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アイマスクを活用しよう!アイマスクが睡眠に良い理由と効果的な使い方

夕日

明日朝早いのに夜うまく眠れない。眠りにつこうとすると、不安感が襲ってきてうまく眠れなくなってしまう……。そんな経験はありませんか? あるいは、今現在悩まされてはいませんでしょうか?

現在日本人女性の40%、男性では30%ほどが睡眠に関する問題を抱えていると言われています。十人に一人は長期の不眠症に悩まされており、医療機関にかかっている方も大勢おります。不眠に対する対策は様々にありますが、すぐに睡眠剤に頼ってしまうのはよくありません。なぜなら、常習性がついてしまい、飲まなくてもよくなるまでまた長い時間がかかってしまいます。

本記事では不眠やよい睡眠がとれない方のために、良質な睡眠を手に入れるための対処法のなかで、アイマスクなどをはじめ、比較的に簡単にできることをご紹介していきます。

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睡眠の代表的な問題:不眠症の種類

一言で「不眠」といっても、その種類や原因は様々です。ICSD2(睡眠障害国際分類)によると不眠症とは以下の3つに当てはまる症状を指します。

  1. 睡眠の質や維持に関する訴えがある
  2. 適切な睡眠衛生下において生じている
  3. 以下の日中の機能障害が最低1つ認められる
    • 倦怠感あるいは不定愁訴
    • 集中力、注意、記憶の障害
    • 社会機能の低下
    • 気分の障害あるいは焦燥感
    • 日中の眠気
    • 動悸、意欲の障害
    • 仕事中、運転中のミスや事故の危険
    • 睡眠不足に伴う緊張、頭痛、消化器症状
    • 睡眠に対する不安

 こうした症状にはそれぞれ軽重がありますが、睡眠に問題をかかえ、社会的にも肉体的にも精神的にも悪い影響が出ている場合、不眠症である可能性が非常に高いといえるでしょう。比較的症状が軽い場合でも、毎日続けば疲労が蓄積されていきます。少しでも睡眠に不安があるならば安眠対策を施してみる価値があります。

不眠の原因

不眠症の原因は様々なケースがありますが、身体的、生理的、精神疾患、心理的、薬理学的なものなど様々な原因が考えられています。病気や怪我、あるいは薬の副作用などで眠れなくなることもありますが、最近では仕事や生活のストレス、睡眠習慣の不摂生等様々な不眠症要因が指摘されています。

しかし、生活習慣を変え、毎日を規則正しい生活で過ごすことは、もちろん容易なことではありません。多少なストレスにさらされる現代人にとって、不眠症は現代病なのです。

良質な睡眠を手に入れるためには

女性

生活を変えることは簡単にはできませんが、睡眠時の環境を整えることで良質な睡眠を手に入れることができます。

睡眠時間は七時間前後が適正とも言われていますが、実際は人によりけりです。近年では短時間睡眠でも質の良い睡眠をとることで、十分に体を休めることができるとも言われています。

質のよい睡眠とは、途中で睡眠が中断されることなく、リラックスした状態で自然に目が覚めるものです。目覚まし時計も利用されている方が多いと思いますが、あまりよくないと言われています。

睡眠環境を整えてゆっくりと休むこと

睡眠環境を整えることは、ベッドや枕といった寝具の利用に関することだけではありません。

眠たくなった状態でベットにはいることや、睡眠の直前に食事をとらないこと、比較的温度が低い38度ぐらいのぬるいお湯でゆっくり湯船に浸かることが良いとされています。最近の研究では、眠たくなるまで寝室に入らないことなども有効だとされています。

中でも重要なのが、光と音の遮断です。人は睡眠に入るとき、僅かな光であっても過敏に反応します。睡眠を促すホルモンであるメラトニンは光に反応して分泌されます。

元々太陽の光とともに起きる人間にとって強い光を浴びると眠れなくなるのは、自然な反応であると言えるでしょう。睡眠前のスマートフォンやパソコンの利用で眠れなくなるのも同様の反応です。

アイマスクなどの安眠グッズの利用

以上のような観点から、比較的容易にできる安眠対策としてアイマスクと耳栓が上げられるでしょう。耳栓は音を遮断し、アイマスクは光を遮断します。

特にアイマスクは不眠症に効果的で、使い捨てや素材の良い物など様々な種類がでています。

夜に眠るときだけではなく、疲労回復のための昼寝等にも利用できます。最近では取り出すと暖かくなり、ハーブの香りがしてリラックスできるものや、「ピンホールアイマスク」といわれる視力回復用の小さな穴がたくさんあいているタイプのアイマスクもあります。

眼精疲労の予防等にも効果的ですから、眠れない方は一度利用されてみてはいかがでしょうか。アイマスクをするときは、目に密着するほど強くしめないで、ゆるめに付けることがポイントです。まれに寝返りをうったときなどにずれたり外れたりすることもありますが、気にならないようであれば問題はありません。

ピンホールアイマスク ネミール M
名和里商事 (2005-05-09)
売り上げランキング: 6,819

まとめ:不眠症から抜け出すために

以上のように、不眠に悩まされている方は多くいますが、その解決にはまず睡眠の質を上げることが重要です。あまりにも症状が重いようであれば専門医にかかるべきですが、まずは生活習慣に気配りをして、アイマスクや耳栓など容易にできる安眠対策を試すことをオススメします。

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