You are someone who has a hard time getting to sleep if there is any source of light in the room. Your eye notices it. For some reason, your mind gnaws at it — that glowing light over on the desk you don't notice during the daytime. Or, the way your phone lights up every time you get an automated midnight message bothers you. Even the faint city glow through your window curtains is distracting.
Being sensitive to light when trying to sleep is normal, and the deepest sleep usually comes when we can simulate floating in the void of space as closely as possible. As long as the vacuum has a warm comforter. Here at Nest Bedding, we are pros at creating a sleep environment even an insomniac could fall asleep in, and your need for darkness is something we know how to handle. For you and the thousands of others out there who need a genuinely dark bedroom to sleep comfortably, here's how to do it right.
Disable Night Lights
Nightlights come with an increasing number of household items. Some light switches and electrical outlets even have little glowing night lights. Which is great when you're feeling around in the dark, but not so great when you're trying to catch some true shut-eye. So, the first step is to find where those secret nightlights are lurking.
Turn off all the lights in your bedroom or master suite, then look around. Are there any glowing outlets or other little items that light up when the lights went out? If so, figure out how to cover, disable, or move these intrusive nightlights.
Cover the Windows with Extra Bedding
Most traditional window blinds and curtains cannot keep 100% of the light out of your room. Many designs can't even keep the faint urban nighttime light out, and most materials can't stand up to the full force of sunlight. Darkening your window is a matter of layers. If you have extra blankets or even pillows not in use right now, use them to cover your window instead. Layers of blankets tacked up over the window can be more effective (and more affordable) than a hanging blackout curtain.
Clamp Down the Curtains
Curtains are designed to hang a little ways away from the wall so they can hang loosely. Unfortunately, this gives space for tiny slivers of sunlight to shine through, even with blackout curtains. The best way to prevent these light invasions around the edges of your curtains is to clamp down the corners. You need the curtains to stick to your wall more like a suction cup and less like a skirt.
For renters, the best way to do this is with command strip clamps, which you can remove without damaging the paint or punching a hole. For homeowners, the quick tap of a few small nails is all you need to firmly attach the edges of your curtain to the wall around the window aperture. It is the best way to keep light from sneaking in, especially during the early morning hours when light angles come in at a nearly horizontal angle through east-facing windows.
Tape or Shroud Every Glowing LED
Now that the window is covered, turn off the lights again. Look around and see all the unintentional nightlights that are keeping you awake. That little flicker on the side of your bedroom television, for example. The glowing cable end on your laptop charger, or the happy, bright blue LEDs burning out of your stereo. Not to mention the digital alarm clock, if you have one. There are so many potential sources of too-bright LEDs in a bedroom and tape is the best answer we've got.
With a thick type of fabric tape like duct tape, tear off little squares and begin covering all those unwanted tiny sources of the LED light. Put one on the TV light, the remote, the stereo head unit, and one for every light on your router. The more little dots of LEDs you can cover up with tape, the easier it will be to sleep the next night.
For any lights or displays you want to see during the day, use the shrouding method instead: Throw a clean t-shirt over it until morning to block the light.
Place Your Phone Face-Down
Every time your phone gets an automated email message, it updates its background software or has a stray thought it buzzes and briefly turns the screen back on. That sudden brightness may seem innocuous while you are asleep, but it can quickly wake you up without you even knowing why. It can also keep you awake if the screen decides to brighten up while you're still trying to fall asleep.
The best solution is a surprisingly simple one: Place your phone face-down on the bedside table when you go to sleep. If the case doesn't wholly preclude the screen, drop a t-shirt on it. This way, if your phone decides to light up in the middle of the night, you don't have to wake up for the occasion.
Roll a Towel Under the Door
For many pitch black bedrooms, the light under the bedroom door is the ultimate source of intrusive illumination. No matter how dark you like your sleeping chamber, the rest of the house is subject to sunlight and the need of others to see where they're going. So to keep the sanctity of your void-like bedroom environment, place a rolled-up towel at the base of your door. No need to block airflow, prevent light from passing through when the hall outside your door becomes bright.
Touch Light by the Bed
Finally, don't forget you will eventually need to wake up and use lights to see things again. And you don't want to be stumbling around a dark bedroom looking for a lightswitch in those first early moments after waking. The best final accessory to your pitch black bedroom is a touch light on your bedside table. This way, you can turn lights on whenever you need, and not when you don't.
Sleeping in a pitch black room is a typical requirement for many adults to get to sleep comfortably. If you are one of the thousands who need to float in the empty void of space to fall asleep, hopefully, these tricks have helped you get a few steps closer to the pure blackness we all crave when it comes time to sleep. For more great sleep insights, contact us today or read the sleep doctor blog!