Posted on

Choosing the Best Sleep Mask

WHICH SLEEP MASK IS THE RIGHT ONE FOR YOU?

Sleep masks are designed in a wide range of designs to shield your eyes from unwanted light, ensuring you will be able to set a perfectly dark environment for you to get some shut eye. Beyond that they are each designed to address a particular need.Whether you may be researching into buying your first sleep mask or you have a sleep masks you are not completely satisfied with, we have put together this handy guide to help you become familiar with the wide variety of sleep masks available.

So how do you choose the best sleep mask for you?

We have broken down each type of sleep mask into categories that best explain their unique benefits. If there is one benefit that seems to address your main reason for utilizing a sleep mask then you can go directly to that section to ready up on the various masks and their features.

The best sleep mask is obviously going to be the one that helps you feel most comfortable and aids you in getting in a good nap or a restorative night of sleep.


Light-Blocking

When fitted incorrectly to the face, sleep masks can only block out 98%-99% of light. It’s also important to note that since everyone’s face varies in size and shape, a mask that blocks out 100% of light for one person may not do the same for you. Product reviews along with the mask dimensions can help you choose the proper mask for you.

You should also take into consideration what location (e.g. bright/dark room, outdoors/indoors) you plan to use your sleep mask. If you are trying to sleep in a very bright location, try to look for a sleep mask that can block 99% to 100% of light. A larger mask will cover more of your face to limit the possibility of light creeping in from the edges in case the mask moves while you are sleeping. An adjustable mask will also allow you to get the best combination of secure fit and comfort.
Therapeutic
There are two types of therapeutic sleep masks: those that use light therapy and those that use aromatherapy. The light therapy masks such as the Sound Oasis Glo-to-Sleep masks use a blue light to focus the mind in order to calm it and help you fall to sleep faster. The aromatherapy therapeutic sleep masks comes with a front pocket to conveniently fit an herb sachet.The purpose of the sachet is to use aromatherapy in addition to light blocking to help you sleep. Most sleep masks come with an herbal fragrance, although you can certainly experiment with different fragrances or combos to determine the one you find most effective.

Therapeutic Benefits:
1. Fall asleep faster without using medication.
2. Ideal for those who use pillow liners.
3. Perfect for those who enjoy aromatherapy.

Inserting the herb sachet is completely optional. If you prefer not to insert the herbal sachet to stimulate yourself into sleeping, you can still use the sleep mask as a standard light-blocking aid. There are other aromatherapy options available that do not involve placing the sachet into the sleep mask. Some examples include pillow liners and sleep sprays, vaporizers and concentrates made from essential oils.

Slim/Medium/Thick Profile
Another important factor to consider is the profile of the sleep mask. Do you travel often and value convenience for an eye mask with a slim profile to fit into your purse or bag? Or do you prefer wearing a mask that doesn’t feel like anything is sitting on your face?

If that’s the case, you should consider a mask such as the Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask, a slim and feather-light eye mask with molded eye spacing to offer light-blocking capabilities without sacrificing comfort.

The Dream Essentials Sweet Dreams Contoured Sleep Mask is very flexible and can fold without permanently creasing. For a budget-friendly price at right around $13, it comes with a complimentary drawstring carry pouch and free foam earplugs.

For those who prefer wearing a medium or thicker eye mask, you may want to try a test run and see if the thick strap will dig into your skin first. Usually thicker sleep masks add sight pressure to the eyes with the trade off being they typically  have better light-blocking capabilities compared to thinner masks.
For Sleeping
A comfortable eye mask doesn’t always necessarily mean it will block out the maximum light. However, some people prefer to
put on an eye mask simply for sleeping and not much for anything else. If that’s the case, you can look for a mask made from a slightly opaque material that won’t allow too much light pass to your eyes. However, pay close attention to mask shape as slight crevices can also allow some light to enter the mask along the edges or on the nose area.Ideally, your mask should be soft, flexible and light-weight, with contours that keep it from pressing against your eyes.

Multiple Colors
Once you’ve decided on an effective light-blocking mask you may start to reflect on what color, design and appearance best suits you and your personality. There are many masks available in a variety of designs that range from simple to fancy with some ranging from themed masks based on popular characters and colors to neutral colors and designs.

Although the mask’s design won’t ultimately affect your sleeping ability because your eyes will see pitch darkness, it doesn’t hurt to invest in a mask that adds a bit of fun to your personality.

With Velcro Fasteners
Decide if a Velcro strap is really the right choice for you. A few things you may want to test before deciding on an eye mask with velcro fasteners is the level of comfort you feel with a strap band on your head. Choose a mask with a soft, length-adjustable strap that won’t entangle your hair or cut into your head.

With Ear Plugs

If you want to block out all noise in addition to light, there are eye masks that come with complimentary ear plugs as well. Some ear plugs stay attached with the mask so they don’t get lost while there are others are loose from the eye mask, depending on your personal preference.

Side Sleeper
People that sleep primarily on their sides usually prefer a more compact and light-profile mask profile so that it doesn’t easily shift from your face when you toss and turn during your sleep cycle. You can consider looking into the Dream Essentials Sleep Mask, which is also great for side sleepers or stomach sleepers. The best masks for you are ones that don’t shift or fall off no matter how much you toss and turn during your sleep.

Washable
After a period of prolonged usage, it’s necessary to wash your sleep mask to prevent bacteria, oil, and dirt build-up. If you continually use a sleep mask without regularly washing it, you may even result in an eye infection, acne, or skin irritation. Believe it or not, you tend to sweat during sleep. You can probably notice this on your sheets and pillowcases and the same thing will happen with your sleep mask if you use it consistently. The eyebrows and eyelashes are popular spots for oil and dirt accumulation.

