While the heatwave might account for your sleepless nights, investing in a fan that will keep you cool during the night might not be the only solution for busy parents.
Did you know that on average between June and August the average hours of daylight in Britain is 16 hours? Although the weather will make your overall mood better, the lighter nights might be preventing you from getting a good night's sleep and here's why.
The Sleep Foundation found, "Light exposure at night can hinder transitions between sleep cycles, reducing the quality of sleep. Too much light can cause repeated awakenings, interrupting the sleep cycle and reducing time spent in deeper, more restorative sleep stages."
You can't argue with the fact that sleeping is fundamental, but improving your sleep is a whole different task especially when little ones are getting you up in the middle of the night. If you've tried building a routine for the whole family, introducing a night light for your kids or personally avoiding caffeine, then you know that drifting off isn't always that simple.
The benefits of using a sleep mask:
Sleep masks are one of those products that we associate with a luxury buy for our holidays. However, using this accessory in the bedroom has loads of incredible benefits.
TEMPUR®, mattress, pillows, bed and accessories experts said, "Sleep masks are a great alternative to more conventional sleep aids, as a result of them being chemical-free. They also minimise distractions as you are unable to see what is going on around you, assisting your body to fall asleep faster, as there is nothing keeping your mind alert.
"Sleep masks might even prevent dry eyes as they act as a barrier between your eyes and the air while you sleep."
Whether you're struggling to get some shut-eye after a night shift or tossing and turning during your regular routine, here are seven benefits of using a sleep mask.
- Blocks out light
- Results in more REM time - for healthier sleep patterns
- Can improve insomnia
- Reduces distractions
- Prevents dry eyes
- Helps you to fall asleep quicker
The best sleep masks for parents:
Have you planned your family staycation? If someone else is driving, you can have a little snooze on the way and get to your destination quicker. This one-size-fits-all mask has wide and adjustable straps that aren't restrictive.
Review: "With the early rising sun at the moment, I have been waking up earlier than usual due to the blazing light through my blinds. I can't make any modifications to my flat, so I can't install blackout blinds - this was my second option. I have only used the cheap 'travel' sleep masks in the past and found them useless due to the light leakage but this is completely different. This fits my face comfortably due to the adjustable strap and doesn't let any light in due to its mouldable nose. I have used this for the last couple of days and am very please I can get my full eight hours!"
Anyone familiar with the TEMPUR® range will know to expect big things from this sleep mask. Spoiler alert: it did not disappoint. Using the TEMPUR® Material used in their mattresses, this product moulds and adapts to your face. Let TEMPUR® support you after a busy day of cleaning up after the kids.
Tried and tested review June 2021:" I always go to bed intending to have an early night, and I'm always distracted by something on my phone. Instead of having the temptation, I put on the TEMPUR® Sleep Mask and block out the world for at least eight hours. Not only does it prevent the light from coming in completely, it feels super comfortable on your skin. The only downside is it comes with a massive label, but you can easily cut it out."
Anyone that has a six-step skincare routine (how do you do it) or wants to up their regime needs to invest in this mask. After you've washed your face, tuck yourself in bed with the knowledge that it'll help to maintain your skin's moisture. Select from the caramel, black, pink, silver, navy or rose gold option.
Tried and tested review June 2021: "Not going to lie, spending £50 on a sleep mask might seem crazy, but it's worth it. Hear me out, not only is this luxury number the most stunning sleep aid I've ever laid eyes on, but it also has incredible benefits for the skin because it's less absorbent than other materials. Plus, the box that it comes in is gorgeous - it's almost too nice to wear."
Instead of waking up throughout the night due to your partner's snoring, a sleep mask and earplug combination is here to save the day. The list of benefits for this go on and on, but here are a few of our favourites: it's super lightweight, blocks out the light and doesn't cause pressure on your eyes. Amazing!
Review: "Living in the far north of Scotland, we get very light nights throughout the summer, and even with blackout curtains, the bedroom isn't very dark. The first night I used this mask, I was amazed at what a massive difference it made. I thought it might be annoying and uncomfortable, but it wasn't; it's very soft and has an adjustable strap.
