For centuries, people have been using sleep eye masks to help them sleep. Whether it’s to block out unwanted light or to create a calming atmosphere, these masks have been a popular sleep aid to gain more hours of sleep for a long time. However, it’s only in recent years that the science behind sleep eye masks has been studied in detail. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at why sleep eye masks work.
The Key Benefits of Using Sleep Eye Masks
Before we dive into the specifics of why sleep masks work, it’s important to understand the benefits of sleep masks. One of the primary reasons people use these masks is to block out light. Light is a powerful cue for our bodies, signaling that it’s time to be awake and alert. When we’re trying to sleep, any exposure to light can disrupt our natural sleep cycles and make it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep or obtain the crucial REM sleep and deep sleep required to achieve a good night rest. This is particularly true for people who work night shifts or live in areas with lots of artificial light at night.4
In addition to blocking out light, sleep eye masks can also help create a calming atmosphere. Many people find that wearing a mask to bed at night makes them feel more relaxed and peaceful, which can make it easier to fall asleep. This is particularly true for people who struggle with anxiety, insomnia or other sleep disorders.5
Another benefit of sleep eye masks is that they can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. Our bodies are designed to sleep at night and be awake during the day, but many people’s schedules don’t allow for this natural rhythm, also known as Circadian Rhythm. You can find out more about this in our previous article “Circadian rhythm – what is it and how does it help me to sleep?“. By wearing a sleep eye mask, you can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, even if it’s not dark outside. This can be particularly important while travelling, or for those who perform shift work.
Image by Zohre Nemati on Unsplash
The Science Behind Sleep Eye Masks
So, why do sleep masks work? As it turns out, there are a few different reasons.
First and foremost, sleep eye masks block out light, which is a powerful cue for our bodies to be awake. When our eyes are exposed to light, they send a signal to our brains that it’s time to be alert and active. This can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep, especially if you’re exposed to a lot of light at night.
By blocking out light, sleep eye masks can help create a more conducive environment for sleep, increasing our natural Melatonin levels. This is especially true for people who work night shifts or live in areas with lots of ambient light at night. By wearing a sleep eye mask, you can create a dark and peaceful atmosphere that’s more conducive to sleep.3
Another reason sleep eye masks work is that they can help regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. Our bodies are designed to sleep at night and be awake during the day, but many people’s schedules don’t allow for this natural rhythm. By wearing a sleep eye mask, you can help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, even if it’s not dark outside. This can be especially helpful for people who work irregular hours or travel frequently across time zones.
Finally, sleep eye masks can create a sense of comfort and relaxation that can make it easier to fall asleep. Many people find that wearing an eye mask makes them feel more calm and peaceful, which can help them relax and drift off to sleep more easily. This is particularly true for people who struggle with anxiety or other sleep disorders.
Dreamlight Sleep Eye Masks
One popular brand of sleep eye masks is Dreamlight. These masks are designed to be ultra-comfortable and customizable, with features like adjustable straps and a contoured design that conforms to your face. They also feature a built-in heating element that can help relax your muscles and promote deeper sleep.
But do Dreamlight sleep eye masks actually work?
According to a review of the product in Australian online publication Which-50, the Dreamlight Sleep eye mask received positive reviews from users who found that it helped them sleep better and wake up feeling more rested.2 Additionally, Dreamlight’s technology is based on research into the benefits of light therapy, suggesting that the mask’s features are backed by science.
Expert Opinion from Olivia Arezzolo
Olivia Arezzolo, a sleep expert and psychologist based in Australia, is a credible source of information on sleep health and wellness. In an interview with Body+Soul, Arezzolo explains that sleep eye masks work by blocking out light and helping to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. She recommends using a sleep eye mask in conjunction with other sleep-promoting practices, such as establishing a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.
Arezzolo also emphasizes the importance of finding a high-quality sleep eye mask that fits comfortably and blocks out light effectively. She suggests looking for masks made from breathable materials that won’t irritate the skin, and avoiding masks that are too tight or restrictive.1
Sleep eye masks are a simple yet effective tool for improving sleep quality and promoting relaxation. By blocking out light and helping to regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycles, these masks can help you fall asleep more easily and wake up feeling more rested. The Dreamlight Sleep eye mask, with its customizable features and built-in heating element, is a popular choice among sleep enthusiasts. Additionally, expert Olivia Arezzolo emphasizes the importance of finding a high-quality mask that fits comfortably and effectively blocks out light. Whether you’re dealing with sleep disorders, working night shifts, or simply looking to improve your sleep hygiene, a sleep eye mask may be just the tool you need to get a better night’s rest.
If you are interested in purchasing a Dreamlight Sleep Eye Mask, these are readily available at most leading pharmacies and online via Smart Wellness
- “Sleep eye masks: what are they and do they work?” by Olivia Arezzolo, Body+Soul: https://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/sleep/sleep-eye-masks-what-are-they-and-do-they-work/news-story/7787f1e0f441c1703dfb682dc154b0a5
- “Dreamlight Sleep Mask Review” by Lauren Sams, Which-50: https://which-50.com/review-dreamlight-sleep-mask/
- “Why Do We Need Sleep?” by National Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/why-do-we-need-sleep
- “Blocking Blue Light at Night: A Realistic Way to Decrease the Risk of Adverse Health Effects?” by National Institutes of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288536/
- “Sleep Health” by Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/sleep-health