5 Ways An Eye Mask Is The New Way To Blissful Sleep This Year
Have you ever used an eye mask? The strategic covering on your eyes that blocks out the sunlight?
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The first eye mask was created in 1930 by Elsie and Edward Hemphill and patented in 1933. Joe Laporte later improved upon its initial design in 1949 and got rid of some uncomfortable straps to make the modern eye mask we use for travel today.
So why were eye masks created to sleep?
Simply put, it blocks out sunlight or other lighting and helps us fall asleep faster.
Is there some science behind it? Surprisingly there is!
There are two types of chemicals in your body that give it queues to fall asleep. One is adenosine, and the other is melatonin.
In the first case, adenosine works sort of like coolant in an engine. It increases in areas of your brain throughout the day, giving you the energy to work. It continues to rise until it reaches its peak, and instead, it starts to make you sleepy. A natural cue that your brain needs to shut down to rest.
In the second case, your body produces melatonin as a result of your circadian rhythm. It’s the body’s internal clock that tells you when to sleep and when to wake up. Melatonin production occurs when it’s dark, it’s like a trigger in your brain, saying lights out. When you expose your body to more light, it reduces melatonin production and makes you wake up sooner. A study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that light exposure caused a decrease in melatonin production by 90 minutes.
Imagine not sleeping for an hour and a half when you could have, had you turned the lights out. It’s why scientists recommend reducing screen time before bed.
So how can you make your environment more conducive for sleep? Block out all the noise with an ear-muff, check. Block out all light with an eye mask, check.
For this reason, eye masks are so helpful while traveling or trying to nap outside the home. When you’re on a business trip with a few hours on the flight, a nap with an eye mask can do wonders. It creates an environment for a good nap.
But is that all eye masks can do? You would be surprised to learn its other magical properties.
Benefits of sleeping with an eye mask
Eye Masks Improve sleep and help you fall asleep faster
Researchers studying the effects of eye and ear masks found that they improve sleep quality. Their results showed deeper sleep with increased melatonin levels and less disruption with the use of eye masks. Proving all you need is some darkness and less noise for a good catnap.
Dr. Alanna Hare from Royal Brompton Hospital Centre for Sleep says that sleep masks can reduce the time you spend awake in bed. With the complete darkness of melatonin, production increases helping, you fall asleep faster.
Eye Masks Reduce damage to your DNA
For example, cancer-causing rays from the sun can damage your DNA. But melatonin also acts as an antioxidant that repairs damage to your DNA—protecting you from diseases and cancer risks caused by damage to your DNA.
Eye Masks Reduce the harmful effects of Blue light
Your typical day is full of artificial light indoors, and at night, there is plenty of blue light from your phone, tablet, or laptop screens. Have you ever stayed awake watching something online or browsing in the hope of feeling sleepy? Have you ever wondered why it’s not worked well? You know now that it’s because the blue light from your screens reduced the production of melatonin. The chemical that helps you fall asleep. Counterproductive? Yes, but now you know to avoid that.
Try instead to wear an eye mask and earmuffs. You are bound to fall asleep faster. Sometimes even after turning out the light from outside or your alarm can prevent you from falling asleep. Here is where your eye mask can help.
Eye Masks Make You Feel Relaxed
If you can sleep in peace, you are bound to feel relaxed. After all, better sleep reduces stress.
Eye Masks help with headaches
Many people vouch for the benefits of eye masks to reduce migraines. You can even use them to avoid headaches caused by sleep deprivation. It is beneficial while traveling. Usually, eye masks put you in the mood for sleep. You are mentally more receptive to sleep, which helps you get to rest.
Eye masks are an invention that has had a lasting impact on how we sleep and view napping. It’s versatile enough that you can consider using it both at home and while traveling. Eye masks can impact how you sleep, translating into many more benefits than we just imagined. Effectively reducing stress, improving blood circulation, mood, and sleep quality. Better sleep means health and more productivity. Consider buying an eye mask the next time you decide to take a nap outside or have trouble falling asleep.