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Do you sleep with blackout curtains?

Emmeline Westin
7 years ago
last modified: 7 years ago
Are you enjoying the bright nights? Although the shortest nights are behind us, the sunrise is still as early as 5am.

Do you need to shut the light out to be able to sleep? Or do you embrace it?
Urban Loft Residence · More Info

Comments (77)

  • Kiku Loomis
    7 years ago
    Nice to see so many compatriots here. If even a sliver of light gets through, I have to put a bag over my head. Hotels do it right with double shades.
  • Nancy Armstrong Sloop
    7 years ago
    I loved how we could see the night sky when we went to bed and the sun coming up in the morning...until the house next door sold and the new neighbors had our power company install a halogen light on the power pole in my backyard which shines directly (and VERY brightly!) into our bedroom window. I HATE IT. And because we like sleeping with windows opened, we can't even use black outs to keep the light out.

    My DH went next door to speak to them about the light, after I called the power co. and was told I had no options in the matter, as eminent domain ruled where power poles go and whoever wishs can pay for a light. It did no good, they were adamant in wanting to 'keep intruders out of their backyard with a light.' He showed them our motion-sensitive outdoor lights, but again it made no difference.

    This issue has colored my entire opinion of them. Where once we would not have minded their children riding their four-wheelers across the bottom of our yard (the unfenced portion) now we have refused. I turned them into the City for allowing their chickens to roam freely (although I think I might have done that anyway, chicken poop in my yard UGH!). And the last straw was their sons discharging guns (against the law inside city limits) toward my yard, where my and my parents' dogs' run around inside the fence, plus they killed a cardinal (NC state bird).

    I never ever thought I would become a "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!" person, but my new neighbors changed my mind. Bless their hearts.
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  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    Used to be able to sleep under almost any conditions. Now I require dark and quiet. Bought velvet drapes on overstock.com to put over my room darkening shades. Enough light comes in to tell me it's morning, but not so much to wake me at the crack of dawn. Now if I could only solve the noise problem.Have tried a few types of earplugs without success.
  • PRO
    Carla England, Real Estate Professional
    7 years ago
    I'm all for blackout window treatments for my office where my grandchildren sleep when overnight and the guest bedroom. I should not presume when my guests would like to awaken and I surely don't want my grandchildren waking up tired when they are spending the night.
  • mabhe
    7 years ago
    Give me total darkness, cool temps and silence. The first 2 are manageable the 3rd. not so much, so good fitting 3 pane windows help a lot :)
  • mrs_m_goldsmith
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    I've always been affected by SAD (seasonal affective disorder, hate the problem, love the acronym ;-). The quality of light seriously affects my mood and sense of wellbeing. Also, I simply cannot sleep when there is any light in the room. Conversely, if there is no light in the room, I might sleep 12-14 hours! So with the SAD and the quality of sleep issue, I was always tired and cranky, definitely not nice to be around a lot of the time.

    The solution was a combination of a blackout shade (the type that has suction cups on and sticks to the window, as we are tenants) and a Lumie bodyclock. The blackout shade allows me to block out all the light in the bedroom and the bodyclock has a daylight-coloured lamp that gradually comes on in the morning, waking me naturally, and gradually going off at night, lulling me to sleep -- all at the times I set, rather than seasonal dawn/dusk. (Look for sunrise/sunset feature, but be sure it's a daylight lamp.)

