June 1, 2023

Eye sleep mask improves sleep (and memory)

Completely excluding light while sleeping with a night mask improves the quality of deep sleep: the next day you are more rested and alert, with benefits also for memory

To sleep better and maybe even have a more agile brain during the day, it could be enough to go to bed wearing a sleep mask: according to research published in the journal Sleep

by researchers at the Brain Research Imaging Center of the English University of Cardiff just shut out the light from the outside altogetherat night, to have a more restful sleep
but also better cognitive performance the next day.

Study on volunteers

The investigation involved two different experiments: in one case 94 healthy volunteers aged eighteen to thirty-five slept for a week with sleep masks on and for a week without. On the sixth and seventh day of both weeks they underwent some tests of cognitive function and thanks to the masks, cognitive alertness and episodic memory capacity were improved. A result similar to that obtained when 35 participants repeated the experiment also wearing a sleep monitoring sensor while sleeping with and without a night mask: thanks to the in-depth observation of the characteristics of rest it was observed that by completely excluding external light the duration of slow wave sleep, i.e the deeper and more restorative one, augmented. This effect on deep sleep, according to the authors, could be why the use of masks is beneficial for cognitive and memory performance.

Eliminate a disturbance

L’light pollution
environmental but also domestic, at the basis of many disturbances affecting the biological rhythms of the organism, he observes Robert Manfredini, chronobiologist at the University of Ferrara. For example, the time needed to fall asleep lengthens and the quantity and quality of rest is reduced; sleep deprivation then leads to metabolic consequences such as the imbalance of hunger and satiety hormones, i.e. ghrelin
And leptin
L’cortisol increase
growth hormone and adrenaline which in turn increase insulin, theincrease in blood sugar and so on. In the long run all this can lead to metabolic syndrome and diabetes: it has been observed that even just sleeping with a light source in the room such as the TV, a light bulb, the light that filters through the window is enough to promote weight gain, specifies Manfredini. The Cardiff University study, in which Italian researchers also participated, tried to verify whether sleeping with a mask capable of blocking out the night light can affect memory and alertness, which are affected by poor sleep and/or low quality. The results indicate benefits on alertness and time spent in deep slow wave sleep, the most beneficial for the brain and the body in general. Therefore, if you are unable to have a completely dark room at night, to feel better it may be advisable to put yourself in “airplane” mode with a mask. A recommendation shared by the authors of the survey, who conclude: Wearing a sleep mask is an effective, inexpensive and non-invasive method of improving cognitive function, with a measurable positive impact on quality of life.

March 21, 2023 (change March 21, 2023 | 11:09)

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