I’ll be honest, sleep doesn’t always come easily for me. Even when I feel tired at the end of the day, I can lay awake in bed for hours before falling asleep — especially in the summertime. Most recently, however, I made a teeny tiny tweak to my sleep routine, and it’s made such a huge difference that I had to share it with you.
Why You Should Be Using a Sleep Mask
I’ve started wearing a sleep mask to bed. Yes, I am actually here to argue that those weird looking masks you wear over your eyes can make a huge difference when you’re trying to catch those precious z’s. Personally, I always thought they looked ridiculous TK and super uncomfortable. But after reading up on sleep hygiene and best practices for better sleep, I decided to give it a try — and I’m so glad I did.
Through my research, I learned a lot about how light affects our sleep. According to sleep expert Dr. Carleara Weiss, PhD, Scientific Adviser at Aeroflow Sleep, any type of light suppresses our brains ability to produce melatonin — also known as the sleep hormone. “Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by our body at the right time to support sleep, thanks to a master biological clock in our brain, ” she explains. “This biological clock uses information from the body and the environment to identify the right timing for hormones, metabolism, and sleep. It understands light as a signal to stay awake and ‘blocks’ melatonin.”
In other words, if there’s any light in your room at all, especially during the nighttime hours, it could be affecting your sleep. Not to mention, this is a problem that’s exacerbated during the summer months, since the sun rises earlier and sets later in the day.
For me, using a sleep mask at night has made the biggest difference. I’ve noticed that not only does it take less time for me to fall asleep, but I’m also able to stay asleep when the sun rises around 5:30 AM each morning. Thanks to this handy little gadget, I wake up every day feeling more refreshed and energized than I ever have before.
To my surprise, wearing the sleep mask wasn’t at all uncomfortable. The one I bought (Buy one on Amazon, $9.98) is made with soft cotton and sponge material, so it felt like a cloud resting on my face!
While it’s a small change, the experts say that controlling your exposure to light can prime your body for good, restful sleep. Try out using a sleep mask, and you’ll see how much easier catching those z’s can be.