So many times in the past, I have woken up from what seemed to be a good night’s sleep tired and foggy and irritable. This all changed once I committed to optimizing my room for sleep.
Total darkness is a vital component to an optimum night’s sleep. Our internal clock, often referred to as our circadian system, relies on external cues of light and darkness to reset itself every 24 hours or so. There is plenty of research like this on the subject, which illustrates just how things go awry when we are exposed to light at night, including dim lights, light pollution, and blue-light emitting devices (like alarm clocks and cell phones) while we sleep.
Taking all that into consideration (and after plenty of anecdotal evidence and experience on my part), I’ve committed to making my bedroom as dark as possible at night.
As I mentioned in my sleep mask reviews, I have painted my bedroom an off-black charcoal color. I have two different masks that I use (depending on the season) and I have covered my windows with the Eclipse Blackout Window Curtains in black.
I have recently helped my parents optimize their bedroom for sleep, and we opted for the TWOPAGES Energy Saving Curtains to cover their french doors, which used to let in a lot of light at night. If you have a larger window, or prefer to sleep without a sleep mask, I highly recommend opting for these over the Eclipse.
- Do your best to start unplugging all of your blue light-emitting devices after 7PM
- Invest in both blackout shades and a comfortable sleep mask
- If you can’t commit to unplugging, wear an amber-lensed pair of glasses like the Uvex or the Gamma Ray Flexlite to minimize exposure to blue rays before bed
The Final Word
If all of these changes sound like too much, try implementing one thing at the time, and take note of your mood when you wake up in the morning. I know that sleeping in total darkness has improved my quality of sleep and changed my disposition in the morning.