Most people don’t get enough sleep, a problem that’s compounded by insomnia. What you might not know, however, is that a poor night’s rest is frequently associated with a bad sleeping environment.
After all, humans are adapted to sleep in a dark environment lit only by the moon and the stars. Outside light sources such as street lamps, vehicle headlights and even the LEDs on your electronic devices can keep you up. Some studies even suggest that your sleep quality can degrade by up to 45 percent if there’s a light shining under your door.
The damage that excess light does to your ability to sleep occurs on multiple fronts. Some light sources make it hard to get to sleep, especially street or dusk-to-dawn lamps outside. Clocks and indicator lights can also make it much harder to enter dreamland.
Light can cause problems in other ways, too. It may make you sleep less soundly or wake you up early in the morning.
That’s where a sleep mask can help. A dark bedroom is the key to good sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, but if you can’t darken the room, you may be able to block out the light.
Sleep masks or eye shades are inexpensive and won’t seriously affect your day to day life, making them an excellent choice for anyone who has routine trouble sleeping. While you might not notice a big difference right away, just putting on a sleep mask makes it easier to get to sleep.
That’s because the lack of light signals your body that it’s time to rest. You’ll find yourself shutting down more easily when you reduce the amount of sensory input your brain needs to process.
Adding a pair of comfortable earplugs can produce an even better sleeping experience, especially if you live in a high traffic area. After you’ve experienced the most common eye mask benefits, you won’t want to go back to sleeping where bright lights can wake you up.
Remember, your sense of sight is strongly related to your ability to sleep comfortably. When the retina at the back of your eyes is not transmitting light signals to your brain, you drift off more easily.
In fact, there are specific parts of the brain that signal you to become drowsy according to the amount of light you get. This is why so many sleep experts recommend using dim lighting in the evening shortly before bedtime.
The simple act of putting on an eye mask encourages these organs to produce chemicals that encourage sleep. It’s one of the easiest and least complicated ways to fight insomnia and help yourself get a better night’s sleep over all.
If you’ve never experienced any of the benefits of eye masks, try one out tonight. You’ll sleep longer, more deeply and more comfortably, waking up refreshed and ready for your day.
There are all kinds of sleep masks available, from simple flat designs to elaborate padded and even scented models. There’s sure to be one that’s right to help you get the sleep you deserve.