Blackout Curtains for a Better Night’s Sleep for the Whole Family
Light pollution in our bedrooms is a real problem and cause a lot of people to not sleep as well as they need to. I’m not just referring to the light that comes off all the electronic gadgets that most of us love to use but the light coming from outside. Street lights, lights from other houses and cars and bright billboards can be very disturbing throughout the night.
Natural sunlight is also a problem in the lighter months of the year when the early sunrise can wake us sooner than we want to. This is especially true for babies and young children who often sleep much longer and better in a dark room.
In recent years, there has also been a change in people’s taste of interior design. People used to go for heavy, thick curtains and darker colours but now the look is brighter and many people go for light and airy fabrics that might look nice and are easy to clean but do very little to block out light pollution. They are often chosen to add a bit of privacy but to still let light in.
My mum is definitely a fan of this light and airy style. She doesn’t have curtains in most her rooms, including her bedroom and loves the light. She also doesn’t sleep very well or very long. Maybe there’s a connection?
My husband is very dependent on a dark room for a good night’s sleep and whenever we’re away from home and somewhere where there are not blackout curtains he struggles through the night and wakes up grumpy and very tired.
I quite like to nap in the sunshine sometimes when I get a chance but at night I like a dark room too and it definitely helps me sleep longer in the morning. My daughter is much easier to settle to sleep in a dark room and she sleeps much better and much longer in a dark bedroom, too.
My husband has always had blackout curtains and when we got curtains for our bedroom, the priority was to find something that would block out the light. We opted for curtains that went with the style of our room and then added blackout liners to the back that we had altered to match the size of the curtains.
In our daughter’s room we have done the same thing and have added liners behind her curtains. This time, we found some that were the correct size already and that just loop onto the curtain rail.
Of course, you can also buy ready made blackout curtains that are just one piece. These often look better, in my opinion. The longer the curtains, the better they block the light. The Yorkshire Linen Company has lots of designs, colours and sizes to fit the style of your home.
There are also blackout blinds, both roller ones and vertical ones. They are rarely as thick as curtains though and I like to have regular vertical blinds that let through some light but give privacy and shield sunshine that’s too bright. We have these behind our blackout curtains for use in the daytime.
Another important element of good quality, thick curtains is that they help keep heat in which is very important during the colder half of the year. Older British houses are often difficult to warm up and heating costs a lot of money so we want to keep that heat in where we can benefit from it.
For travelling with babies and toddler, the Gro Anywhere Blackout Blind is a good option as it fits most windows up to a maximum size of 130 cm by 198 cm and is very portable. The LightsOut Premium Pop-Up Blackout Blinds are also an available option and they come in a pack of two which is good if you often stay in rooms with several windows.
We also use a blackout sunshade for our pushchair to make nap time easier on the go. We use the Sunny Sail Universal Pushchair Shade but the SnoozeShade Original is also a popular choice.
For us, using blackout curtains makes a huge difference to the quality of sleep our family gets. If you suffer from sleepless nights or wake often, maybe it’s something to consider trying.
This is a collaborative post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.