A while after I made the curtains for our bedroom, I read about sleep quality, melatonin, and the importance of sleeping in a properly dark bedroom. Exposure to light at night can substantially lower your melatonin level, which lowers sleep quality, and can cause a variety of problems, from weight gain to depression. I’ve always had relatively thin curtains in my bedroom, and thought that getting as much light as possible into my bedroom would help me wake in the morning, which, er, isn’t exactly something I’m good at. But I didn’t realise the artificial light coming in as well, from street lights close to the house, may actually have been making this harder.
So I set out to replace the bedroom curtains by blackout curtains as soon as possible. I really liked the ruffles, though, so I added ruffles to these as well. Because the fabric is much thicker and less supple, they drape less well than the previous ones, but I still like them, and our health does come first.
Another nice way to improve your sleep quality is by installing the free f.lux software on your computer, smart phone or tablet. It’s not only the amount of light you’re exposed to that influences melatonin levels, but also its colour. Digital screens tend to give off blueish light, similar to daylight, so using them before bed can make you more awake. f.lux solves this by causing a sunset on your screen, and turning it slightly orange. I also find it fun that this way, I’m much more aware of when the sun actually rises and sets.