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Do Sleep Masks Help With Sleep

Sleeps mask is known to block light that prevents sleep or reduces sleep quality.

Light has a major role to play in sleep. Sleep masks cover the eyes and help keep light out while a person is falling asleep. It also helps in preventing a person from getting up or waking up before they are ready to get up for a day.

Do Sleep Masks Help With Sleep?

The main purpose of the sleep mask is to block the light that might interrupt sleep.

As the light changes throughout the day, it affects alertness, sleep, and the body’s circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm involves mental, physical, and behavioral changes that occur throughout the 24 hours. It is sensitive to both light and dark. (1)

Sleep can be hampered by the light coming from the electronic device. A sleep mask can be helpful to a person in falling asleep by blocking the light that affects it.

In the morning the sleeping mask can be helpful to block the light that may wake up the person before they are ready to get up after a restful sleep.

A study done in 2017 involved 1378 people in the intensive care unit. It was found that the combination of a sleep mask and earplugs helped in shutting out enough light and improving sleep quality.(2)

Also in a 2021 review, researchers looked at 35 quality studies on sleep masks and earplugs for people in the ICU who were ill critically. Positive results were found in a majority of studies. (3)

Types of Sleeping Masks

Sleep masks are available in a wide variety. They vary in various ways including:

  • Weight
  • Material
  • Texture and comfort
  • Heating and cooling effects

Quality studies on the benefits of sleep masks are lacking therefore, the benefits of various types of masks are anecdotal. A person can buy different types of masks to look at which one works the best for them.

Are Sleep Masks Beneficial For The Skin?

There is no evidence showing that sleep masks benefit the skin but they are unlikely to cause any harm to the skin.

Studies show that sleep masks focus on the quality of sleep and the ability to fall asleep. Sleeping well can be beneficial for the skin. (4)

However, there are certain things that should be kept in mind to minimize the harmful effects on the skin, while using a sleep mask:

  • Keep the mask clean
  • Choose a fabric that has breathability
  • Avoid placing frozen mask or hot mask directly on the skin

A mask should to kept clean to avoid oil and dust trapping that may lead to a build-up of infection.

Alternatives to Sleep Masks that May Help with Sleep

A sleep mask may help a person fall asleep by blocking light. A person can also wrap a towel or a t-shirt loosely around the head and eyes to sleep better. However, it can be a bad alternative for those who move a lot in their sleep.

Another option can be keeping the room dark and cool by using blackout curtains and avoiding electronic devices.

Other options to improve sleep are:

  • Sticking to a bedtime
  • Limiting caffeine intake around the bedtime hours
  • Exercising regularly

When to Speak with a Doctor

Sleeping well is very important to stay healthy. For some people, if the light is an issue, a sleep mask can be helpful. If these or other options do not help, one should speak with a doctor to improve sleep hygiene.

Lack of sleep leads to fatigue during the day and affects daily activity. A doctor may be helpful in determining the cause and would give an appropriate solution.

An eye mask is an option to help block light and help a person sleep well. It is important to keep the mask clean to avoid bacterial build-up. Along with this, sleep quality can be improved by taking other measures including removing electronic devices, using blackout curtains, and avoiding caffeine

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 26, 2022

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