"I don't wake up at 4am now. It's surprising just how much light gets in through your closed eyelids, but this mask cuts it out completely and sleeping in pitch darkness is great. I've only had this thing for a few days and I know already I can't do without it!"
Fall asleep in style thanks to this pretty sleep and eye mask from SMUG. The black wink design is everything, the material is soft, and it'll block out 100 per cent of the light - now that's what we call a triple threat. Available in 11 different designs, this option will even make a fabulous gift for older children.
Review: "It doesnt touch my eyelashes but blocks out the light better then all my other eye masks ive had. Its very thin and lightweight but still no sun comes through the fabric. Have bought another for my dad cause it works that well. Will only be buying this product from now on."
Here at Mother&Baby we love a mini-me moment, and this lovely sleep mask is amazing for parents and children alike. This silky number from Not On The High Street is eco-friendly, available in 13 different colours and arrives packaged in a beautiful box. What more could you want?
Review: "Very nicely made and comfortable. It was bought with holidays in mind where the light on a plane or hotel room is unknown. It will also look great next to the bed in a chic hotel."
Need complete darkness to drift off? You can have a nap anywhere anytime thanks to this 3D option. Its unique construction means that there's no pressure on your eyes at all. This is exactly what you need when your newborn is keeping you up half the night.
Review: "I suffer from a chronic illness that has me sleeping a lot more often and at stranger times than other people. I often wake up in the night and any struggle to get back to sleep. If there's any light whatsoever, I struggle to fall asleep in the day if I need to. I've tried other sleep masks in the past, but this one has by far been the best. The slightly raised, extremely soft, pads around the eye area mean no more uncomfortable pressure on my eyes and also enables me to open my eyes comfortably without risk of any light getting in because the piece of fabric on the nose does keep out light. A must-have sleep mask!"
Assuming that you fall asleep listening to ambient sounds, a sleep mask with headphones is the one for you. Considering it has a built-in speaker, it's easy to use and very comfortable. That said, don't forget to charge it before you get some rest or you won't be able to use it. Plus, it will stop the Peppa Pig theme tune from getting stuck in your head before drifting off.
Review: "The material on this mask is very soft and pleasant on the skin. The charging cable with micro USB is hidden in a small zip-up pocket and doesn't get on the way when in use. The velcro at the back isn't hard, which is important to me as I suffer from compression headaches. The headphones inside the mask can be shifted to adjust the positioning to make it easier to hear. The sound isn't amazing, but is ok - I turn the music a bit louder at the source. The charge lasts for more than eight hours as I was able to listen to it two nights in a row without charging."
Does your partner snore loudly? Is it keeping you up at night? If the answer is yes, then you need to invest in the best sleep mask with earplugs. Unlike the other options on this list, this is created using sportswear fabric which means it's naturally lightweight and breathable.
Review: "This is one of the most comfortable sleep masks I've ever tried. You almost can't feel that you're wearing it.
"One problem the cheaper masks have is that you can feel the material press against your eyes or even eyelashes and this is uncomfortable. The domes where your eyes are on this product completely stops that and because it's so soft, you quickly forget you are wearing it.
"If you sleep on your back, then you will be fine to put this on - lie back and enjoy perfect darkness. If you sleep on your side, I'd get into position and then adjust the mask until it's in place. Once you've done that, you are in pitch-darkness: there's no light leakage on this product, and it is 100 per cent blackout."
Do you suffer from headaches, migraines or insomnia? A weighted sleep mask is a brilliant solution. Not only can you put the eye mask in your fridge to use as a cold compress later, but this will mould to the contours of your eyes for extra comfort. Plus, this a great product to help you lie down and relax while your tot is visiting their grandparents.
Review: "Bought this for my girlfriend who was struggling to sleep and has been getting irritated eyes from allergies. After the first night’s use, she’s had better sleep and the irritation in her eyes has also reduced - so far, so good!"