Anyone who loves their sleep will tell you how important it is to have the room dark when you are trying to get a sound sleep. Light is vital for our health. Each one of us needs our daily dose of natural light to stay healthy and upbeat.
But light is also the single most important factor that can hamper our sleep. There is barely anyone who can sleep while the sun shines bright in the room. Light gets in the way of peaceful slumber in two different ways. Firstly, in the presence of light, the body finds it difficult to shut down. Secondly, light influences the internal clock of our body system, by telling it when to go to sleep.
Our retina contains specialized light-sensitive cells that supply cues to our internal clock. They tell the brain when it is time to wake up, or when it is time to shut down. As the duration of daylight changes with seasons, our bodies find it very difficult to the conflicting signals our internal clock is getting and the ones we get from real-clocks. This overexposure to the sun, coupled with our love-hate relationship with electronic light, plays havoc with our internal clock.
To take the control firmly back in your hands, limit the exposure to natural light with the wise use of night curtains.
What are Night Curtains?
As the name suggests, night curtains are made from thicker, dark-colored materials, which are designed specifically to block light. How much light the block will depend on the material you choose. Night curtains usually come in three common variations.
Normal Night Curtains
Normal curtains have a single layer of opaque fabric, that blocks light partially. When closed, the room will be filled with a muted glow of the sun. Normal night curtains can block anywhere between 30-50% of the light that falls on it. Go for normal light curtains if you need a versatile solution that also allows you to enjoy some natural light.
Dim-out curtains is made up of thicker fabric and blocks anywhere between 50-90% of the light trying to get through them. The result is an almost dark room, where you can enjoy a lovely, undisrupted sleep. Dimout curtains are also lighter than blackout curtains, making them easier to maintain and handle.
Blackout curtains are made of multiple layers of fabric, that aim to cut off the light completely. A great feature for hotels, hospitals, and private residences, where the occupants want to enjoy the night-like effect during the day. They are not only useful for sleeping. Blackout curtains can instantly turn your room to the theatre when you wish to indulge in some binge-watching. Blackout curtains are very useful for bedrooms and nurseries, where the daylight can severely disrupt sleep.
Other Benefits of Night Curtains
Although blocking light is the primary function of night curtains, they also come with some additional benefits.
Privacy: With night curtains, homeowners also enjoy varying levels of privacy. Although opacity of the curtains determines how much privacy you get, during the day, the curtains provide complete privacy. Blackout curtains have maximum density. As a result, it also provides optimum privacy. On the other hand, dim-out night curtains, and normal night curtains provide partial privacy at the night.
Curtains play a vital role in insulating the house. As they cover the whole length of the window, curtains tend to trap heat inside the house, while partially blocking chill or heat from the exteriors from coming in. As seen in case of privacy, the thicker material of blackout curtain, provides more insulation than thinner material of dim-out or normal night curtain.
Sound is another factor that plays havoc with our sleep patterns. As the world becomes busier, the neighborhood noise is a constant source of irritation for anyone planning to call it a day. Dampen the neighborhood noise with night curtains. The thick materials absorb some of the sound generated outside, leaving you to enjoy your home in peace. Thick blackout night curtains will block the most sound, but normal or dim-out curtains will also block noise to a large extent.
How to Get Most out of Your Night Curtain
All of the three options are great – giving you ample leg-room to select one that matches perfectly with your requirements. However, if you wish to get the most out of your night curtains, pair it with another window treatment. For greater functionality and a finer finish, try out some of the layering ideas listed below.
If you layer your dim-out or blackout night curtains with sheer curtains, the effect will be dramatic. During the day, the sheer curtains would flood the room with bright light, while the night curtains can be used to block out the light. At night, the night curtains would give you total privacy.
Another alternative to sheer curtains is solar shades. In winter, when you want to insulate the room, yet wish to have plenty of sunlight, solar shades would be your choice. While solar shades let in plenty of light, the privacy and insulation of the room remain intact. Any time you wish, you can close the night curtains to create that night-like effect to take a break from the sun.
Curtains don’t always give that complete blackout effect. Some light can still manage to seep around the edges, giving your windows a glowing border. If you wish to avoid that and achieve that pitch-black effect, pair your blackout or dim-out curtain with blackout blinds. While the blackout blind blocks out the light, any excess light filtering around the edges will be blocked by the night curtain.
So, if you are a light sleeper or shift worker, who wishes to create a dark room to catch up on that much-needed sleep, go for blackout night curtains, and see the difference it makes!