Are you looking for clever ways to transform your bedroom into a pitch-black room for convenient sleep? Well, you’re not the first one. So many before you have come here looking for the same thing and let me tell you, no one has left disappointed.
Here, this article will guide you and further help you understand-
- What are the benefits of sleeping in a dark room?
- What are the risks of sleeping in a bright room?
- Are there any alternatives for a dark room?
- How to make your bedroom pitch black for sleep?
A dark room is proven to be an effective tool for healthy and sound sleep. Additionally, it prevents sleep disorders, metabolic problems, and depression. Using blackout drapes, shades, or films, you can remove intrusive light from your bedroom windows. Perfect for sleep.
Let’s go into the details!
How to darken your bedroom
Reinventing your bedroom to block out any light will require effort from your end. However, you may soon discover that the advantages of a dark room outweigh any strenuous labour. So, get your tools ready. We’re going to transform your bedroom for the better.
You can minimise the surrounding light streaming in through your windows with blackout shades. Plus, this has the benefit of providing privacy by further reducing the view and the noise pollution from outside. Shades also protect your furniture and skin from UV rays.
When choosing the correct shade, go for the dark solid shades like the Roller, Cellular, and Roman shades. They are more effective than the bamboo and aluminium slatted Persian shades.
However, the shades alone may not do the trick. You will have to join it with a blackout curtain or film.
Switch your regular drapes with blackout curtains. These blackout curtains containing Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) prevent light from seeping through the window. Because of their opaque nature, they can also soundproof the room. They are so effective that you’ll never even know when the sun rose.
If you’re still not convinced, then here’s something that may pique your interest- blackout curtains can help you save energy. Almost every home wastes one-third of cooling and heating energy in the UK because of the windows and drafts. Let that sink in. So, now with blackout curtains, you can overpower both your insomnia and your outrageous power bill.
Remember that these curtains are a little heavy. So, make sure the rods holding them are firm.
Blackout window cover
If you’re searching for a temporary fix that is easy to install and remove, then blackout window covers will be your best choice. The cover has a Velcro fastening style with a durable fabric. Therefore, the regular maintenance of the cover and the window won’t be a hassle as well. All you may need is a wet cloth to wipe clean the cover. Nothing more, unlike the curtains that will require dry cleaning or a machine wash.
Apart from being simple to set up, they reflect the sun rays because of the exterior duplex material. And thereby, it prevents any light from entering your bedroom.
Blackout window film
Another budget-friendly option is the blackout window film. The blackout films are similar to the ones you stick on the car windows. And it comes with a lot of perks: cost-efficient, easy to attach and remove, keeps the room cool, protects your belongings from the harmful UV rays, acts as extra protection to keep the glass from breaking, and helps save energy. Now, that’s what I call a handsome deal.
Twin draft guard
There is always a strip of light that manages to sneak through the gap below the door. To handle this problem, switching off the hallway lights doesn’t seem like a clever idea. So, here’s what you can do. You can buy a twin draft guard for your door. It is easy to fit and remove whenever you want. And it helps eliminate both light and sound as well. With a draft guard for your door, one can guarantee a good night’s sleep.
If you do not want to spend your pounds to block the tiny strip of light from below your door, you can always opt for cheaper alternatives. All you will require is an old T-shirt or a towel. Roll up the cloth and adjust it to block the draft.
Redesign the interior
Choose darker shades to paint the interior walls. You can also decorate the room with black/brown coloured furniture instead of vibrant ones. And opting for grey bedspreads and beddings can also help the room achieve a dark appearance. Furthermore, you can give your room a makeover by changing the position of the bed and furniture to maximise optimum darkness.
Turn off devices
Electronic devices like TVs, digital clocks, and gadgets, etc. They also create blue light, so avoid them an hour or two before sleep. However, they can still bring significant brightness to your room. Therefore, make it an effort to turn off any light-emitting devices before you hit the bed.
Keep your phone face-down
If anything’s going to be by your bed, then it’s going to be your phone. For, most of us still haven’t shaken off the habit of checking our phone the first thing in the morning. And letting go of this tendency is going to take a while. So here’s how you can avoid the blinding brightness of your phone in the meantime- by placing your mobile face-down.
The last option I would suggest is to use an eye mask. It acts as an extra layer of coverage for your eyes. Hence, making the room seem entirely pitch black. These masks are also helpful when travelling or staying at someone’s place.
*Here’s an extra thought I would like to add- Keep a dim lamp post by your bedside. You can switch it on to navigate yourself through the room. This idea will help you avoid the blinding tube light you may otherwise have to turn on.
