We’re all not nearly getting enough good quality slumber, with only 21 per cent of Americans getting the recommended seven to eight hours a night.
Light is an external factor that can play havoc with our bodies and affect our shut-eye. With black-out curtains a luxury we can’t all carry around with us, we need to look for other solutions.
Luckily for you we have the perfect essential accessory! They may be small in size but the benefits of sleep masks are huge…
1: Improves Your Sleep Quality
As explained by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, we all have “light sensitive” cells in the retina of our eyes and they tell the brain when it’s daytime or nighttime and determines our sleep patterns.
For example, if you’re normally early to bed but become exposed to light, you’re not going to fall asleep at your normal time and could miss out on the benefits of sleeping early.
A study has also been carried out by Chinese researchers investigating whether sleep masks (and ear plugs to block out noises) affect your sleep.
As part of the study, the participants’ urine was analyzed for melatonin (the sleep inducing hormone) levels.
The research indicated that the use of sleep masks and ear plugs led to more deeper quality sleep, that was less disrupted, with elevated melatonin levels.
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3: Saves Your Life
A sleep mask is a cost effective investment in your health with life-saving benefits.
Sleeping in total darkness allows your body to secrete as much melatonin as possible. When you don’t produce enough melatonin, you increase the risk of deadly diseases.
Did you know that melatonin is also an antioxidant?
It can help prevent damage to your DNA that aging, exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, or harmful rays from the sun may cause.
It’s really important to protect your DNA because any damage could potentially cause cancer.
5: Reduces Depression
A sleep mask can do wonders for your mental health.
A longitudinal study, involving more than 800 Japanese adults, has also indicated that getting shut-eye in complete darkness reduces depression.
Through this experiment, people who saw more than five lux at night (to put this into context, 10 lux is like looking at a candle from about 10 foot away) were more likely to develop symptoms of depression, as opposed to those sleeping in complete darkness.
7: Improves Your Skin
The right sleep masks will leave the skin looking youthful as they fight signs of aging.
It’s worth getting hold of a silk sleep mask. They are jam-packed full of natural proteins.
If you have sensitive skin the mulberry variety (see the example below) is the one to pick. It contains a protein called sericin which reduces the chance of any allergic reactions.
The silk will not only feel soft and smooth against your skin, it will also help regulate body temperature (much needed for sleep to incur), and control moisture.
It will leave you feeling warm in the winter and cold in the summer, making it an excellent sleeping aid.