The Surprising Benefits Of Weighted Sleep Masks

While traditional eye masks block out light to help you fall asleep and stay asleep, weighted eye masks provide the added benefit of pressure. Similar to weighted blankets, weighted sleep masks use deep pressure therapy to distribute gentle pressure around the eyes and surrounding facial area (via Better Homes & Gardens).

"Deep pressure therapy (DPT) is a theory and therapeutic technique which says that applying weight to the body can help you calm down and experience improvements in your mood," Daniel Sher, a clinical psychologist at Parenting Pod, told Better Homes & Gardens.

Applying weighted pressure to your body stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, lowering your heart rate and blood pressure and increasing the production of melatonin and serotonin — two hormones that help regulate your mood and sleep cycle. This can help boost your mood and create a calming and relaxing effect on your body, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

Do weighted sleep masks work?

While there haven't been any studies or clinical trials testing the impact of weighted sleep masks on a person's mood or sleep cycle, expert opinion and firsthand accounts have attested to the effectiveness and benefits of weighted sleep masks (via The Zoe Report). In fact, research has shown that deep pressure therapy can be helpful to people with insomnia, depression, anxiety, and autism, who may find it difficult to relax and fall asleep.

"Studies have proven that weighted blankets can help with anxiety and mood, and weighted eye masks may help with anxiety and mood as well — however, more research is still needed regarding which specific conditions it can help with," Dr. Smita Patel, a board-certified physician in neurology, sleep medicine, and integrative medicine, told The Zoe Report. While this research has been limited to weighted blankets, the deep pressure stimulation of weighted sleep masks is similar to the effects of acupressure, which is known for its ability to relieve pain and encourage sleep (via InStyle).