For those of us who have trouble sleeping, a comfortable sleep mask can be a game changer.
We know that exposure to light does not make for a good night’s sleep. Researchers have discovered three types of cells in the human eye that detect and respond to light and align our brain’s circadian rhythm to ambient light.
Known as intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), these cells started firing after being exposed to a 30-second pulse of light and continued firing for several seconds after the light was turned off.
This is where a comfortable sleep mask comes to the fore. Not only does it block out ambient light, it also prevents you from looking at distractions in your bedroom – like the dreaded alarm clock which can taunt you when you’re desperate to fall asleep.
The complete darkness afforded by a sleep mask increases your body’s production of melatonin which allows you to fall asleep faster. Bonus feature – melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant. The function of antioxidants is to prevent damage to DNA, which can lead to cancer.
Soft sleep masks are inexpensive sleep aids which really make a positive difference if ambient light is making it difficult to get some shut-eye, if you’re staying in an unfamiliar place, or if you simply want a relaxing cat nap during the day. They’re lightweight, easy to clean and portable – and easy to slip on when you need them – whether it’s in your bedroom or when you’re catching a red-eye flight.