Think about walking into your bedroom and slumming on your bed after a long day’s work. All you want to do is rest, but, for some reason, you still wake up tired. After changing your bed, mattress, bedsheet, and even your pillow, the problem persists. According to research, the culprit could be too much light in your bedroom.
In essence, the lights from our bedrooms come from the outside. Maybe you live in a place where street lights are installed, and the light reflects straight to your bedroom. In such a case you would prefer a dark bedroom. And one way to darken your bedroom would be to install blackout curtains. But, are they actually worth getting?
Yes, blackout curtains are worth getting, as they are great at darkening your bedroom. Having a dark bedroom during sleep comes with several benefits both on sleep quality and for your health. Blackout curtains are made from tightly woven fabric (polyester) that provides insulation and blocks out the light from your bedroom.
Typically, polyester goes through an intensive chemical process with proper safety standards to ensure it is safe for the user as well. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of blackout curtains.
What Are Blackout Curtains?
Just as the name ‘blackout’ suggests, the curtains are used for blocking out light. However, the amount of light blockage needed depends on the person, where some prefer 100 % light blockage while others prefer to have some natural light coming in, especially in the morning. If this is the case, 90 to 95% blackout curtains will do best.
Having blackout curtains in the bedroom provides a soothing effect that brings out a good atmosphere for falling asleep. With neutral colors painted on the wall, the curtains pop out nicely and create a beautiful contrast. During winter seasons, the bedroom becomes warmer, and in summer, they become cooler, making it ideal for giving you a peaceful night’s sleep.
Factors to Consider When Buying Blackout Curtains
You love them and want to buy them; what factors should you consider?
1. Quality of The Fabric
The blackout curtains’ top requirement is a solid and heavy-duty fabric that doesn’t let any rays penetrate. When choosing the curtains, you would like to explore the options available on the market and maybe pick what pleases you. Even so, the most recommendable is polyester fabrics because they are known to be heavy and thick.
However, it doesn’t mean that these are the only materials available. You can choose to mix with other materials of your choice, but at the end of it all, discuss with your designer to get the best advice.
You have chosen your curtains, and now you are wondering how to maintain them. First, you should know that blackout curtains are not the same. Again, the maintenance will depend on the fabric the curtains are made from.
Let take this example, if the curtains are made from 100 percent polyester and mixed with cotton, washing with cold water using your washing machine is fine. But if the fabrics used are dense, you will require a spray or dry cleaning.
So before purchasing, always understand the basics so that you can make the right choice.
When considering the pricing factor, ask yourself some questions.
Can you compromise value over the price? When you take a closer look at the fabric used to make blackout quality curtains, you will realize that they are a bit pricey. The reason is that the manufacturing process and the quality of the fabric used have been considered.
If your budget falls short, opt for middle-range prices, for they are the better option. Too low prices spell out a red flag meaning, they are not durable, and quality is compromised.
When you are choosing colors, consider the theme and style of your bedroom. The usual curtain colors are dark; black, navy blue, gray, etc. That means in most cases, you have to pick one of these colors though some modern colors are now available.
The modern versions available are appealing and bright. For example, white is preferred by those who don’t want to have dark colors completely. But to achieve the blackout functionality, you must have a dark lining to get 100 percent light blocking protection.
Consider buying your own blackout curtains? Check out our buyers guide here for more information.
What Are The Pros And Cons of Having a Dark Bedroom?
Everything that is human-made has its good side and bad side. Here are some pros and cons of a dark bedroom set up to help make you an informed decision.
1. Falling Asleep Becomes Easier
A dark bedroom usually makes it easier to fall asleep. Darkness promotes relaxation and stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps in sleeping patterns.
When you are sleeping in a light environment, the brain detects this light through the eyelids, and suppress the melatonin production. In such occurrences, sleeping becomes harder because the brain can’t differentiate between day and night. In a dark bedroom, this is preventable and you will sleep better.
2. Your Eyes Becomes Well-Rested
Your eyes are wide open during the day, and when evening comes, all you want is to close them. It is logical because, just as any part of the body, they need rest. Sleeping in a dark bedroom helps your eyes rest and get enough protection.
