IN today’s world, sleep can be something that is difficult to accomplish.
Bombarded by email, phone apps and text messages, it can be hard to switch off from the technological buzz of modern life, not to mention the constant stimulus provided by 24-hour cities, never-ending TV series and the multitudinous mountains of stress that often overshadows us.
Health experts often remind us to avoid caffeine, to take hot baths or apply soothing lotions.
Yet, maybe the problem can be removed by eliminating the one major obstacle to sleep: light. The solution could lie in an eye mask.
Eye masks have existed for centuries. Over the years with the increasing demand for health and beauty products, they have been developed to suit various sleep problems and individual needs.
On today’s market, scented, padded, moulded and vibrating eye masks are all on the shelves, made aesthetically pleasing given they come in a whole range of colours and designs.
Yet this simple accessory appears to be rather underrated given its benefits for some insomniacs or wired-up individuals.
On a scientific level, it is worth remembering that when your brain senses pure darkness, it causes the production of melatonin, the sleep chemical.
Blocking out both noise and light massively increases your ability to sleep so earplugs would be a welcome addition to complete the outfit.
Deciding on which eye mask to buy can be difficult so choose its purpose. Shift workers would be better choosing a 100 per cent light blocking variety for daytime slumber whilst stressed out non-sleepers could opt for lavenderscented or massaging types.
Cotton is always a good choice given its breathable nature in hot, sticky summer weather and moulded or contoured eye cavities add greater comfort.
Gel eye-pads inserted into the eye cavities can be very soothing and add a light massaging pressure to induce sleep. When aiming for herbal eye masks, check firstly against any allergies although most are completely natural.
Sleeping pills should be a last resort to sleep problems so, given that eye masks are both affordable and accessible, the answer seems to be as clear as a well-rested mind.