    With this in place, I get a regular 8 1/2 hours sleep every night and my mood has improved considerably! (And my better half agrees! ;-) So, if you have problems sleeping, you might want to try the combination of blackout shade and bodyclock.
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    mabne, I've got dble pane, but it's summer and windows are open. Unfortunately I live in a congested part of town. People here think nothing of blasting a car horn at 7:45 in the morning rather than announce their arrival by cell phone. Why talk when you can yell is another neighbor's MO, then there are the non-stop barking dogs. I belong in a cabin in the woods or a cottage by the sea!
  • livingonlobsterlake
    7 years ago
    Try sleeping in Alaska in the summer, when the sun sets at midnight and rises at 4 a.m. -- in between it's still light enough to read a newspaper outside! Blackout shades or lined curtains are a must. Some desperate folks line their bedroom windows with aluminum foil for the summer -- not a great design statement but it allows for a good night's sleep! I love light waking me up in the morning, but only when it's time to get up anyhow -- about October before that will happen.
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    I tried the aluminum foil with my old windows and somehow the glass absorbed it and made a mess. Fortunately I've replaced those old heat leakers. You can buy an aluminum foil cell type insulation off the roll at some hardware stores. I have put it behind my radiators to reflect the heat back into the room. In the summer I put them on the windows to help keep the 2nd floor cool. The blinds hide the foil so it looks OK.
  • livingonlobsterlake
    7 years ago
    Great idea, capeanner!
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    L on LL, necessity is the mother of invention! must be nice on a lake. Fortunately, I'm near enough to the ocean to stay cool.
  • dirtgirl64
    7 years ago
    No I rather wake to the sunlight
  • Sam Hill
    7 years ago
    When I'm on holiday in my house in France - Yes. At home, no.
  • ghos
    7 years ago
    The darker, the better...
  • onthecoast1
    7 years ago
    I found the coolest blinds on HomeDepot.com. They are 2.5" white faux wood blinds that do not have holes in the slats like most blinds do. When closed, they totally blackout the room, even when it's bright daylight outside. They are FANTASTIC. I put heavy wood trims around and above all my windows so I wouldn't need draperies anymore, so the blinds are all I have, and they work GREAT!
  • Leah & Byron McFarlane
    7 years ago
    OMG try living in the Arctic! Black out shades for summer --- ABSOLUTELY -- 24 hours of daylight is more than anyone here can handle -- especially when I'm still outside working in the garden because my body & brain think it's about 9:00 p.m. then the clock says "nope" it's 1:00 a.m. (8:00 a.m. comes too soon to get to work) !
  • dooenmabest
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    I sleep with my eyes covered (due to dry eyes) and have relaxation music plugged into one ear. I generally sleep really well, barely hear the neighbour's dog at 5am and don't see the light until I'm ready to wake up. The music also helps to quieten my mind when it's working overtime. My blinds can be open or closed and it makes no difference.
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    That's interesting that you cover your eyes for the dry eye problem. I try to avoid using a mask because it makes my eyes swell. Can't imagine staying still enough not to get unplugged re the music, but I do set my radio timer....sometimes repeatedly. Have listened to so much depressing news on the BBC it's a wonder I can sleep at all. I do have a little sound machine with an ocean waves option can work like a charm. I'm thinking there are a lot of baby boomers out there missing a lot of sleep.
  • mabhe
    7 years ago
    @ capeanner, I hear you about dogs, car horns etc...We are moving out to farm country where nearest neighbor is a couple miles down the paved road. I've grown tired of being crushed by too many people, cars......so that's my solution. :)
  • PRO
    SoCal Contractor
    7 years ago
    I usually wake up with the sun regardless of whether I see light or not. My body is accustomed to it. I love having a long, productive day so waking up a little earlier is no problem for me.
  • dooenmabest
    7 years ago
    @capeanner, I do lose my earplug, but it has become second nature to hold it as I turn over. The things we do to get some sleep eh?!! :) Your ocean waves sound like a good solution too. I've tried everything over the years and finally have the plan that works for me... most of the time. You're right about baby boomers missing sleep!
  • dooenmabest
    7 years ago
    @mabhe, I'm a bit envious of you moving away from people and cars. Good for you!
  • bluenan
    7 years ago
    mabhe, you'll love it! The sounds of frogs and owls are so much nicer.
  • oakleyspanky
    7 years ago
    We have no curtains on our east lakefront facing master bedroom window..love the sunrise, it hits a painting on the opposite wall and casts a rosy glow
