a clock with a sleep mask on the hour hand

How Using a Sleep Mask Helps Me Get More Sleep

Last updated: June 2022

I did not think I needed a sleep mask. My bedroom is much darker than the rest of my home so having the rising sun wake me is not a problem. If I am not using it to keep out sunlight, why do I need a sleep mask to help my insomnia? Let me tell you why.

First, let me say that I did not buy a sleep mask and I never would have bought 1. My husband is a season ticket holder for a local basketball team and they have various giveaways throughout the season. One of the recent giveaways was a sleep mask.

How did using a sleep mask help my insomnia?

Since my husband brought it home and it was here, I might as well give it a try, right? My assumption was that I would toss it on my nightstand within the first hour. I thought I would get annoyed by the straps, knock it off as I tossed and turned, or it would still let light in around my nose.

Trying out the fit and function of a sleep mask

When I first tried it on, I was surprised to find it did not let much light in around my nose. While the fit was not perfect, it was snug without feeling too tight. Using the Goldilocks scale, I would give it a “just right.”

It also stayed on when I rolled over during the night. I must confess that the strap on the right side occasionally rubs the top of my ear in a way that annoys me. Sometimes I have to move that strap a tad.

Blocking out sunlight with a sleep mask

Even though my room is much darker than the rest of my home, a little light still shines around the edge of the dark curtains. If I roll over in the early morning, a beam of light hits me right in the face. It seems this 1 little ray of sunlight is directed right at my pillow.

If I open my eyes the slightest bit and see this ray of sunshine, I am not able to go back to sleep for a while. The mask solves that problem. I no longer see the sunlight, and I am able to go back to sleep quickly if I happen to wake up early in the morning.

Blocking out light other than sunlight

There are plenty of lights in my bedroom that I cannot get rid of, and they have all annoyed me at 1 time or another. These things are not enough light to keep me from going to sleep or to wake me up while sleeping. They are enough to make it more difficult to go back to sleep if I wake up and see light.

There is a light on the air conditioner’s thermostat. Actually, there are 3 lights on it. Several chargers have lights, and my phone has some notifications that cause the screen to light up from time to time throughout the night.

Blocking out distractions that would keep me awake

Waking up and not seeing any kind of light helps me get back to sleep faster, but it is more than just seeing light. When wearing the mask, I do not fully open my eyes when I wake up. It helps keep me from waking up enough that I struggle to go back to sleep.

The mask also helps me avoid the temptation of looking at the clock or checking my phone. It helps keep me from doing things that would prevent me from going back to sleep. This is very helpful for me.

Have you used a sleep mask? I would love to hear about your experience. Please share a comment.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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