Sleep Sounder with a Sleep Mask
You train hard and know that recovery is just as important as your workouts. Your body needs rest to rejuvenate and be ready for your next challenging training session or race. Sleep is a secret ingredient to success – a topic I covered in an earlier blog (“The Secret Ingredient of Success”*).
A good night’s sleep is essential, night after night, not just before a big race. Maybe you find that getting a good night’s sleep is more challenging than your toughest workouts. Based on the proliferation of ads for sleeping pills, you are obviously not alone. Rather than opt for medication, I find that sleep masks offer a better alternative.
First, blocking light (all light) is a factor in the function of your circadian rhythm. We’re conditioned to sleep when it’s dark, and total darkness can improve sleep quality. There is a belief that even small amounts of light seepage through curtains or blinds from artificial light sources at night create a decrease in melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that helps control your sleep and wake cycles.
Although studies conducted may suggest that even a small amount of light on your skin (not just in your eyes) also decreases melatonin production, there is a wealth of anecdotal evidence that sleep masks do, in fact, promote better and deeper sleep. They can reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and lengthen the amount of REM sleep that occurs.
In addition to blocking light and creating an atmosphere of total darkness, using earplugs to block ambient noise also increases the potential for deep and restful sleep. No matter how dark and quiet your bedroom may seem, you may be very surprised to experience the benefit of combining an eye mask and earplugs.
I’ve found that the Dream Essentials “Sweet Dreams”sleep mask and earplugs fit the bill. Its breathability and slim profile make it extremely comfortable. Plus it is contoured away from the eyes and eyelashes to allow for uninterrupted rapid eye movement (REM) that’s so critical to restorative sleep. The wide elastic strap is comfortable and features a quick-release closure. One of the features I like best is its construction: Made with closed cell foam, this sleep mask can be easily washed and dried.
The Sweet Dreams eye mask is sold with soft foam earplugs and its own carrying pouch, so it’s easy to take with you when traveling. Imagine not having to worry about noise and unfamiliar surroundings in the hotel the night before a big race. This sleep mask and earplugs will help you wake fully refreshed and ready for peak performance whether you’re on the road or in the comfort of your own bed!
*Read The Secret Ingredient of Sleep