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With the raging pandemic, masks only conjure up one image the mandatory Covid protocol masks that have become a necessary accessory. Also, lifestyles have changed. The familiar saying, "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise," may not apply today. The latest research says that people are just not getting enough sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation is becoming a problem. People are working longer hours, leading to a build- up of inadequate sleep, fatigue and other undesirable effects. Habitual lack of sleep can lead to insomnia and problems falling asleep. It can also lead to a build-up of stress.
Doctor's suggest a simple and effective way of dealing with the problem .. Sleep Masks! No, a sleep mask is not a cosmetic product that one applies on the face! Nor is it a mask that protects us from Covid. It is a mask that is used to cover the eyes. It is made with material that keeps away light and makes it easier to fall asleep. So, having a sleep mask on would help to keep any light in the room from disturbing you. Sometimes, outside lights, or even moonlight, can make the room bright enough to hamper sleep. So, if you are having trouble sleeping, try a sleep mask.
It is said that a sleep mask is a way of having restful and undisturbed sleep. Why is this so? Doctors say that when there is total darkness, the body produces melatonin, which actually helps sleep. In fact, night shift workers, like nurses, or night guards, who have to sleep during the day, have found sleep masks to be of much benefit. They find it easier to get regular sleep, or catch up on sleep, using sleep masks.
Try on the sleep mask before buying it. It should fit comfortably round your head. A comfortable sleep mask should have elastic that does not fit too tightly around the head. A variety of sleep masks are available and choosing the most appropriate one can pose a problem. Here's what is available and what you need to look for.
The first thing to be considered is your purpose of buying a sleep mask. Many people use it while travelling. So, you need to consider where you will be using the mask for regular use at home, or while travelling.
If you work night shifts and wish to sleep during the day, the mask should be selected accordingly. Some sleep masks come with ear plus, to keep both light and sound away!
Sleep masks that block the light totally have cavities inside, so that the material does not touch the eyes. This would be suitable for those who sleep during the day. Travellers also like this kind of mask, because there is always some light while travelling.
Sleep masks that are contoured to the shape of the eyes are also available. However, most people prefer a mask that is very light in weight, in order to be totally comfortable.
The material of the masks may also differ. Those who have sensitive skin like wearing masks that are made of cotton, rather than a synthetic material, while those who move around a lot, when they sleep, should get one with very soft straps. In fact, all masks have adjustable straps. Masks with velvet on the inside are also available, making it really soft on the eyes. Then there are the herbal masks, with a soothing natural fragrance.
As far as prices are concerned, sleep masks are mostly affordable. They are also easily available online, in various colours, shapes and designs and also made of various materials. The prices may range from Rs.135 to Rs.400.
(This article is authored by Shahnaz Husain, a Padma Shri Award recipient and pioneer of the Ayurvedic beauty movement and the head of a global network of franchise ventures and 375 formulations.)
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