As we get into the Autumn months, the days get shorter and nights get longer. Although there may be more dark hours, we may still not be getting enough sleep.
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, even lighter nights can stop you getting enough sleep - and it doesn't help in the winter months when light is even worse!
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 UK 2021
JUST SO YOU KNOW, WHILE WE MAY RECEIVE A COMMISSION FOR PURCHASES MADE THROUGH LINKS, WE NEVER ALLOW THIS TO INFLUENCE PRODUCT SELECTIONS.
Mavogel Cotton Sleep Eye Mask
Best cotton sleep eye mask
Have you planned a family staycation this year? 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: "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!"
TEMPUR® Sleep Mask
Best all-around sleep mask
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."
Slip® Silk Sleep Mask
Best silk sleep mask
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 options.
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."
Gritin Sleep Mask
Best eye sleep mask with ear plugs
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!"
SMUG 100% Blackout Sleep u0026 Eye Mask
Best blackout sleep mask
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 doesn't touch my eyelashes but blocks out the light better than all the other eye masks I've had. It's 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."
Sparks and Daughters Personalised This Mum Needs Sleep Silk Eye Mask
Best personalised sleep mask
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 and can be personalised to your taste. What more could you want?
Review: "I love this sleep mask; in fact, I ordered another one for me and one for my husband; lovely design, material and quality of service! Thank you."
Boniesun Blackout Eye Mask for Sleeping
Best 3D sleep mask
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 for half the night.
Review: “This eye mask is about one third thinner than my old one, and it does the same as my old one and even better. I thought my old one is very good already been using it for over a year already. This one has a thinner edge as well, when I sleep on the side the edge don't push by the pillow to one side. That means no light can be leaked into the eye mask."
WU-MINGLU Bluetooth Eye Mask
Best bluetooth eye 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."
SleepMaster Sleep Mask
Best sleep mask with noise reduction
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."
Sleepymoon Bamboo Minky Weighted Sleep Eye Mask
Best weighted sleep mask
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!"
Silentnight Wellbeing Sleep Mask
Best high-end sleep mask
Silentnight isn't just about mattresses, duvets and pillows they also have a range of sleep accessories including this silk wellbeing sleep mask. Sumptuously soft 100 per cent natural silk with a premium 22 momme count, this mask will also help to rejuvenate your skin; it's like having a beauty treatment while you sleep.
Tried and tested by Deputy Commercial Content Editor Natalie Corner: "I've been using one of those eye masks you get free on an airplane and putting this Silentnight sleep mask made me realise what torture I was putting myself through. The silky smooth feeling of the mask and no part digging in anywhere sent me into a dream state. The silk-covered elastic straps mean that nothing digs into my ears or head and it doesn't irritate me when I'm sleeping. Couldn't recommend it more."