“For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into”

Afternoon all! I’m feeling very cheery today. It could be because I haven’t seen the rat yet today! Or perhaps it’s because my other half and I have finally booked our wedding venue – woop! Or it could be because I’m simply enjoying the longer, sunnier days and the beauty of spring.

I’m loving waking up as the sun is rising and the extra energy the extended days give me. Spring has certainly sprung; I can feel it in my steps. I feel more alive, more energetic than I have in months. And, on the basis of my friends’ status updates on Facebook, I’m not the only one.

But, whilst natural sunlight can boost your happiness, alertness and energy levels, it’s not so great for promoting sleep. American writer Anne Morrow Lindbergh was spot on when she said “For sleep, one needs endless depths of blackness to sink into…”.

Our bodies need darkness for good sleep. Melatonin – the hormone that helps us to sleep – is produced by our bodies in response to darkness. Light causes melatonin levels to fall and can confuse your body into thinking it’s daytime when actually it’s time for sleep. So if your bedroom is not completely dark when you go to bed, this can disturb your sleep.

It’s not just natural light that interferes with sleep, though. Artificial light, such as road and street lighting, disrupt sleep too. In a 2009/2010 survey carried out by the Campaign to Protect Rural England and the British Astronomical Association, half of the respondents said that light pollution disturbs their sleep. And even tiny amounts of light, emitted from alarm clocks, mobile phones and standby lights on televisions for example, can interrupt sleep.

So, what can be done to prevent light from robbing us of precious sleep? Well, heavy curtains and shutters in the bedroom can help to block out sunlight and light from streetlamps. Or, if you don’t mind wearing them, eye masks are an affordable alternative. And for those pesky gadget lights, simply cover them with a pillow for example, or remove them from the bedroom.

I also want to share with you another solution to unwanted light – a clever design that can block out light in seconds. Magic Blackout Blinds temporarily darken any room simply by sticking them to the window (the blackout blind sheets are charged with static electricity allowing them to be fitted to windows without tools or glue) and are suitable for all window sizes (simply cut down or overlap depending on the window). I love the concept and think they would be ideal for taking on holiday, for helping little ones to nap when away from home, or new home owners without curtains.  You can see more about Magic Blackout Blinds by clicking here. They are available from We Love Sleep, priced at £35.00 for 10 sheets.

If you’ve used Magic Blackout Blinds, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Amy x

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