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What Is a Night Mask?

By S. Gonzales
Updated May 17, 2024
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An night mask is an item that is placed over the eyes to block out light while a person is sleeping. Wearing an eye mask can increase the likelihood of a satisfying slumber by helping to release brain chemicals encouraging rest. These products can be made out of common canvas or expensive silk and can boast fashionable embellishments. Care is usually as simple as washing them with a load of laundry. Anyone who has trouble sleeping can potentially benefit from their use.

A night mask can provide its wearer with a better night's sleep because of its ability to block out light. Sleep research has indicated that darkness can be a crucial component to the quality of sleep that is experienced. When an absence of light has been achieved, chemicals in the brain are released that make rest more refreshing. With this in mind, a mask designed to make an immediate environment as dark as possible can encourage a more satisfying slumber.

Night masks can be made of any number of materials. Canvas and cotton are common fabrics used, but they can also be available in more expensive materials such as silk. In addition, elastic bands can accompany a night mask so that it can be positioned on the head comfortably and can protect against accidental slippage during the night. Embellishments can be added to a mask, including sequins, fringe, or monograms. Generally, those who opt to wear a night mask while sleeping choose materials that feel best against the skin.

Appropriate care for night masks can depend on the materials of which they are made. While eye masks created from cotton can usually be added to a washing machine with little to no effect on their appearance, a silk mask may have to be delicately sponged using the same procedures that are reserved for cleaning clothes of the same material. Maintenance procedures can increase in complexity if a mask is designed with special attributes, such as having freezable areas that can cool the eye area upon application.

The type of person who can find a night mask to be a useful addition to his or her sleeping habits are numerous. Light sleepers and insomniacs can, of course, benefit from the adoption of the mask. Travelers suffering from jet lag, people who work night shifts, and those who need to take quick naps during the day can employ this item as a means to achieve sleep when all other options have been exhausted.

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Discussion Comments
By ysmina — On Sep 30, 2013

Night masks are multi-purpose these days. There are silk ones that are said to prevent wrinkles around the eyes. I haven't tried that one but I have a gel eye mask that I use when I have puffy eyes. I put the eye mask in the freezer for a while and then put it on. It's very cooling and reduces puffiness quickly. It's great when I pull an all-nighter.

By bear78 — On Sep 29, 2013

@ankara-- That's funny! That is usually the context which night masks are shown on TV. But night masks are not pointless, I think they're great.

I used to think like you before I started wearing a night mask. I sleep much better when I wear one. Even though our eyes are closed while sleeping, there is always some light in the room which prevents us from getting a restful night's sleep. You would not believe how much of a difference a night mask makes. You have to try it to experience it. I'm so used to wearing a night mask now that if I don't wear it at night, I don't feel comfortable anymore.

And not just women, but men also wear night masks these days. Everyone needs a good sleep.

By bluedolphin — On Sep 29, 2013

I don't really see the point of a night mask. On TV, night masks are usually shown being used by women who give too much importance to their looks and nighttime comfort. These women wear silk robes, cotton slippers and put on their fluffy pink night masks before sleeping.

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