Are Sleep Masks Good for You?

For those who experience difficulty nodding off to begin with, or staying asleep, a comfortable and well-fitting sleep eye mask may have presented itself as an option. Sleep eye masks are devoted to obstructing light and creating a dark environment for you to sleep in, which can be advantageous for those sensitive to light, having trouble sleeping in illuminated rooms or perhaps working graveyard shifts or frequently travelling. But do sleep masks serve a purpose? And are they worth all the hype? The following is what you need to know:

Fall asleep faster

Light is a primary sign that signals to the body that it is time to be up. Throughout the day, exposure to light suppresses melatonin, a hormone typically generated in the brain, which lets the brain know when it’s time for rest. On the other hand, being surrounded by darkness prompts melatonin production. High enough melatonin levels are required to initiate sleep.1,2 As mentioned above, darkness, or the absence of light is exactly what a sleep mask is made to help you to achieve. 

Wearing a sleep eye mask can keep you asleep longer

In addition to helping you to fall asleep, sleep eye masks can also help you stay asleep. This is because they block out any light that may enter your room while you are sleeping, such as streetlights, a partner getting up to use the bathroom or device, or ultimately the sun rising in the morning. Blocking out these sources of light helps keep your body in a state of darkness and encourages it to remain in a deep sleep. Additionally, wearing a sleep mask can reduce distractions from other sources of light, such as artificial light from electronic devices or even the moonlight coming through your window.3 Things that heavy blackout curtains alone cannot do. 

Wearing an eye mask can help enhance the quality of sleep

By blocking out external sources of light and reducing distractions, sleep masks can help improve overall sleep quality. Studies have shown that people who wear sleep masks experience deeper and more restful sleeps than those who don’t use them. Furthermore, wearing a sleep mask has been linked to improved alertness during the day due to better quality of rest at night.

Sleep eye masks may increase the amount of sleep you get

Sleep eye masks can help induce sleep quicker and potentially result in more restful nights. The benefits of a proper night’s sleep are many, as it helps with concentration, focus, irritability, moods, and reaction times. To learn more, read this article about what health issues can arise from not getting enough sleep.3

Staying at a hospital

Sleep eye masks can be advantageous for individuals with certain health issues. For example, patients in a coronary unit are vulnerable to loss of sleep due to distractions in a hospital ward including but not limited to lights on medical equipment, fellow patients using devices or moving around the hospital, or interruptions from nursing staff during rest time. Not having sufficient sleep can bring about heightened blood pressure and heart rate, amplifying the possibility of generating cardiovascular troubles for these heart patients. Yet, an exploration of cardiac patients in a coronary care unit found that putting on a sleep mask significantly advanced their quality of slumber.4

Use them anywhere

Sleep eye masks are a versatile and effective way to get better sleep, wherever you are – at home, on the plane, or at a hotel. They’re small and easy to take with you so you can use them any time and they don’t require any power.

Sleep masks are especially helpful when traveling. Whether it’s on an airplane or in a hotel room, sleep masks can help you get the restful sleep you need. They block out light and create a dark environment that helps your body relax and drift off to sleep. This is especially helpful if you’re in an unfamiliar place or if the sun rises earlier than usual in different time zones.

Woman in bed wearing Dreamlight Sleep Mask

Shift workers

Sleep eye masks are a great way for those who work night shift to get the rest they need. By blocking out light, these masks can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. They also provide a sense of privacy and comfort, which can be especially helpful for those who work in noisy environments. Additionally, sleep eye masks can reduce the level of discomfort by helping to create a more relaxed atmosphere, allowing the wearer to get in the hours of sleep required for sufficient sleep cycles including REM Sleep, which is important for your memory and mood, light sleep, which promotes mental and physical restoration and deep sleep, which is useful to consolidate memory, learning and physical recovery. This can all get your circadian rhythm into action. 

Features to look out for when choosing a sleep eye mask

When using a sleep mask, it’s important to make sure that the fit is comfortable and snug, as an ill-fitting one can irritate or put pressure on your eyes. A breathable material to avoid skin irritation and adjustable strap can help achieve this. Additionally, make sure to clean your sleep mask regularly to inhibit bacterial accumulation. Generally speaking, sleep masks are safe when used correctly and consistently.5

In this way, are sleep eye masks worthwhile? The plain answer is affirmative. The longer response is – quality sleep is important and the negative effects of poor sleep plentiful. Anything that assists you in getting a satisfactory amount of slumber will be advantageous to your health. Just make certain that you select a comfortable and accurately fitting mask with an adjustable strap, and which can be laundered easily. The potential benefits are huge! If you are interested in finding out more, have a gander at the Dreamlight selection of sleep eye masks here.


  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/pineal-gland-function
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/melatonin-and-sleep#basics
  3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/the-case-for-wearing-a-sleep-mask/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4733498/
  5. https://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/buyers-guide/sleep-masks/



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