When it’s winter it’s hard to imagine sunlight creeping into your bedroom in the small hours, waking the birds – and then you – up. However, time marches on and before we know it it’ll be light at 5.00am. In some ways this is great; life’s starting up again, everyone feels energised and ready for barbecues in the evening and long rambling walks…
Unless, of course, you’re sleep-deprived because you or one of your children wake up at 4.30am every day and by the time you’re at work you’ve already been up and at ‘em for several hours.
There is a solution
Our brains have evolved to come back “on” at the smallest ray of sunlight, especially early morning sunlight, and once we’re on, it’s hard to switch back off, especially for just a couple of hours. After a few weeks of this, many people are burnt out. Thankfully, using blackout curtains or blinds are a great way to block out the light and stop those naughty photons from shaking your poor brain awake – at least until your alarm goes off at a reasonable hour.
How to let the darkness in
Sorry, physicists… The simplest way to achieve a blackout is to install roller blinds. You need, however, to take great care with your measurements because if the blind isn’t a really tight fit then some stray rays are going to get in. Visit makemyblinds.co.uk for ideas and advice on mounting the blind as you can get special frames that keep the fabric snug to the window for maximum darkness.
You don’t have to go full-blackout
Although most types of blinds can be made with blackout fabric, you might find it a slight overkill, especially if you want a fancier look, like a Roman blind, for example. One solution here is to team up a regular, non-blackout blind with curtains so that any light the blind fails to catch is stopped in its tracks by the curtains.
Blinds don’t just keep out light
Blinds don’t just control light, they can also help you to control the temperatures in your living and sleeping spaces. Maintaining a comfortable temperature is also very important if you’re aiming for a sound sleep, so you can use several combinations of blinds and drapes, especially if you have a south or a north-facing bedroom window. Blinds are great for keeping out the sun in the summer and then the curtains keep the heat in when it’s cold outside. Perfect.
Keep the noise down
Some people are just light sleepers by nature, so the slightest noise sets them off and then that’s it for the day! If the dawn chorus in the summer months in the summer months sounds more like the klaxon of doom to you, then it’s well worth investing in some wooden shutters to baffle and block noise. Plantation shutters look amazing inside or outside and they work in concert with blinds and curtains to create a cocoon-like space you can really relax in.