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Follow these tips to make your bedroom dark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone loves summertime.  We love the warm weather, the fun get-togethers, and the glorious sunshine that lasts most of the day.  But as we move closer and closer to the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, this often means that bright, beautiful sunlight is waking us up well before our alarm clocks.  In order to get the sleep you need, you have to be able to make your room dark while you are sleeping, but you don’t want to block out your windows entirely or long term.  Dark caves might be good for sleeping, but once we are up and awake, we want to be able to look outside and enjoy the natural beauty surrounding us.  To help you find the right solution for your room, here are some tips on making your bedroom sleep friendly while you are sleeping.


1.     Drapes

If you have ever slept in a hotel, you know that you can make it as dark as a cave quickly and easily using the big heavy drapes on the windows.  This is a fabulous feature, especially for those that travel a lot, are experiencing jet lag, or are operating on an unusual schedule.  You can do the same thing in your own home by installing heavy blackout curtains over your other curtains, mimicking the way hotels dress their windows.  You can preserve the aesthetics of your décor while controlling when sunlight comes in and when it is blacked out.


2.      Blinds

You can achieve the same affect by installing blinds that use heavy fabric rather than plastic slats or lighter linen.  Blinds offer the best of both worlds and they do it with the pull or tug of a cord.  This option may be pricier than the others but it can also be done in line with your bedrooms interior.


3.      Automatic Louvers

If money is no object and you really want a system that works without you having to do anything, you can have automatic louvers installed on the outside of your bedroom windows.  These slatted sun blockers can be set to open at a specific time so that sunlight is allowed into your bedroom when you are ready to wake up, rather than when the sun comes up.  This solution is the best overall for helping you wake up naturally.  The automatic function keeps your room dark while you want to sleep and lets in light to signal your body that it is time to wake up.


4.     Blackout Curtains

For those people who are more concerned about cost than they are about aesthetics, blackout curtains made from heavy fabric, old quilts, or comforters can be the perfect solution.   These items can be purchased at the local thrift store and can mimic the effect of blinds.  Just measure your windows and cut the fabric to size.  Secure your blackout curtains to the inside of the window frame as close to the window as possible with a few tacks.  When not in use, you can roll them up and either tie the roll with string or a ribbon to hold it in place (think blinds that are completely raised) or take them down.

Getting the sleep you need is important to your health and wellbeing.  When the sun is rising before you need to, it can be challenging to stay asleep with the bright light streaming through your window.  With a little time and some creativity or a bunch of cash and a handyman, you can keep the sun from waking you up and get the sleep you need no matter the season.


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