Sleep masks are a tool for better sleep. They are designed to block out all light at night. Light pollution is a major stressor in the world today. All you have to do is go out at night and realize you can barely see the stars. That is because of all the stray light brightening up the sky.
Now our bodies were designed to sleep in complete darkness. As day shifts to night and the brightness of the day subsides it is the cue from our eyes to our brain to release melatonin aka the dracula hormone because it only comes out at night. If it is too bright or there is a lot of blue light dominated illuminating going on, the body will delay releasing melatonin. This results in falling asleep later than you want and also low quality sleep.
Sleep masks – what are they good for?
Step into your average household bedroom at night. You are sure to find a TV, phone chargers, computers, led alarm clocks, and other led lit chargers or devices. Even with most of these turned off, just the indicator lights can light up a room enough to disrupt sleep. Then add on top of this spillover light from the hallway and light pollution from outside from street lamps, car headlights, and moonlight and you got a pretty bright room.
A sleep mask allows you to control for these variables and always have complete darkness for your eyes. Your eyelids are pretty good at letting some light through so relying on them is not the best idea for your first defense against light. This in turn allows for maximum melatonin release so you can recharge your batteries and wake up feeling pretty good.
I have found the best sleep masks to be the ones with independent eye sockets instead of a full mask. A full mask still lets light in because of the bridge of your nose. The independent sockets also keep you cooler because you are only covering your eyes not half your face. This comes into consideration because body temp plays a big role in sleep comfort and quality. I really like the one by Manta Sleep.
Having trouble sleeping? Want to get a boost in your performance at work or the gym? Work with me as your sleep coach. No one said no to a goodnight’s sleep. Sleep coaching