Fabric Choices/Material
Materials used in the mask construction are important, particularly for people irritated by, or even allergic, to certain materials and fabrics. Also, how durable is the mask and can it be easily washed? Some eye masks are made of a combination of 100% cotton and silk that is easy yet delicate on the eyes and skin. Try looking into 100% cotton eye masks because they encourage sweat absorption and are breathable which help prevent overheating.

Eye Space
Eye space refers to the  hollow spaces where your eyes do not touch the fabric of the mask. A benefit of eye cavities is the freedom of staring into pitch darkness while still wearing the mask. This is possible because your eye lashes are a short distance from the fabric but not too close that your lashes touch the fabric, allowing maximum freedom for your eyes.You should also take into note that it all comes down to personal preference because some eye mask shapes may irritate the bridge of your nose more than others.

Before purchasing a sleeping mask, ask yourself if you want an eye mask that touches your eyelashes or not. Gentle pressure to the eyelids sometimes soothes people to sleep while it causes irritation for others. Sleep mask brands that don’t touch your eyes include Dream Essentials and Bucky.

 
Travel Pouch Included Some eye masks come included with a travel pouch. If your eye mask comes included with earplugs, it’s best to purchase or look into a sleep mask set that also includes a travel pouch. That way you can keep all your items and accessories together no matter where you go. You can even throw it in your purse or bag knowing all your accessories or your eye mask are safe and in one place. Even if you don’t have a travel pouch, it never hurts to look into getting one.


For Children
Children often try to imitate adult behavior. If your child spots you wearing a sleep mask, they’re sure to want to try it to find out what it’s all about. A children’s mask is a great start to encourage children to develop good sleeping habits at a young age.They’re travel-friendly and great for ages 3 to 10. They’re usually designed with bright, vibrant, and kid-friendly designs they will adore. A black-out fabric is usually stitched into the body of the mask to prevent the eyes from receiving light. Be sure to check the material of the fabric to be sure the fabric rests over the eyes and cushions them without putting pressure on the eyes. Be sure to ask your child if it’s comfortable enough. An uncomfortable eye mask will likely result in discomfort and sleep loss.

Customizable
If you do not find the right sleep mask for you among the available selections, you can also choose to customize your sleep mask to best suit you. Once again, a few but not all of the things to consider: types, materials, and price.

How to Get Started
If you’re having doubts, feel free to ask us about which masks would be the best sleep mask for you. Be sure to include the most important details such as size, style and fabric prefences, price, and any information about your sleeping conditions (side sleeper, ambient noise level, light level, etc).

 

Posted on

Want Better Sleep? Exercise More.

Want a Better Night’s Sleep? Exercise More.

It’s a myth that exercise keeps you awake. A recent study of 1,000 people revealed that the more active a person is, the better he or she sleeps. The results are staggering, considering that 83 percent of people who work out regularly also report sleeping well, compared to 56 percent of people who do not work out regularly. Why is the difference so vast and what can you do about it?
It’s no surprise that sitting at a computer all day means that bodies aren’t being challenged. Your body doesn’t think it needs much rest when it’s basically been resting all day. However, if you stay active, your body will more naturally crave those precious sleeping hours you need.

Skip the Sleeping Pills

The study also revealed that twice as many sedentary people take sleep aids as compared to more active people. This can be a vicious cycle and some sleep aids have addictive qualities. Instead of reaching for the pills, try your best to squeeze in some kind of workout most days.

Try exercising in the morning, afternoon and evening and make note of what time works best for your sleeping habits. The release of endorphins following intense exercisecan indeed boost energy, although it’s not the same thing as chugging a Red Bull.

Making it Work

You’re busy. Prioritizing a workout over professional obligations and family time sometimes seems impossible. Nevertheless, the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of regular exercise are impossible to ignore. Exercise’s mood- and brain-boosting benefits will likely make you a more valuable employee, parent and more.

Consider the downside to a lack of sleep. Not sleeping enough hours is linked to a host of diseases and side effects ranging from cardiovascular disorders to anxiety. The simple fact is that your body needs sleep. On average, most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep. Practice good sleep hygiene and habits, including exercising regularly, to make the most of your health.

The Basics of Sleep Hygiene

While exercise won’t negatively impact your sleep right before bed, other activities will. Don’t get caught up in the “click here” ads while you surf the Internet into the wee hours. Avoid any screen, from the TV to the laptop, at least three hours before bed. Stop taking caffeine in the early afternoon and opt for a lighter dinner and a heavier breakfast and lunch.

Some people swear by spritzing or applying lavender on their sheets and pillows before bed; the scent of lavender encourages relaxation, so it’s certainly worth a try. Everyone has the same hours in the day, so spend yours wisely. Make sure there’s plenty of time for both sleep and exercise in there to lead a healthier, happier life.

Not Sure Where to Start?

Here are a few exercise programs that have worked well for many people who are new to exercise.

1. Couch to 5k Training Plan

2. The Best Bodyweight Workout

3. Beginner Walking Workouts

4. Weight Training 30 Day Quick Start Guide

5. Six Week Beginner Hiking Training Plan

 

Adrienne Erin is a blogger and freelance writer who knows the value of a good night of sleep. You can see more of her work by following her on Twitter.

 

Note: City of Sleep does not endorse nor warrant the content of the article(s) published on its website, and expressly rejects liability for any losses association with publication or re-publication of articles. Every effort to ensure original content with accurate citations, references, and credits, to original authors, has been made.