11 Sleep Mask Benefits You Won't Hit Snooze On

February 28, 2022 | Casper Editorial Team

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice.

One of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep is to make sure your environment is totally dark, but this isn’t always possible. Maybe you aren’t ready to invest in blackout curtains, or you’re traveling and don’t have a feasible way to control how dark your environment is. Whatever the case, a sleep mask is an affordable and portable solution to help you block out extra light, fall asleep fast, and even enjoy a more quality night’s sleep.

Modern sleep masks come in many designs, so anyone can find one they enjoy and feel comfortable wearing for a full night’s rest. In fact, some can block out both light and sound by covering your ears, helping you fall into a deep sleep. 

Block out light and noise with our Sleep Mask made with stretchy, soft, and breathable materials for pressure-free comfort. 

1. Can Block Light

One of the least invasive ways to improve your sleep is to control the lighting in your environment. Research has shown that our circadian rhythm is impacted by light, making a sleep mask useful for getting a good night’s rest when the lighting is out of your control. 

Plus, with the rise of modern technology, humans are exposed to more artificial blue light than ever before — this tech can impact your sleep in big ways. This is especially true in the evening, when you may be scrolling on your phone or watching your favorite series before bed. 

A sleep mask blocks out any extra light that may interfere with a good night’s rest, so you can snooze no matter where you’re at — be it a redeye flight or a hotel room in a bustling city.

2. May Help Minimize Distractions

Tech in your home doesn’t just keep you up with blue light — it also can be distracting. When you’re having trouble falling asleep, it can be tempting to check your phone to see what time it is, only to procrastinate and find yourself scrolling through your social media feed. 

Make a sleep mask part of your routine — like brushing your teeth before bed. When you put on your sleep mask, it’s less easy to roll over and quickly check your phone, or even wake up and start doing something else all together. 

Plus, using one every day may help create a conditioned response in your brain, signaling it to fall asleep whenever you put it on. Couple this with pink or white noise, and you’re all set for a distraction-free sleep.

3. May Help With Insomnia

If you have trouble falling asleep every once in a while or if it’s a frequent struggle, a sleep mask may help block out any extra “noise” coming from your brain. Even with your eyes shut, you can often still see or sense activity around your area. A sleep mask can provide sensory deprivation, eliminating extra distractions that may keep you awake at night, like the amount of light entering your eyes.

4. May Help Relieve Headaches

Light sensitivity, or photophobia, is one of the most common features of chronic migraines. Anyone with migraines knows they can be particularly debilitating when they hit during the middle of the day when sunlight makes it difficult to find a dark room to recuperate in.

A sleeping mask can give you that much-needed reprieve, no matter where you are. If you don’t have blackout shades or even need to take a break at work when you’re on the go, a sleep mask allows you to quickly bring some relief to an oncoming migraine.

5. Can Be an Alternative to Medication

Controlling the lighting when you sleep is a readily available and cost-effective way to aid your sleep. It’s also a lower risk than sleeping pills or melatonin, which though these may help with a rough night of sleep, aren’t always the ideal permanent solution.

Introducing an eye mask into your toolbox is a great way to consistently get some shut-eye without feeling dependent on medication or other means. 

6. May Help Minimize Dry Eyes

If you wake up with irritated, scratchy eyes, then a sleep mask may help alleviate them — according to BMJ Open Ophthalmology. When you have a heater or air purifier running while you sleep, you can dry out the air, causing you to wake up with dry, irritated eyes. 

A humidifier can help balance out your space by bringing back moisture. But humidifiers are often expensive and can be high maintenance in order to keep the vapor filtered and sanitized. While a sleep mask can’t add any moisture back into your home, it may trap the moisture around your eyes, keeping them hydrated, or protecting them from dust and allergens. 

7. May Help Prevent Wrinkles

Want to know one of the best ways to prevent wrinkles? Sleep! 

