Street lamps or illumination from clocks, stereos or TV indicator lights could give off light that distracts you from drifting off. Morning light comes through your curtains. If you do not need to be up that early, a sleep mask can help ward off approaching daylight. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “a dark bedroom contributes to better sleep. Try light-blocking curtains, drapes or an eye mask.” If you want both the dark bedroom and an inexpensive option, try a sleep mask.
You wear a sleep mask around your head, like a headband, to cover your eyes and make a dark environment for sleeping. Sleep masks are popular with travelers on airplanes, people who work at night and must sleep during the day, and anyone else who wants darker surroundings when needing sleep. It’s also easy to bring with you on a trip, when you’re not sure how dark the hotel room will be.
Using a sleep mask is one way to help you achieve the goal of a good night’s sleep. In “Importance of Sleep: Six reasons not to scrimp on sleep,” Harvard Women’s Health Watch points out that getting your seven to eight hours of sleep will benefit your memory, weight, safety, mood, cardiovascular health and immunity.
Sleep masks are available in different fabrics. Choose one that has material heavy or dark enough to block the light. Some masks advertise that they do not put pressure on your eyes, and some do not touch your eyes at all. They usually vary in price from about $1.50 to $30. Try a less-expensive sleep mask first, and if you don’t like the sensation of the mask touching your eyelashes, then invest in an upscale model.
Don’t get the first sleep mask you see. A fancy, decorated one, for example, may not be the best one. Look for parts that cover from the edges of your eyes to the edges your nose. This will block out more light. Stiff fabric may not be the best, either. A sleep mask should conform easily to your face, cover your eyes well and be comfortable as you fall asleep.