Everything you need to know about sleep masks

How eye masks work 


Eye masks, otherwise known as sleep masks work by blocking out artificial light. Light, especially at night or when we're trying to nap, can disrupt our Circadian Rhythm (our body clock) which regulates our sleep-wake patterns. 

Being exposed to light just before sleep can suppress melatonin, which is the hormone that helps us doze off. Lack of melatonin can lead to sleep disorders such as insomnia.


When exposed to light, you're more likely to suffer from insomnia but that's not all.  

According to a Harvard study, it can also cause: 

  • mood disorders 
  • increased risk of obesity and diabetes 
  • cardiovascular disease. 


Yes, lack of sleep really can be that serious so it's time to find a good sleeping aid! 


The benefits of an eye mask  

There's an endless number of benefits to using an eye mask, whether that be to simply block out light or to help minimise distractions on your phone - it's got it all!  


They minimise distractions 

We know it's hard to ignore a notification if it flashes up on our phone screens. It's just the world we live in today. However, if your head has just hit the pillow and it's time to get some slumber, a single notification could lead to scrolling for hours. It might be a simple text message that could turn into 3 hours of TikTok without even realising it.  


By purchasing an eye mask, the light coming from your phone screen will be blocked by the material, leaving you completely ignorant of anything that comes up. It'll still be there in the morning! Using one every day can also signal to your brain that it's time to sleep as we thrive off habits.  


Cheaper alternative to blackout curtains  

While blackout curtains can be a great way to block out unwanted light when you're trying to sleep, they can be a costly investment. Eye masks range from £10-£30 and can be used multiple times! 


Could help with relieving headaches 

Did you know one of the most common causes of chronic migraines is light sensitivity? And if you suffer from migraines, you know that any kind of light that comes into contact with your eyeballs is painful. Obviously, before we go to sleep, pain is going to stop any kind of slumber from happening, so a total blackout eye mask can help give the impression of a dark room.  


A lower-risk alternative to sleeping pills 

When it comes to using medication to help with sleep, sometimes it's necessary, but it can have negatives for some people. They cost money (monthly), and there's also the risk of them harming you or possible addiction. 

An eye mask is a one-time purchase that you'll be able to use for years. We can't promise you won't get addicted, but it'll be to the relaxing sleep you get, not any synthetic hormones that are entering your body.  


Perfect for travel  

Travelling can be anxiety-inducing if you know you're going to have to sleep for some of it. Sleeping while travelling can be uncomfortable down to the seating arrangements, any harsh lights and people around you who aren't sleeping. 

A study in Current Biology said that your body goes into "night watch" mode when sleeping in an unfamiliar place. Because of this, an eye mask is a perfect solution for blocking out any unfamiliar environments and helping you fall asleep anywhere.  


Helps tackle jet lag 

Following on from the point above, if you've just done a long haul flight, the chances are your body clock is going to be out of whack. When you first enter a new country with a different time zone, the best thing to do is get yourself in touch with sleep, especially if you're going to be there a while. If you find your body struggling to settle down as it's not used to sleeping at the new time, a sleep mask can help with this.  


Take control of your Circadian Rhythm 

Our Circadian Rhythm is something all adults should be consistent with although most aren't. Bedtimes and wake times should be around the same time every day in order to keep your body clock accurate. You shouldn't be waking up at 6 am one day and 10 am the next - it'll just leave your body confused and less likely to fall asleep when you want it to.  


Incorporating a sleep mask into your routine can help tell your body it's time to sleep and using it every day will form a habit in your mind. Eye mask on = sleepy time!  


Above all, they'll improve sleep quality  

The chances are, you're reading this because you have poor sleep quality. Well, look no further, as sleep masks block light from entering your eyes, it'll improve your overall sleep quality. Blocking out distractions, your body can focus on falling asleep and reaching REM sleep. We need deep sleep which is what restores our bodies, repairs tissues and strengthens our immune system so we can't afford to be missing out on good quality sleep, ever.  


Types of eye masks  

There's a whole bunch of sleep masks on the market, all meeting different needs.  


Total blackout  

While all eye masks are supposed to block out light, it's not always the case. There are some masks out there that curve slightly, ensuring not even a tiny bit of light will disturb your sleep.  


Gel mask 

Did you know your body temperature needs to drop for you to fall asleep? Having a cooling gel eye mask can help speed up the process. It's also great for reducing puffiness!  


Cloth mask  

There are many cloth masks on the market and are the most commonly purchased. Be sure to pick a fabric that's going to 100% keep the light out, or it's pointless!  


Do you actually need an eye mask? 

If you've read this far, the answer is probably yes. Eye masks aren't just for those pampered 20-something-year-olds in rom-com. They have a number of benefits that can make your sleeping habits a lot healthier. If you: 

  • don't have blackout curtains 
  • have tech nearby that's likely to keep you awake 
  • work night shifts 
  • travelling 
  • or have insomnia 

then you should probably consider an eye mask!  


What should you look for when purchasing an eye mask? 

An eye mask checklist:  

  • Convenient to travel with 
  • Moulds to your face shape 
  • Total blackout, no gaps  
  • Made with high-quality materials  
  • Adjustable band 
  • Doesn't put pressure on your eyes 


Unfortunately, eye masks are not something you can try on due to hygiene reasons, meaning it's possible to purchase the wrong one for your needs. It's a good thing you're here, isn't it? 


The mask should fit tightly (but not uncomfortably) around your nose so no light can get in and the dark effect you're after will be non-existent.

A mask with either velcro or a high-quality elasticated strap is also worth looking for, as you want to be able to fit the mask comfortably around your head. If it's too tight, it'll just cause more sleep problems! An elasticated strap is also perfect for those who sleep on their side or stomach as you won't want it to get in the way and disturb your pending slumber.  

A mask with eye indentations is worth considering if you're someone who wears artificial lashes or makeup and is having a power nap. You don't want to wake up with mascara smudged all over your face because your eye mask has rubbed it around!  


Which eye mask do we recommend? 

As we mentioned above, each eye mask out there provides different advantages. However, we find that a silky smooth blackout mask does the trick. Our Total Blackout Eye Mask has ergonomic wings on either side of your nose to prevent any kind of light from entering under the mask, with eye indentations to relieve pressure on your eyelids and lashes.  


Small ways to fall asleep faster paired with the perfect eye mask: 

  • Listen to ambience audios like rain falling or white noise 
  • Soak in a hot bath  
  • Don't have caffeine close to bedtime. Try to keep it before 2 pm if you can  
  • Aromatherapy  
  • Sleep meditation  
  • Turn off electronics  


Final thoughts 

Getting adequate sleep is the key ingredient to making every aspect of your life just that little bit better. Even if you're having a bad day, it would be a lot worse if you were exhausted, right? And that's where eye masks make a perfect sleep aid for those who need that extra push when getting some shut-eye. Whether you're a night shift worker, a traveller or someone who just needs light blocked out, there's an eye mask for everyone. 

The right sleep mask might just be the answer to all your sleeping needs!