is usually sufficient. Remember to dry thoroughly and depending on the material, some masks can even be ironed at low temperatures to maintain their shape.
So if your sleep is not as sound as it should be, why not invest in a sleep mask and see if this helps improve it. A small thing which can make a big difference and help not only your sleep quality but your overall well-being.
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