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Eye masks are not just for starlets, divas, or first-class airline passengers. There is science that supports the use of eye masks to eliminate light that might interfere with sleep when you can’t create a completely dark sleep environment, which is most of the time. Even as the autumn days grow shorter, and it gets dark outside earlier, the electronics in our rooms continue to provide light that may negatively affect our sleep. Here's why we think you should make eye masks part of your bedtime routine.

1. Eye Masks Block Out Ambient Light

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), “Your body’s circadian clock responds to light, as a signal to be awake, and dark, as a signal to fall asleep. Increase your amount of light during the day to be more alert. Darken your bedroom room at night to sleep better.” An eye mask can eliminate any natural light peeking through your shades, as well as the ambient light from electronics. This applies to your bedroom at home, hotel rooms, and airplanes.

Worrying about getting to sleep can keep you from getting to sleep. Sleep experts recommend turning down the face of your clock so you won’t see it and be kept awake by the mental calculations your brain is doing to determine how many hours of sleep you can still get if you fall asleep within the next five minutes, or the next five minutes, or the next five minutes. An eye mask adds a layer of protection against clock watching when you’re trying to fall asleep.

2. Eye Masks Apply Gentle Pressure

Masks can provide a calming effect that may encourage you to fall asleep faster. Although you want to avoid a too-tight eye mask, the gentle pressure and soft feel of a properly fitting eye mask can be relaxing. Weighted eye masks offer some of the benefits of deep pressure stimulation. This is similar to the calming effect of weighted blankets, in which the pressure “prepares your body for rest by calming your heart rate and breathing” to help you to fall asleep. Down Etc’s Knitted Weighted Blanket provides a soothing and relaxing hug without retaining too much heat.

3. Eye Masks Soothe the Skin

Wearing an eye mask reduces any friction that might occur when the skin around your eyes rubs against your pillowcase as you move throughout the night. It provides the same benefits to skin as sleeping on silk pillowcases.

Cooling eye masks may help reduce eye puffiness. Additionally, headache sufferers may consider a cooling eye mask to reduce head pain.  Heated eye masks can provide relief of the symptoms of dry eye. Some people experience situational dry eyes caused by windy or smoky air, prolonged screen use, or irritating cosmetics. Others suffer from chronic dry eye due to medical conditions, eyelid problems, or eye surgeries such as eyelid surgery and LASIK. The symptoms of dry eyes tend to worsen in the winter as a result of cold wind and dry indoor air. CNN Underscored reports that heated eye masks can improve the function of the meibum glands that produce the oily substance in your tears that prevents evaporation and keeps your eyes moist.

4. Eye Masks Let Others Know You’re Resting

Travel is a great time to meet new people and to hear their stories. Sometimes, though, you’re not in the mood for conversation but don’t want to be rude. Slipping on an eye mask lets the person next to you know you want to be incommunicado.

And just because you’re sleeping doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be making a statement. Our Eyes Down Eye Masks let you tell the world how you feel without saying a word.

5. Eye Masks Are Part of a Calming Bedtime Routine

Whether it’s a warm bath, a soothing cup of tea, or breathwork, we believe a bedtime routine is beneficial to a great night’s sleep. Donning an eye mask is part of a bedtime routine that signals to your brain you are winding down and ready to sleep.

Be sure to keep your eye mask clean so residue does not build up and cause breakouts. That might mean washing it daily if you don’t wash your face before bed or sweat heavily at night. This is particularly important if you suffer from dry eye or any type of eye condition. We suggest you keep a few eye masks on hand, so you always have a fresh one.

We wish you a completely dark night’s sleep.

-The Team at Down Etc


If you’re interested in learning more, consider these other articles:

Block Out the Light with an Eye Mask for a Great Night’s Sleep

Night Shift Mode

Incorporating Tea into Your Bedtime Routine Can Help You Sleep

Breathwork for Better Sleep

The Benefits of Sleeping on Silk

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