Creating Ideal Sleep Conditions with Blackout Shades
Are you getting enough sleep? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends adults ages 18+ get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. And the right sleeping conditions can make all the difference.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has labeled sleep deprivation a national epidemic, affecting 50 to 70 million Americans. And according to our own 2017 Sleep Survey, older Americans are 73 percent more likely to rank their sleep quality as “very poor” than millennials. Are you getting enough sleep? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends adults ages 18+ get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. And the right sleeping conditions can make all the difference.
Transforming Your Bedroom Starts with Light Control
“Overhauling the bedroom starts with an acknowledgment that your body needs to sleep in near total darkness for optimum health,” writes author Jennifer Barrett in her article “Sleep Oasis. This can be achieved in several ways:
- Eliminate Electronics: Today, electronics are a normal part of everyday life. From smartphones, computers, and tablets to televisions and even digital clocks, we are surrounded by technology – even in the bedroom. In fact, a recent poll by the NSF found that 95 percent of people use some type of electronics at least a few nights a week within the hour before bed. Our 2017 Sleep Survey found 32.3 percent of respondents watched television right before sleep, while 22.4 percent browsed their cellphones. And while electronics play an important role in our lives, making our lives easier in many ways, the presence of electronics in the bedroom could actually hamper your ability to get a good night’s sleep. In particular, scientists have found that the body’s circadian rhythm is especially sensitive to light with short wavelengths, such as blue light from computer screens and cell phones. So, if you find yourself have a difficult time sleeping, try to keep electronics out of the bedroom, or, at least, minimize electronic use before bedtime.
- Blackout Shades: According to the NSF, “your bedroom should be free from any light” and you should “consider using blackout curtains, eye shades.” These window treatments “can be very helpful for blocking evening light during the summer, streetlights, as well as morning rays (especially handy if you have an early riser),” says the NSF. Outside mounts are recommended for blackout shades to give you that “cave” effect. Otherwise, there will be light gaps on the left and right sides of the shades.
Simply put, “Managing darkness in the bedroom contributes to better sleep,” says NSF CEO David M. Cloud. However, according to our 2017 Sleep Survey, only about 30 percent of people in the DC area currently use blackout shades.
Next Day Blinds offers four unique room darkening window treatments sure to fit your style:
- Our Room Darkening Honeycomb Shades are lined with Mylar® to block nearly all exterior light. These window treatments are also incredibly energy efficient, providing maximum privacy.
- Our Room Darkening Roller Shades are fused with white backing to block light and provide maximum privacy.
- Our Ultra Room Darkening Blinds provide style and privacy. Unlike traditional aluminum mini blinds, these window treatments feature hidden routing holes and increased slat overlap to block more light when the blinds are closed.
- Our Room Dimming Savannah Shades feature soft adjustable room dimming fabric vanes that appear to be floating between two sheer fabric panels. These window treatments will obscure light from entering room but will not provide complete darkness when in the closed position.
SHOP ROOM DARKENING PRODUCTS
More Helpful Sleep Recommendations
Aside from light control and blackout shades, there are other ways to improve sleep conditions and help ensure you are well rested.
- Noise Pollution: “Creating a quiet bedroom environment is key to a full, healthy night’s rest,” according to the NSF. “Not only can “noise pollution” steal your slumber and make you feel drowsy the next day, there is some evidence that sounds such as those from constant, loud urban traffic or close proximity to an airport may have a negative effect on health.”
- Finding the Right Temperature: “Many sleep experts say that a cool room, somewhere around 65 degrees, makes for the best sleep, and research backs this notion,” says the NSF.
- Clean Your Sheets: According to the NSF, roughly 75 percent of people report having a better night’s sleep on sheets with a fresh scent. This is also a great way to minimize allergens.
- White Noise: “If you have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, creating a constant ambient sound could help mask activity from inside and outside the house,” says the NSF.