Do you find that you have a hard time going to sleep because there are car headlights going past your window? Does every little sound from the outside wake you up? Do you find that you have cold spots in your home in the winter near all your windows?
If any of this sounds familiar, you could benefit from a set of blackout shades. These specially designed shades can block out most light and a lot of sound, getting you a better night’s sleep. Read on to learn more about blackout shades and the benefits they can bring to your home.
What Are Blackout Shades?
Blackout shades are designed to do what they say in the name: blackout rooms and keep all light from coming in. These shades can be heavier, but they don’t necessarily have to be. The way they’re built allows them to keep more light out than regular shades.
Blackout shades are made from dense materials that are woven very tightly. Fewer holes in the weave mean less room for light to come through; imagine the difference between holding a t-shirt and cheesecloth up to the light. Some blackout shades can block out as much as 90 percent of outside light.
Make More Melatonin
One of the primary benefits of blackout shades is that they can help you to produce more melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that signals your body to go to sleep and is responsible for making sure you get enough rest. Your body produces melatonin based on signals from your circadian rhythms, which we’ll discuss more later.
Less light in the early morning and late evening helps signal your body to produce more melatonin. This is part of the reason doctors recommend not looking at screens right before bed as a part of good sleep hygiene. Higher melatonin levels can help you sleep longer and feel more well-rested in the morning.
Harmonize with Your Circadian Rhythm
Your body runs on an internal clock called your circadian rhythm. This rhythm tells you when to wake up and go to sleep, when to be more active, and when to go lie down. These rhythms are different for every person and are based on light levels and quality around you.
Before electricity, these rhythms could be relied upon to get us the rest we needed. But now that there are lights everywhere, those rhythms can get thrown off by false inputs. Putting up blackout shades gives you more control over when your body gets those light signals and tells you it’s time to wake up.
Although blackout shades’ primary purpose is to block out light, they can also do a good bit to deaden sound. If you’re a light sleeper, something like street traffic could be enough to wake you up. Or even for heavier sleepers, sirens, dogs barking, or birds singing could be enough to disturb your rest.
Sound travels as waves through the air and can be deadened when those waves hit something capable of absorbing them. This is why foam pads work so well as sound boards to deaden a space acoustically. Your blackout shades are a heavy enough fabric that they can absorb those sound waves, keeping the sirens out and you asleep.
In addition to regular light waking you up, you may find that flickering lights disturb you. You can turn off the printer and put a piece of tape over the smoke detector light, but what do you do about that street light flickering outside? Headlights flashing past the window may distract you and keep your brain from ever slipping off into sleep.
Not only do blackout shades block out constant sources of light, they also block out the inconstant ones, too. No more lying awake watching that neon sign across the street flicker on and off. This can also be helpful for work spaces where it’s important to minimize distractions.
Because blackout shades are so much thicker, they can also do a lot to help control the temperature in your house. No matter how much weatherproofing you do, your windows will always be a weak spot for your house to leak heat. There’s a large pane of glass there to transmit that heat, and even double-paned windows aren’t impervious.
Shades can help add another layer of insulation that the heat must bleed through to your windows. And because blackout shades are so much heavier, they’re even more effective at insulating your home. In effect, enough heat must leach through to make the entire curtain the same temperature as the outside before that heat starts to bleed into or out of your house.
Because they help reduce the amount of heat bleed happening in your house, blackout shades can also help you save energy. For one thing, you won’t have to run your HVAC system as much to keep your house at a comfortable temperature. It will stay the proper temperature for longer, saving you that energy.
But for another thing, blackout shades can help your HVAC system run for shorter times in the first place. Imagine you’re pouring water into a bowl that has a one-inch hole in it versus into a bowl with a quarter-inch hole in it; the bowl with the smaller hole will fill up more quickly. Likewise, blackout shades can keep hot or cold air in your house, reducing the time your HVAC system needs to run to “fill up” the house.
Should You Get Blackout Shades?
Blackout shades can provide a number of benefits to your home. For one thing, they can keep light and noise out, helping you get better sleep. But they can also help reduce your energy bills and even make it easier for you to focus on work without distractions.
If you’d like to get the perfect blackout shades for your home, check out the rest of our site at Florida Blinds and More. We provide quality, value, and experience so you get the home you’ve always dreamed of. Shop our blackout shades and start resting easier today.