Do you ever stop and reflect on how marvelous — and mysterious — it is that nearly all creatures require sleep? Our daily dance between sleep and waking life is an indispensible part of being human; our fundamental physiologies are designed to calm, slow, and enter a sleep cycle every night. This is a chemical process that’s tied to our circadian rhythms — bright sunlight during the day causes wakefulness, and moonlight or starlight at night encourages sleep.
As bedtime rolls around and the sun starts to set, our bodies begin to cool down and produce higher levels of the hormone melatonin, which relaxes us, lowers glucose levels and blood pressure, and prepares us to enter sleep. After a night’s rest, our awakening is encouraged by the rising sun, which increases our body temperatures and raises the hormone cortisol — a stabilizing element that helps us stay active and alert.
We’re literally wired for this from thousands of years of diurnal and nocturnal phases, but since the invention of unnatural light — monitors, streetlights, LEDs, alarm and stereo clocks, and other screens — we’ve had a harder time getting rest. If we’re exposed to these blue-light emitting devices before bed, then our melatonin spikes are delayed and we aren’t quite as ready for sleep. If our bedrooms aren’t entirely dark from electronic displays, traffic, signs, and streetlights from outside our windows, or other sources of artificial light, then our brain continually feels as though the sun might crest the horizon — we don’t get a full night’s rest and we wake up earlier than we should.
To get the rest your body is craving, there are a few easy things to do. First, remove any light-generating devices from your bedroom, or conceal them at night. Don’t use a lot of electronic devices — cell phones iPads, laptops, TVs, and so forth — in the hour before bed. Try to treat your bedroom as a calming space that’s only used for relaxing activities (in other words, clean up clutter, decorate with tranquility in mind, and don’t work on projects in your room). But most importantly, take your window coverings seriously!
You can control the amount of light coming into your room from outside by using blackout cellular shades, vinyl or fabric roller shades, or light-filtering roller shades, and sleep the way you were meant to. Conveniently, you can get any sort of blackout or light-filtering Hunter Douglas shades from us — and we’ll measure and install them for you as well. These products will keep your room dark, keep harmful UV radiation away, and will (especially when coupled with heavy curtains) even keep the heat in and the cold out during the winter months. When it is time to wake up, open the blinds to receive a blast of cortisol-inducing sunlight (nature’s version of a strong cup of coffee).
Stop having interrupted or uncomfortable sleep. Curate your bedroom with our blackout or light-blocking honeycomb shades and blinds and feel refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the day after receiving the essential hours of rest you need. Get in touch today and let’s talk about changing how you sleep, for the better and for good!