Sleeping is an essential part of our life as a human body cannot function without proper sleep. It is our main break after a long tiring day. Sleeping rejuvenates our brain and body and makes it ready for the whole day’s activities.
The four main reasons why our body needs sleep are to recover, protect, regulate energy and consolidate memory. The amount of sleep required by an individual is determined according to their age.
But normally, an adult human body requires a minimum eight hours sleep. Now the question that arises is − do all of us get the adequate sleep that our body needs? The answer is “No”.
There are many of us who experience some trouble sleeping at night. Typically, the reason behind trouble sleeping is due to stress, travelling, illness, or other momentary disruption in your regular routine.
Lack of sleep effect our bodies in many ways like making us lethargic, may cause depression, gaining of weight, insulin levels. It also affects the way our brain functions and as a result hampers our efficiency at work and even deteriorates our decision-making skills.
Furthermore, visible problems with learning and memory can also be seen.
If sleep problems persists, then you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, a state that recurrently impacts your ability to get adequate sleep. Sleep disorders can affect your mental and physical health if not taken care of.
Many of you who are suffering from trouble sleeping may think to opt for either over-the-counter medication or prescription medication. But those can help only on a short-term basis and it gives you an unnatural rest and can be habit-forming.
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HOW CAN YOU GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP?
We are here today to discuss about the things that you can do to get a good sleep at night and improve your health. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a dark room with a soothing music will lead you to your dreamland and help you to have a sound sleep.
There are a lot of ways that can aid you to sleep, but the simplest and the most natural option is to use a sleep mask. Researches reveal that using a sleep mask and ear plugs takes less time to fall asleep as well as enhances the amount of Rapid Eye Movement sleep.
Once the brain senses absolute darkness, it starts producing melatonin – the chemical of sleep. To help bring on this condition, you can also use earplugs. When both noise and light are turned off, it improves your chances of falling asleep.
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WHAT ARE SLEEP MASKS?
Sleep masks are one of the best kits to fight sleep problems and get relaxing sleep. These are worn around the head and over the eyes to prevent the light from disturbing our sleep.
The two biggest known distractions we face during our sleep are noise and light. Even moonlight can stop people from visiting their dreamland. Hence we suggest you to wear this sleep masks are obstruct every possible source of light that may hinder your sleep.
TYPES OF SLEEP MASKS
They are made up of an array of fabrics, designs, and colours with an elastic strap to embrace it in place around your head. The following types of sleep masks are available in the market and will help you to get a better night’s sleep:
The fleece sleep mask is made of soft material that makes it very comfortable. You won’t feel the mask on your face as it gives a soft sensation. It will in no way get in the way of your sleep as it will be warm, soft, and fuzzy against your face. There are some fleece masks that contour to your face as they suppress light from each and every side.
This type of masks is the most affordable sleep masks of the range. Normally, they cost only a few dollars are comfortable, and are another great option for blocking out unwanted light. Nylon sleep masks are a perfect option for those who have bright street lights outside your window even in the middle of the night or if you prefer taking a nap in the daytime and are disturbed by the sunlight.
Gel sleep masks offers light-blocking benefits, and also improve medical conditions and softens your skin. The gel material of the mask provides great relief for eye strain, sinus pressure, and migraines. People having an inclination towards waking up with migraines or sinus headaches, you can consider getting this type of sleep mask.
Often people choose foam sleep masks for complete darkness. These fit to the contours of your face that allows blocking maximum light. They are quiet alike fleece sleep masks, apart from the fact that foam masks are even superior when it comes to moulding to the shape of your eyes and face.
PROS AND CONS OF SLEEP MASKS
Sleep masks will help you to get a better sleep in case you live in a city and are disturbed by the street lighting or if you have clocks or any other type of LED displays in your bedroom that keeps the room lighted. It is also useful for those who work at night and sleep in the daytime as the daylight will surely interrupt your restful sleep. Even travellers who needs to sleep either en route or to reduce jet lag must consider these masks for resting.
