Tag Archives: sleep

Window Shades and Sleep Hygiene

With longer days and Daylight Savings Time comes more sunlight – and with it, the challenge of getting enough quality sleep for my child with an “early” bedtime.  One key factor is darkness.  I have used sleep masks with great success, but my family refuses to try it.

What to do?  Well, I wasn’t ready to try taping foil or newspaper over my windows as some people have (how unattractive would THAT be here in the ‘burbs?!) and I wanted to be able to open the blinds/windows occasionally, so I went to my local Home Depot in search of window treatment solutions.  I was on the hunt for some form of room-darkening shades that would not bankrupt me – or require replacing the 2″ blinds already in place.

et voila!

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Temporary pleated paper shades: hung with adhesive strip and held open with small clips

I found just what I needed – a temporary pleated shade that fit against the window behind the existing blinds.  And the price was right – less than $5 each.  We’re in business!

They have been in our windows for two nights and we all slept better immediately.  Our bedroom windows face East, but there is still significant outdoor ambient light that comes in through the blinds at night – even when cloudy or moonless.

My son was up early the very next morning – and I normally have to NAG him to get out of bed at the last possible minute!  I didn’t expect such dramatic results so soon.  I am amazed.

Why didn’t I try this sooner?!  (And why do I end up asking myself this question so often?  Oy.)
I am definitely hanging these shades in the baby’s West-facing window this Fall!

shades

The Magic of Sleep Masks

Most Americans do not get enough quality sleep, which is arguably the most influential health factor, even more so than diet and exercise.  Sleep deprivation for even just one night  has disastrous physical and mental health effects.

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To maximize the regenerative benefits of sleep, it is often recommended that we sleep in complete darkness.  Some people go to great lengths to achieve this, including taping aluminum foil over their bedroom windows.  (This was too much for me, as I love to see the morning sun and actually look out the window once in a while.)

I had some challenges with this.  We live in the suburbs and have street lights shine in our windows as well as the pre-emptive night lights in the hallway and bathroom for the kiddo.

Since my medical emergency this Spring, I’ve had sleep issues.  No problem falling asleep, but waking up very early and not being able to fall back asleep.  I’ve read countless articles on sleep hygiene and have established the bedtime routine, eliminated afternoon caffeine consumption, removed all electronics from the bedroom, turned down my artificial lights in the evening and installed F.lux on the computer.  The blackout eluded me though, until I had an epiphany.

Sleep masks.

Yes, those cutesy things the housewives on TV always wear.  I never knew anyone who had ever used them.  They were utterly foreign to me.

I received one as a freebie many months ago and promptly put in in a drawer and forgot about it.  I discovered it during a recent round of decluttering and the light bulb went on (or off?! LOL) that this just might help me sleep better.  Why not give it a go?  So I did.

And it worked – really well!

I was stunned.  How could I have missed out on this for so long?!  Who knew?!

Sleep Eye Mask No. E038