Adults need 7 or more hours of sleep per night, while school-aged kids need between 8 and 12 hours of sleep per night, depending on the exact age. Are you and your children getting the recommended amount of sleep?
For many adults, a good night’s sleep is a luxury. Yet, with all you do at work and at home, you deserve a little luxury. That’s why you need a weighted eye mask.
Weighted eye masks work in the same way weighted blankets do, with the added benefits of blocking out harsh light. That’s not all though. Weighted sleeping masks have a multitude of benefits, and we’re talking about a few of them here today.
Want to know the 7 reasons you should be considering a weighted eye mask for yourself or your kids? Then keep reading, because we’re telling you everything you need to know.
What Is a Weighted Eye Mask?
Traditional eye masks only block out the light to help you sleep. While these products may help some people, many people have trouble sleeping for reasons beyond too much light. If you need an extra boost of relaxation before bed, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
That’s where weighted eye masks come in.
Like regular eye masks, a weighted one is a sleeping aid. But these unique products combine the benefits of a regular eye mask with a science-backed method for helping you sleep.
What are we talking about? Studies show that the extra weight in a weighted eye mask improves relaxation, helping you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. That’s why a weighted sleep mask is an excellent weapon in your arsenal against a poor night’s rest.
Conditions that May Benefit from Weighted Eye Masks
Weighted eye masks are an excellent solution to get to sleep faster, sleep longer, and sleep better. Still, you may wonder, are weighted sleeping masks for everyone?
Yes! Weighted eye masks are an excellent solution for adults with sleeping problems. Because of their non-invasive nature, weighted sleeping masks are also ideal for children struggling with sleeping problems.
People who may further find relief with weighted eye masks include those with:
- Primary insomnia
- Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
- Depression and anxiety
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases
The only two cases in which a weighted eye mask may not be the best solution are for people who sleep on their side and people with nasal issues.
Regarding the former, the extra weight may force the mask to slide off your face when you turn on your side. Plus, the added pull of gravity on the mask while you’re on your back will further improve sleep. Those who sleep on their sides may not experience this added benefit.
People with nasal problems may also want to steer clear of weighted eye masks. The added weight may make breathing problems worse. Ask your physician for advice if you’d like to try a weighted sleeping mask but don’t want to deal with the breathing problems.
7 Benefits of Weighted Eye Masks
Now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. We promised you the benefits of weighted eye masks, and we’re giving them to you here. Keep reading to discover the top 7 benefits you’ll love about weighted sleeping masks.
1. Improve the Quality and Quantity of Your Sleep
First and foremost, weighted eye masks far improve both the quantity and quality of your sleep when compared to traditional eye masks. That’s because they don’t just block out light, which you’ll read about next. Weighted eye masks also offer the added benefits of pressure therapy (see below).
What does that mean for you? It means you can get to sleep faster and sleep better with the help of a weighted sleeping mask.
2. Block Light
Like traditional eye masks, weighted ones block out the light. This contributes to an eye mask’s ability to help you sleep.
Why? Because the chemical that our brain releases, telling us we need to go to sleep, is light-dependent. You’ve probably heard of this chemical (melatonin) since it’s a common ingredient in over-the-counter sleeping supplements.
Melatonin regulates our circadian rhythm, which determines when we are asleep and when we’re alert. This natural hormone is released upon exposure to darkness to help you sleep. Meanwhile, light leads to a decrease in melatonin, making you feel more alert.
That means even if it’s broad daylight outside, a sleeping mask can block out those rays. This tricks your brain into thinking it’s nighttime, allowing for the release of melatonin. That melatonin then helps you get a good night’s (or day’s) rest.
3. Deep Pressure Therapy
Deep pressure therapy is a theory positing the benefits of pressure for helping you relax.
Deep pressure therapy is sometimes also called acupressure. Instead of using needles for relaxation, acupressure takes advantage of products like weighted blankets and, you guessed it, sleeping masks.
Studies show that evenly-distributed pressure across the body (like a hug) leads to relaxation. Why is this? Some scientists think that evenly-distributed pressure reduces our body’s fight or flight response. When that happens, alert and anxious feelings decline.
Like a hug, weighted sleeping masks apply even pressure on and around your eyes. This alleviates tension, improves relaxation, and helps you drift off to a peaceful sleep.
4. Alleviate Pain
One of the other benefits of deep pressure therapy is that it can alleviate pain. This is especially true regarding headaches.
The combination of blocking out harsh light with acupressure is beneficial against headaches and migraines. In fact, many people report the beneficial effects of weighted eye masks on their nightly (or daily) migraines.
5. Boost Your Mood
When you get a better night’s rest, your body has time to decompress after a long day at work or watching the kids. Sleep is vital to making you feel “yourself,” especially when it comes to your mood.
In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study found that people who got half the recommended amount of sleep per night (4.5 hours) felt:
In the same study, the patients upped their sleep to 7-9 hours per night felt a profound difference in their mood. So it’s safe to say that getting a better night’s sleep can seriously benefit how you feel the next day. A weighted sleep mask can help with that.
6. Integrate with Aromatherapy
Some weighted eye masks come with the option to use aromatherapy. This adds even more sleep-inducing benefits since some essential oils and dried herbs are known to aid in sleep and relaxation.
For example, lavender is a well-known home remedy for boosting relaxation before bed. Other scents like bergamot, chamomile, marjoram, sage, and valerian also have calming or sleep-inducing qualities.
7. Easier and Cheaper Than Sleeping Pills
Possibly the most profound benefit of a weighted eye mask is that it can be an alternative to sleeping medication.
Sleeping medication is expensive. Even if you don’t suffer from a more severe sleep condition, good sleeping supplements can be pricey and a hassle to remember to take each night. This is especially true for young children.
A weighted sleeping mask is a cheaper and easier alternative to other sleep aids. Of course, consult your physician before switching out your prescription medication with a weighted eye mask.
Qualities to Look for in a Weighted Eye Mask
When you’re shopping for your perfect weighted sleeping mask, there are a few qualities you’ll want to consider. Namely: cover, fill, and weight. Let’s do a quick dive into each of these below.
The exterior part of the sleeping mask is known as the cover. This is the portion of the mask that sits against your face. If you have sensitive skin or allergies to certain fabrics, you may want to pay special attention to the cover material you choose.
Most masks come in either silk, satin, fleece, or jersey. Though you can sometimes find weighted eye masks made of cotton.
Another consideration is the kind of material or fill that gives the mask its weighted quality. What type of fill you choose determines how you wash it. And some materials may be irritating to your skin, so choose your fill material with care.
The majority of weighted masks are filled with silica beads, which are found naturally but may irritate severely sensitive skin. Flax seeds and dried lavender buds are more natural alternatives. Lavender buds will also offer the added benefits of aromatherapy.
The last and possibly most important quality of a weighted eye is its weight. Most weighted sleeping masks clock in at around 10 to 16 ounces. The ideal weight for optimal even distribution is around 400 grams or approximately 14 ounces.
Of course, the weight should depend more on the user. For example, children may need much lighter weighted eye masks to harness the advantages of deep pressure therapy. That’s compared to adults who may want to choose a weightier product.
Where to Find the Perfect Weighted Products to Help You Sleep
So, have these 7 incredible benefits convinced you that a weighted eye mask is right for you? Then you’ve got to check out our line of weighted sleep products. Learn more about choosing weighted blankets from I’m Rested and be sure to check out the rest of the blog!