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    mabhe, you'll have to start taking in sleep deprived boarders! The one time I lived in a house with no neighbors in sight my whole body just calmed down about ten notches. Never realized how stressed living next to people made me till that experience. Ironically I spend my winters in FL in a house that has more privacy, but have had 2 instances of someone trying to come in the windows at night. Not very conducive to sleep either!
  • morish
    7 years ago
    Block out for a pitch dark room or NO sleeping! and thermo blinds a must!
  • thadcopeland
    7 years ago
    I used aluminum foil on the windows in college worked great
  • PRO
    Jarret Yoshida Design
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    I need blackout roller shades. argh. so tired.
  • amycarman
    7 years ago
    Blackout curtains AND sleep mask.
  • Robin Lee
    7 years ago
    My husband likes the cave approach! Dark and cool! I have blackout curtains behind our regular floor to ceiling curtains, yet still some light gets through, so he puts on his mask☺️
  • Karen Ginas
    7 years ago
    My old house had 2 large skylights. Loved looking at the stars at night. Snowfall rain and even the early sunrises. But have to confess the first nite in new home I slept till 9. Do have room darkeners on guest rooms. But unless it is a sleeping baby never close them.
  • Sonya T
    7 years ago
    If it weren't for street lights, I would not want blackout curtains. It is hard for me to fall asleep with the lights on.
  • Sauve
    7 years ago
    I worked in hospitals my nearly all of my career working age. I took time out to be a stay at home mom but had my soft sculpture for retail making business during that time. With the divorce, I returned to the hospital. Eh, personal history but it does have something to do with this. Depending on the needs of the hospitals I've worked in combined with the needs of my children during their different years of maturity, my sleeping arrangement was never taken for granted. It was sad, because like some of the other posters here, I can't sleep for more than about 5 minutes with light coming into the room. Noise may rouse me but it doesn't wake me if it typical whereas a sliver of light wakes me to the point that I can't resume sleep. I will be up until my biological clock cycles again. While this is ok now that I'm retired it was horrible for a career that requires you to work from 6:30pm until 7:30am and where a patient's life depends on your full attention. Black out shades did not work, but it was a series of things that worked. Mine were: a sleep mask, dropping the air conditioner a few degrees, playing a tape of a gentle rain storm on repeat, not eating or shopping before going to bed, and setting a timer to start the coffee pot 10 minutes before my alarm went off. I gave up black out drapes because the mask worked better for me. Now, retired, I can put the mask on as soon as I have boarded the plane and sleep all the way to my destination. Life training!
  • larkspurproject
    7 years ago
    I love having the early morning sunshine as an alarm clock! Sleeping late is rarely an option, I may not embrace the bright sunshine if it was.
  • Lily Choi
    7 years ago
    I am usually one that loves to wake to the sunlight, but when it comes to the nursery, blackout lights during the summer months is probably one of the best investments I've ever made!
  • Ernesto Robinson
    7 years ago
    Anyone tried shutters? Thinking of getting some made for our windows, they would have to slide behind the curtains.
  • Ffion Francis
    7 years ago
    I used to have black out blinds and although I did have the best, deepest nights' sleep ever, I actually found that I was completely out of it in the mornings because there was no light to wake up to naturally! Now that I don't have them I find that I am more fresh in the mornings... I do still have to wear an eye mask though it normally finds its way off during the night!
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    When I was young and had fantasies of being rich, one of the things wealth would have afforded me was automatic drapes that would be set to open in the morning. Have always detested waking to an alarm. For the past couple of months my eyes pop open at 7 am despite the shades and drapes even if I went to sleep at 3 am.
    Another fantasy was to have all clothes custom made so I would never have to shop by trying on clothes again. Now that I'm old I don't have to worry about getting up early and I rarely shop. Who needs clothes when you aren't a gerbil on the workday wheel? Free at last!
  • shal1217
    7 years ago
    We just purchase back-out roller shades for all the bedrooms in our new house. Can't wait because the blinds I have in my bedroom now don't do a good job of keeping light out.
  • capeanner
    7 years ago
    The black out shades I bought weren't enough; hence the velvet drapes. Typically I'm not big on drapes, but when I bought them I was desperate.
  • shal1217
    7 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago
    Yeah, I am anxious to see how the shades work. I assume there will still be a perimeter of light around them anyway... if it's bad I am certainly not opposed to buying curtains for added coverage!
  • carthiefintexas
    7 years ago
    I have blockout curtains but only to keep the warmth in. I much prefer waking up to the sunlight, and certainly don't mind moonlight either. Usually I'll wake up briefly because of it, then roll over and go back to the land of nod.
  • Katherine Montgomery
    6 years ago