On the other hand, people who have a completely dark bedroom when the lights are off, a sleep mask won’t make much difference. Also, if the feeling of the mask on your face is not comfortable then guys, remember that it’s not going to work for you.
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BENEFITS OF USING A SLEEP MASKS
- Blocks Light: As we have already discussed above a number of times, it is obvious that the biggest advantage of using a sleep mask is that it blocks light. Not only does a sleep mask obstruct the apparent sources of light, like lamps, LEDs and televisions, but also prevents natural light like that of the sun and moon.
If you share your bedroom with your family or friends and they want to read at night with the lights on or watch television, then it won’t be a problem at all for you to have a comfortable sleep as the mask will come to your rescue.
- No Damaged Skin: It’s not only the light that the mask prevents. It can also help to protect the skin around your eyes from damage as you sleep. A sleep mask covers the area around the eyes, and most of the masks are designed to cover the temples and down up to the cheeks.
While sleeping, many people have a propensity to thrust the side or front of their faces into their pillow or mattress. Even if one doesn’t sleep in that way for the whole night, still when you get up in the next morning you’ll find a mark on your skin from the wrinkles in your sheets or pillows.
Those marks usually stay on your face for hours and in the due course become the root cause of wrinkles and other damage to the skin on your face. So a sleep mask could help you even in the long run by saving your skin from any harm.
DRAWBACKS OF SLEEP MASKS
- Fitting Issue: If you don’t choose the right mask for you then you may have to face issues related to its fitting. Few masks may be too tight on your face and as a result will leave imprints on your face. Again, if the mask is too loose then it may fall off, which means it won’t serve its purpose.
You may also find masks that will press against certain portions of your face thereby causing discomfort to you.
- Takes Time to Adjust: When you are using the sleep mask for the first time, you may feel self-conscious. It can take a few nights to get used to the feeling of wearing the mask around your head throughout the night.
- Requirement of More Than One: It may seem to you that having only one eye mask is not enough and you need at least two as it is used on a daily basis. You can’t wear the same mask over and over again every day. You will feel the need to wash it and hence should have another one ready for use on a rotational basis.
- Soundly Sleepers to Avoid: If you sleep too soundly and face difficulty in waking up easily, then you must not opt for a sleep mask. Do you know that the body’s natural ‘waking’ hormone – cortisol is released in the morning when light strikes at the back of the eye?
If the light fails to reach the eye then you may not get all of this natural wake-up call and find it harder to function first thing in the morning.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHILE CHOOSING THE RIGHT SLEEP MASK
It should fit comfortably and should not be too tight or too loose. The strap should be adjustable so that you can adjust it according to your shape and size.
The material of the mask should be soft and comforting. It needs to be dark as well as washable. Fleece, microfiber or soft wool would be ideal to meet these particular criteria.
The mask should be designed in such a way that it doesn’t put any pressure on your eye. It should allow you to open your eyes comfortably while wearing it. Many people don’t like the touch of the mask at the eyelashes hence it shouldn’t touch them.
There are few masks that features aromatherapy qualities like camomile and lavender, which are relaxing herbs and have been known for their calming nature since ages.
You should search for sleep masks that are designed for providing support and not just the one that looks pretty!
It should fit perfectly around the eyes and down over the bridge of your nose without pressing on or blocking your nose. It should match comfortably with your face.
10 BEST SLEEP MASKS YOU MAY CONSIDER
Below we have listed the top 10 sleep masks for your comfortable sleeping:
1. Bedtime Bliss Contoured Sleep Mask
Bedtime Bliss is one of the top selling sleep mask that is accompanied with earplugs and a carrying pouch. You can choose from a number of available colours. It is designed to fit your face and won’t slip off. As it is lightweight, you will not feel any pressure on your eyes while sleeping.
This mask is ideal for side, back, and stomach sleepers. The mask, whose material is made of 100% polyester interlock with 100% polyurethane foam for the inner part, is even ideal for meditation and taking with you travelling. It is also ideal to block light even in the daytime.
