PITCH BLACK ⬛️ How to back out your bedroom!?

Before the advent of electricity, laptops, and smartphones, humans slept and woke in sync with the sun’s setting and rising. However, modern-day advancements in tech have vastly changed the humans’ light and sleep relationship. Each of us has an inbuilt clock, better known as a circadian rhythm [1] that controls our wake-sleep cycle. What you may not know is that light plays a massive role in this rhythm’s effectiveness. To control the light that gets into our spaces, such as bedrooms, we must take deliberate steps. This in-depth guide will take you through those steps and how to blackout your bedroom.

Importance of Blocking Out Light

There are several reasons why you might want to consider blocking out lights in your bedroom.

Aesthetic Appeal

For most people, space’s colors pop out better when subjected to light, natural or artificial. However, if you, unlike most people, love spaces with minimal light, you might want to block out the light that gets into a room. Additionally, some fabrics, colors, and furniture just look so much better in controlled light.

You Like or Have to Sleep During the Day

If your work involves a lot of nighttime tasks, it means the only free time you get to sleep is during the day. However, doing this can be considerably more complicated than you can imagine. To start with, there is a lot of natural light, and if your bedroom has large windows, the excessive flow of light into your sleeping space can be quite distracting. Your only viable option is to block out such light. This reason also applies to those who like taking a nap, probably on lazy weekend afternoons.

You Want Your House Interior to Be Cooler

While natural light is nice in most instances, it can also result in overly heated house interiors. This is particularly true if your bedroom window faces the direction from which strong afternoon sunlight comes. If you want a much cooler interior without incurring huge power bills, you should consider blocking out the sun rays that can get into the room.

Helping Balance the Circadian Rhythm

If for some reason, you decide to go to bed late, the light from the morning sun can prevent you from getting the required 7-9 hours of daily sleep [2]. However, if your bedroom windows are sufficiently blacked out, the minimal light tricks your body into thinking it’s still dark, resulting in better sleep.

Blackout Bedroom Windows

Now that we have established why it is important to block out light getting in through your bedroom windows, here are some of the most effective ways you can do it.

Install an Awning

An awning is a tool fixed on the exterior of a building to prevent sun rays from entering other areas. For example, if your bedroom window faces east and is thus subjected to the morning sun, you can install an awning on the building’s eastern wall. While not directly fixed on the window, awnings effectively block out light rays by providing a physical barrier. Before installing one, consider the angle at which the sun’s rays hit your window to help you find the best position for an awning.

Blackout Shades

Roman and roller shades are designed to block out light coming in through windows completely. These handy blackout shades can be somewhat tricky to install, though, and might require you to get the services of a qualified professional.

Use Curtain Liners

A curtain is more of a complementary measure to block out light and might not work perfectly as a stand-alone solution. However, if you intend to enhance the darkness created by a blackout curtain, these liners are ideal. Keep in mind that liners block out light through the fabric thickness and not necessarily colors, so do not be afraid of getting a bright-colored liner.

Use Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is one of the best tools available for people who intend to blackout their windows completely. Additionally, the material’s low price, availability, and lightweight make it ideal for a do-it-yourself light-blocking project. To use the foil, use some painter’s tape to stick the foil onto the window’s inner surface.

Use Privacy Film

Like aluminum foil, privacy film is easy to purchase and install. However, this film does not completely block all light from getting in through the window. Instead, it filters out the light to an acceptable level. If you want a full blackout, you might want to skip this option. A better option related to privacy film is window film. This one is designed to block out light, protect users from UV rays and prevent extreme temperatures in the house. Window films have extremely thin profiles making them easy to cut to size and install on panes.

Install a Mesh Liner

While a mesh liner will not provide total light blockage, it will filter out much of the light. One significant upside to using a mesh liner is its outstanding airflow and significantly low cost. If you decide to go for this option, please use the liner alongside other light-filtering solutions such as blackout covers. If you intend to block out the light permanently, install the liner using curtain hooks. However, if it is more of a short-term measure, fix the liner using standard household adhesive.

Using Cardboard

You can get sheets of corrugated boards or cardboard to block out light. Fix these on the inner surface using painter’s tape. Like some other blackout options, cardboards will also protect you from harmful UV rays. If you have privacy film installed on your panes, you can enhance the light blockage using these boards.

Block Artificial Light

Well, we have looked at the different ways you can block out natural light from getting into your bedroom. However, doing that only solves half the problem. You will still need to deal with the problem of artificial light. Luckily, there are simple solutions to this.

Use an Eye Mask

If you must have artificial light in your bedroom, consider purchasing a quality eye mask for use when sleeping or resting. Our eyes are the primary pathway through which light rays get into our bodies. This implies that if your eyes cannot discern the rays, then the potentially harmful effects of such light are minimized. Luckily, quality eye masks are readily available and relatively cheap.

Get Rid of Electronics That Emit Light

While light bulbs can be the source of disruptive artificial light, you should be more worried about electronics such as smartphones and tablets. One of the simplest methods to deal with artificial light in the bedroom involves getting rid of all electronic devices that emit light through their displays or other notification LEDs. Since your body only requires a few hours of sleep, you should definitely consider having a light-free environment during those hours.

Dim or Switch off the Lights

Well, this one almost goes without saying. The easiest step to control artificial light is to kill the lights. However, if you intend to have partial darkness, consider investing in dimmable lights. With these, you can regulate how much light the bulbs emit.

Consider Motion-sensing Lights

With motion-sensor lights, the bulbs only illuminate when there is a need. This minimizes the need to have hallway and bathroom lights on every time.

Block Light from Under Door

If you live in a house with a shared hallway, chances are the hallway lights are always on. While it is easy to control the artificial light inside your house, the ones outside can be a bit tricky. However, there are several nifty ideas you can try.

Use a Heavy Blanket

To block out the under-doorway light using a blanket, you will first need to install hooks above your top door frame. Two hooks should do but if the blanket is overly heavy, feel free to use three. The next step involves cutting holes in the blanket to correspond with the hooks. You should then hang the blanket from the hooks, ensuring that it fully covers the space underneath the door. If your blanket does not stay in place, use a laundry basket to hold it in place.

Use a Rolled-up Towel

Using a rolled towel is perhaps easier than hanging a blanket over the door, but still quite as effective. Keep in mind that for this towel method to work, the towel you use must be as wide or wider than the door opening. Roll the towel and place it on the space through which light seeps in. If the towel unrolls, consider dipping it in water before rolling.

Door Strips and Sweepers

These are tools designed to be fixed onto doors as permanent extensions. Typically, these strips and sweepers are meant to keep bugs from crawling into your bedroom, but they can also be quite useful for blocking light. Ideally, a door strip attaches to the bottom end of a door, with the overhang covering the space between the floor and the bottom door frame. When buying one of these, consider those with thicker materials and dark colors.

Summary

While often the source of good things, light can be incredibly distracting, especially when one is trying to sleep. If, like most people, you find yourself continually experiencing the unwanted effects of light in your bedroom, this guide should hopefully give you a way out. By controlling the natural and artificial light that gets into your bedroom, you can get more of the high-quality sleep that your body is meant to have.

Citations

  1. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/circadian-rhythm
  2. https://sleepcavern.com/ultimate-guide-to-blacking-out-your-bedroom-for-better-sleep/
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