A recent study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that sleep deprivation is associated with more wrinkles and fine lines around the face. But lack of sleep isn’t the only reason you may develop wrinkles — according to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, we can also develop wrinkles from facial expressions while we sleep. When we sleep on our stomach or side, we compress our facial features, which can lead to more wrinkles.

When you wear a silk sleep mask, you’re now protecting the sensitive features around your eyes from friction damage. Couple this with a silk pillowcase, and you’re one step closer to true beauty sleep.

8. It’s Travel-Friendly

It’s one thing to fall asleep at home with your favorite pillow, but when you’re traveling to a new city, it’s not always feasible to bring one. Leaving your favorite comforts behind can impact your sleep, and it’s not just because you’re missing your luxurious sleep oasis back home.

According to a study in Current Biology, your body actually goes into “night watch” mode, making it harder to sleep in novel environments. Because of this, a sleep mask is the perfect solution to tune out unfamiliar environments, and help you fall asleep no matter where you are. 

9. May Improve Sleep Quality

Sleep masks stimulate extreme darkness, which can help you not only fall asleep but also improve your overall sleep quality. We need deep sleep — stages three and four of our sleep cycle — to restore our bodies, repair tissues, and strengthen our immune systems. Without time spent in stages three and four, you may feel sick, depressed, or have trouble concentrating, among many other issues.

By blocking out external stimuli and distractions, your body can more effectively focus on falling asleep and reaching REM sleep. A study simulated an ICU environment where noise and light were consistent disruptors and found that eye masks and earplugs helped the subjects reach REM sleep faster. This makes sleep masks with ear covers even more effective since they’ll both block out light and sound.

10. Can Help Calm Sleep Anxiety

If you struggle with sleep anxiety, you know how important it is to set up your environment for success. Exposure to light before bed can suppress your melatonin levels, making it difficult to fall asleep. By adding a sleep mask to your bedtime routine, you not only are controlling your environment further, but if you invest in a weighted eye mask, you may experience similar benefits to those who use weighted blankets.

A study in 2020 found that those that used weighted blankets helped improve sleep and reduced the symptoms of those who suffer from anxiety and depression. Weighted blankets and eye masks offer deep pressure stimulation, which can relax the nervous system. If you’re unsure if you’d be comfortable with a weighted blanket, a sleeping mask is a great place to start out.

11. May Help You Fall Asleep Faster

Just like sleep masks may help you achieve a deeper sleep, they can also potentially help you fall asleep even faster. There’s nothing worse than lying in bed counting down how many hours you have until you wake up. There are many techniques you can try to fall asleep fast, and introducing an eye mask to the equation may speed things up even further.

According to the simulated ICU study we mentioned earlier, those who used sleep masks and earplugs were able to fall asleep sooner and get more overall sleep than those who didn’t. And while there isn’t a study on sleeping masks versus earplugs, we know that both work to reduce different distractions that may impede how quickly you hit the hay.

Sleep Mask FAQs

Do Sleep Masks Work?

Many people find that adding a sleep mask to their nighttime routine helps them get a better night’s rest. While new studies point to the effectiveness of sleep masks, there is limited research on the topic. 

Is it Safe to Sleep With an Eye Mask?

Yes, you can sleep with an eye mask on every night. Sleep masks are designed to properly fit while still remaining comfortable, so you can still rest well throughout the night.

Who Should Use a Sleep Mask?

Anyone can benefit from using a sleep mask, but you may need them most if you meet any of the following criteria:

-You don’t have blackout curtains
-You have tech that may keep you up at night, such as a glow from an alarm clock
-You work a night shift
-You are traveling and struggle to sleep in new locations
-You have insomnia

It’s no secret that getting some extra shut-eye is important for your health and wellness. Whether you’re combating jet lag, or need to block out glowing tech keeping you up all night, often getting that rest can feel out of your control. That’s why a sleep mask is a great option to invest in—it’s one of the few sleeping tools you can bring on the go.