2. ALASKA BEAR Natural Silk Sleep Eye Mask
ALASKA BEAR is cool and never lets your face feel sweaty. It boasts natural hypoallergenic 19 mm mulberry silk on both sides and there are two sizes − regular one with one strap and extra-large variant with two straps. The plastic strap adjuster will stay at the back of the head and hence won’t be annoying for side sleepers.
It is ideal for travelling and also can be used at home when napping, sleeping, or just to rest your eyes. Not only will it prevent light, but also can be used for insomnia sufferers and people with migraine headaches. Moreover, this mask can be used by side, back, and stomach sleepers.
3. Nidra Patented Sleep Mask with Contoured Shape
Nidra, another top selling sleep mask, blocks light every time you face problems in sleeping due to light. It can be used anywhere whether you’re travelling or sleeping in hotel beds.
The material is made of polyester interlock with a thin insert of foam and there is no plastic or metal in the sleep mask. Made in Sri Lanka, the mask provides great comfort while sleeping.
4. Restoration Contoured Sleep Mask
Restoration is a relaxing eye mask intended for sleeping, travelling, and resting. It is ideal for daytime sleepers who face difficulty in sleeping in the bright light. The mask is designed to fit your face. It will not obstruct your eyelashes and allow you to open your eyes comfortably.
The mask has a Velcro strap that goes around your head. Moreover, this mask can be used by side, back, and stomach sleepers.
5. PettyCare 3D Sleep Mask
The PettyCare eye mask is perfect for kids who face trouble in sleeping in light. Its material consists of high-density memory foam that weighs only 0.4 ounces and 0.23-inches thick. Its fabric is made of silk and polyester. The mask is soft and has large cavities for your eyes.
The PettyCare eye masks are suitable for Oeko-Tex Standards and the international high standards of anti-fade, anti-bacterial and anti-mite. This mask can be used by side, back, and stomach sleepers.
6. Everest Essentials Luxury 3D Contoured Eye Mask
Everest Essentials will make you refreshed and rested once you wake up from your sleep. It fits on to your face perfectly. The 3D design helps to fit in shape of your face and is comfortable even when you turn and roll about while sleeping. The microfiber maternal allows to breathe properly.
This mask can be used for meditation and Yoga, migraine sufferers, and will allow side, back, and stomach sleepers have a relaxing sleep at night or at daytime.
7. Relax Artist 3D Memory Foam Milk Silk Yarn Sleep Eye Mask
Relax Artist is lightweight and will never let you sweat even when sleeping in a dark environment. Milk silk is derived from milk making rich velvet-like fabric that gives a great feeling to your face skin. It is useful for kids who find it hard to sleep. This mask is ideal for side, back, and stomach sleepers.
The 3D design is soft for dark shading for a sound sleep. The memory foam gradually recovers to discharge any pressure and aligns absolutely fine with the shape of your eyes.
8. Bucky Eye Mask
The Bucky eye mask is made up of latex-free foam that is contoured to fit your face at ease. The well-known Bucky 40 Blinks Sleep Mask is hypoallergenic and over the top in comfort for sleep when at home or when travelling. This mask is excellent for those who sleep on their side, back, and stomach.
9. Sleep Master Sleep Mask
Sleep Master offers a lightweight, breathable, synthetic satin outer shell with a cool soft cotton interior. It fits your head and is flexible as well as durable. Made in the USA, the Sleep Master is hypoallergenic.
With this sleep mask, the sides will cover your ears to mask noise as well as light. It is great for adults, kids who enjoy sleeping in the dark. With the ear covering at the sides, you will not need earplugs for a quiet moment.
The sleep mask is ideal for people who need rest in presence of other roommates working with lights on.
10. MemorySoft 3D Sleep Mask
MemorySoft is excellent for those who are sufferers of insomnia. With the sleep masks and earplugs, you can sleep comfortably. The 3D shape fits to your face and allows you to open your eyes. The memory foam layer is lightweight and hence enables relaxed sleep.
This mask is ideal for adults and kids. It is also great for day sleepers, meditation, naps, and your partner who wants to read all night while you want to sleep.
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