We all know that sleeping is an important part of daily life and health. But did you also know that the kind of sleep you get can have an affect on your health? In fact, sleeping in a room with too much light can not only disturb your sleep patterns, but it can actually lead to adverse health effects in both the long and short term.
A 2009 study published in Behavioral Brain Research journal showed that sleeping in a lighted room at night can lead to a wide variety of health problems, such as a lowered immune system, a potential increase for breast cancer risk, and overall feelings of depression. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, children who sleep in lighted rooms have a higher chance of becoming nearsighted as they age.
So with all this research clearly showing that sleeping with too much light in the room is bad for your health, what can you do to darken your room at night? Aside from shooting out the bulb of your nearby streetlight with a BB gun (which we don’t recommend), there are also a few other things you can try to keep your room as dark as possible at night.
Work with curtains
Window panels, curtains are an easy way to cut out some of the light from your room at night. Many stores sell inexpensive blackout curtains that block out about 80 percent of the light that comes in through the windows. Properly installed, curtains can really cut down on the amount of light that comes in from outdoors. If you don’t like the look of blackout curtains, you can also purchase blackout liners that go behind any style of curtain.
Block out light sources
A lot of the light that comes into your bedroom at night actually comes from within. Many people have constant light in their rooms, such as lights from alarm clocks, night lights, televisions, and other electronics. As much as possible, try to remove these objects completely from your bedroom. Obviously, you will have to keep an alarm clock in your room, but if you turn it to the wall at night you will sleep better.
Try UV panels
Another way to block light from your room is to cover your windows in UV panels. These panel coatings can block out light by preventing the sun’s rays from entering the room, much like window tinting on a car. This option is great for windows that cannot really have curtains, such as skylights or small windows near the ceiling, or for glass doors.
Decorate with darkness
Light surfaces in the bedroom reflect any light that is present. If you decorate in dark colors, the light is absorbed into the object, and you will sleep better. Try decorating with darker colors, such as dark woods, dark curtains, and dark bedding. Just because your room is decorated with dark accents does not mean the room has to be boring. You can mix in as many patterns or colors as you would like.
DIY Insulation boards
Another option is to cut some insulation board to the precise dimensions of your windows. Put these coverings over the windows at night for customized light blocking.
Removing light from your room will help you sleep better, and consequently, will improve your overall health. Try it and see how much better you feel each morning.