Scientific research indicates that people sleep better when they are in rooms that are completely dark. Extra light in the space can disrupt the sleep cycle, making it hard to get truly restful sleep.
Making your room as dark as possible is one of the most effective ways to improve your sleep quality. Check out these tips on how to make your bedroom look darker so that you can sleep better at night:
- Turn off the lights.
Although it may seem obvious, it is important to shut off all of the lights in the room. This includes any night lights. Pay attention to other sources of light, as well. For instance, the glow given off by your alarm clock could be enough to keep you from getting the best possible sleep. Try turning your alarm clock toward the wall to minimize the amount of light that it gives off during the night. Eliminating all sources of light in the room can go a long way toward making it darker while you sleep.
- Paint the walls a darker color.
Light-colored walls tend to reflect light while dark-colored walls absorb it. Painting your walls in a dark, rich hue can create a darker space overall. Deep blue shades like indigo or navy blue are good options. You can also opt for dark gray or dark green. Spend some time learning more about which colors are best at promoting sleep to choose the right shade for your room.
- Choose darker bedding.
Much like the walls, the color of your bedding can affect how light or dark it is in the room. After all, your bed takes up a lot of visual space in the room. Going with a dark comforter and dark pillowcases can create a darker space all around, making it easier to drift off to sleep.
- Install blackout shades or curtains.
Even if you shut off every light in the room, extra light can still enter through the windows. A streetlight outside, your neighbor’s porch light, or lights from passing cars can disrupt your sleep. In the morning, the sunlight streaming in through your windows can also wake you up too early, preventing you from getting as much sleep as you need.
The best way to prevent this problem is by using blackout curtains or shades. These special curtains are designed to block out all of the light that comes in through your windows. They usually feature a special light-blocking lining that not only keeps light from getting in but also reflects heat. That means that you can use the shades to not only keep your room dark at night but also to keep your house cooler during the day.
- Say goodbye to your TV.
If you have a TV in your bedroom, consider moving it to another part of your house. Even though it seems like watching TV before bed is relaxing, it actually can interfere with your sleep. The underlying color of the light given off by a TV screen is blue. This type of blue light can keep your body from creating enough of the sleep hormone known as melatonin. When you don’t have enough melatonin, falling asleep is a lot harder.
Further compounding the problem is the fact that the light given off by the TV is not consistent. It tends to get brighter and darker, often flashing quickly between the two. Even with your eyes closed, these changes in the light level in the room can significantly impact your ability to sleep. Instead of watching TV before bed, try reading a book.
- Limit your use of electronic devices.
Devices like tablets and smartphones give off blue light, as well, meaning that they also can limit your body’s ability to produce melatonin. Avoid using devices like these before bed, stopping your light exposure at least an hour before bedtime. During the night, flip your phone over so that the screen is facing your nightstand. That way, if it lights up, it won’t disrupt your sleep.
These tips on how to make your bedroom look darker should help you get better sleep. The best part is, they are fast and easy to implement, meaning that you should be able to start sleeping more soundly at night right away.