    I have black out curtains but light leaks round all he edges, hopeless. Ordering Bloc-Out blinds for my new house, assured there is absolutely no leakage.

  • Natalie Patton
    6 years ago
    I am 100% black out curtains I have really heavy suede curtains. It started when I lived at home and there was a street light outside my bedroom window that drove me mad got black out curtains and all was good. Until I bought my own house and I guess by then I was pretty light sensitive even the green standby light on the TV annoyed me. Now I hav a 3 year old that insists on having the landing light on. Black out curtains and draft excluder are my nigh time saviour. Also I like the look of thick full curtains in a room. Functional and fashionable!
  • milfordmaid
    6 years ago

    Huh? Looks like I'm the first here to post that I can sleep on a clothes line!! As long as I am horizontal- I can sleep if I'm tired. I have worked night-duty for over 25yrs + sleep half my week during the daytime. I can sleep by day or night. Light or dark doesn't bother me. I can sleep with curtains open or closed, bedroom door open or closed ( I always leave lamp on in hallway at night), sleep with TV on. A reasonable level of noise doesn't wake me, radio doesn't wake me, music doesn't disturb me, regular conversation doesn't wake me, regular traffic noise doesn't wake me. Crying babies, whining children + loud squabbles will wake me. I don't like being woken ...!!! My biggest sleep problem is getting off to sleep, always was a night-owl. It is usually after 2am before I'd consider going to bed. Once I do go to sleep, I stay asleep. Strangely it takes me longer to settle if the house is quiet!! Always sleep sitting upright in bed, with curtains open + beside light on if I need to be up early in the morning. It works for me. So I reckon I have saved a fortune on window dressings, eye-masks + ear plugs. All I need is a radio + 5ft 3inches of floor space and zzzzzzzz

  • lepstein
    6 years ago

    I don't even have to be horizontal, milfordmaid. If I'm tired, I can sleep under any conditions, including with a cup of fully caffeinated coffee in my hand at midnight (usually don't spill a drop). I am learning to go to bed earlier and my body has adjusted. I usually fall asleep quickly (after reading for awhile), but wake up at least once through the night to turn to a different position as I sleep on a flat spring and my hip begins to ache (I don't toss and turn much)...then immediately back to sleep.


  • Ruby O'Callaghan
    6 years ago
    My sister had black out curtians, they are really good
  • PRO
    Aspire Curtains & Blinds
    6 years ago

    Blackout every time! I love the light nights and mornings, I love throwing the curtains back and seeing a beautiful new day, I love the colours of spring when the trees and shrubs have new shoots - but I love my sleep as well. It's too easy to wake up early for one reason or another, and then it's so much harder to nod off again if the room is bathed in light... my body thinks 'great, it's daytime', and wants me to get up straight away. Hooray for blackout linings.

  • viv mcc
    5 years ago

    i can not sleep if its to dark i even have my blinds open a little to let the sunlight/moonlight in, i live in a bungalow and i'm not overlooked,and if i had black outs i would still end up getting to sleep late because of owls and be woken up early by birds singing but i don't mind...

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