Benefits of sleeping in a dark room
You may have already heard from several people about the advantages of sleeping in a dark room. Well, I guess it won’t hurt if I told you too. And maybe you might even learn something new. So, here’s my list-
Good melatonin production
The sleep hormone is responsible for making you feel relaxed and sleep soundly. Dozing off in a dark room helps as it stimulates enough production of melatonin. And thereby, it enables you to fall asleep at ease. According to the 2021 Insomnia Statistics, this factor is crucial because almost one in five people in the UK have difficulty falling asleep.
Insufficient produce of melatonin can adversely affect one’s health and mood. Therefore, sleeping in a pitch-black room is beneficial. Furthermore, it also helps you avoid medical bills for complications caused by a lack of melatonin.
Regulates a healthy metabolism
Having a sufficient sleep can have a beneficial impact on your metabolism. With the body getting the needed rest, it will keep the body active and running. Your metabolism is responsible for digestion, blood flow, keeping you warm/cold, breathing, burning calories, etc. Do I even need to say more?
Reduces the risk of sleep disorders
Sleep disorders like Sleep Apnoea pose risks to one’s health, performance, and quality of life. However, by sleeping in a dark room, the likelihood of suffering from sleep disorders reduces to a large extent.
Minimises the chances of depression
Depression is difficult to treat, mainly because most of us fail to recognise it as a mental illness. Therefore, it becomes vital for us to be careful. And by using a dark bedroom, the odds are reduced. Like regular exercise and a balanced diet, sleeping in the dark is also necessary to avoid depression.
Risks of sleeping in a fully lit room
It is essential to learn the benefits of sleeping in a dark room. Now, at the same time, it’s crucial to understand the dangers associated with sleeping in a bright room. Only in doing so can we grasp how significant the matter is.
Now, sleeping in a lit room does not only mean sleeping with the room lights on. Instead, it includes situations where only the television is running or when the bright street light outside is seeping through the window. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the risks-
Disturbs the circadian rhythm
Sleeping in a lit room can manipulate the sleep hormone from functioning. And when the melatonin is not produced, it disturbs the circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle). Now, when the circadian rhythm is not in order, it affects both the body and mind. The affected individual will have difficulty falling asleep. And further complications will follow if proper treatment and behavioural therapy are not given on time.
Higher chances of getting metabolic disorders
Diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, etc., are metabolic disorders that can severely damage humans. Unfortunately, some people suffer from these issues at an early age. And there are various causes for this outcome, one of them being the lack of proper melatonin production.
Melatonin is richly regulated in individuals who sleep in a dark environment. And it is the opposite for those who sleep with their lights on. Therefore, it poses a severe threat to growing individuals. Hence, make sure both the children and adult bedroom lights are switched off after dark if health is a priority.
Many studies connect sleep and weight gain in humans. And among them, there are even research papers that brought out the negative impact of sleeping in a lit room. For instance, a 2019 study posted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) unravelled that obesity in women may be linked to sleeping in a bright room. The co-author of the study, Chandra Jackson, also stated that humans were genetically designed for light during the day and darkness at night. So, when the body is exposed to artificial light instead of the needed darkness, the biological and hormonal processes are altered, resulting in health risks like obesity.
Disrupts the mental health
Sleeping in a bright room can affect your sleep and thereby affect your mental state. It can cause problems like stress, absentmindedness, cannot focus or pay attention, etc. And since the sleep hormone is not being produced enough, it can lead to severe mood swings. Such hormonal imbalance and lack of focus in work or school can negatively affect your mental health.
Now, you may be someone who cannot sleep in a pitch-black room. And you’re probably looking for some practical alternatives. Well, here are two quick tips you can follow to reap similar benefits of sleeping in a dark room while not physically sleeping in one-
Use red/yellow light bulbs.
Compared with blue and white bulbs, yellow light bulbs have a fivefold lower ability to suppress melatonin production. Therefore, you may find dim yellow lights to be an adequate substitute.
It’s not just about sleeping in the dark. For, there are so many other factors that can affect sleep. So, another easy choice would be to adopt valuable habits that will help you hit the sack despite the darkness.
The said habits include- good diet, avoiding excessive intoxicants, exercise, comfortable bedding, proper sleep schedule, etc. And when you practice them, you will find it easy to distract your sleepy head from noticing the absence of light in the room.
This is the end of the article. And I hope it is also the end for any lights in your bedroom after dark.