3. The Risks of Falling Into Depression Are Reduced
I know you are wondering how depression is related to sleeping. Well, Ohio State University Hospital conducted research and found that sleeping in a lighted room disturbs circadian rhythm.
When the circadian rhythm becomes messed up, our bodies are unable to differentiate day and night. In turn, this causes mental imbalance and may lead to depression. So a dark room dispels any possible depression that could be caused by poor sleep.
4. Sleeping in a Dark Bedroom Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
New research shows that sleeping in a room full of light can cause type 2 Diabetes by causing insulin resistance. This is because the light suppresses melatonin production, which is responsible for sleeping and waking patterns.
When there is insulin resistance, the cells’ ability to respond to the hormone becomes hard, thus affecting the glucose transport out of the bloodstream. So when you opt to sleep in a dark bedroom, the risk of getting type 2 diabetes is reduced.
5. Easier to Maintain a Healthy Body Weight When Sleeping in a Dark Bedroom
Weight gain is partly associated with bad sleeping habits. Several studies reviewed that if you don’t get enough sleep, it might lead to obesity. Women can add up to 55% of weight, whereas children can add up to 89% when sleep deprived.
Fortunately, a dark bedroom will help you relax and sleep better, which will make it easier to maintain a healthy body weight.
6. There Are Anti-Aging Benefits of Sleeping in a Dark Bedroom
When getting optimal sleep, which comes from sleeping in a dark bedroom, your regeneration system works optimally. This leads to hormonal balance, which causes the body to heal fast and in doing so slow down the aging process.
7. A Darker Bedroom is Calming
Darker shades of color in a room reflect less light and make the room less active. When you are sleeping at night, your body and brain respond to a different light level, so if the room is not dark enough, getting good rest becomes tough.
1. Minimal Natural Light During The Morning
This is the only drawback I can find on using blackout curtains in the bedroom. During the morning, after we have received our 7-9 hours of sleep, there are a window of time where we would actually benefit from natural light sipping in to our bedrooms.
It’s been shown that slowly increased natural light during the morning hours is great for getting our circadian rhythm balanced. A balanced circadian rhythm will make us sleep better during our nights and make us feel refreshed and energized during our mornings.
One way to fix this issue that blackout curtains cause, is to use a nightstand lamp with a timer and dimmer that slowly lights up your bedroom during the correct time in the morning. Here’s a great example available on Amazon.
So, are you still interested in getting your own blackout curtains? Check out our buyers guide here for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Blackout Curtains Installed Like Ordinary Curtains?
Yes, they are installed in the same way. When designing your ordinary curtains, the way you take the measurements would be the same with the blackout ones. If you are not sure how to do it, you can always request your designer to help (if you have one of those), or simply follow the instructions that came with your blackout curtains.
I Have Ordinary Curtains; Can I Turn Them Into Blackouts For my Bedroom?
Of course, you can turn your ordinary curtains into blackout curtains for your bedroom. The idea of blackout is to have a darker room to boost your sleep.
So, if you don’t want to throw away your other curtains, you can install blackout curtain linings. You can choose to hang them separately by attaching them to your ordinary curtain. Whichever way you choose the latter works perfectly.
Can I Iron my Blackout Curtains?
Yes, blackout curtains can be ironed. But before ironing, consider the fabric used so that you can get the exact heat needed. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Are Blackout Curtains And Darkening Curtains The Same?
No, they are not. Blackout curtains don’t allow any light to pass through, whereas darkening curtains let through some light (90 – 95%).
How do I Reduce The Toxicity of my Blackout Curtains?
If you still have doubts and feel that the curtains are toxic, wash them as soon as they arrive. After washing, you will notice that any chemical smell has disappeared.
Having a good night’s sleep is important because it leaves you focused, energetic, and ready to positively undertake the next day’s activities. Having blackout curtains in your bedroom is definitely worth it to ensure that you achieve the maximum benefits of a good nights rest.