How To Make Your Bedroom Dark For Sleep

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey

Getting a good night’s sleep is not always guaranteed. There are all sorts of reasons why you might struggle to get quality rest at night, from loud noises to anxiety and even an uncomfortable bed. There is also darkness, or the lack of it, that affects a person’s ability to sleep. After all, it is much harder to sleep in a bright room than in a pitch black one. So if you find yourself in a bedroom that is brighter than you might like, then you are probably looking for a way to get your bedroom darker to encourage better sleep.

Blackout curtains, or a combination of blinds, curtains and/or shades are effective at making a bedroom dark so you can sleep. Try using magnets on curtains to close any gaps, and hide your bright electronics. Eliminate bright gaps underneath the door. You may want to consider a blackout window treatment, or even painting your room a darker color. If all else fails, wear an eye mask to bed.

A restless night’s sleep can set you up for a very difficult day. If you are struggling to sleep due to your bedroom being too bright, there are all sorts of ways to help make it darker. You first need to examine the room and find out where the pesky light is coming from. It might come from the window, or perhaps from tracks in the door, or even from a variety of electronics. Once you find the source (or sources) of this unwanted light you can start to pick the best options to eliminate it so you can rest easy once more.

10 Ways To Make Your Bedroom Dark For Sleeping

1. Install Blackout Curtains

Perhaps the most trusted and popular way to promote darkness and sleep in the bedroom is to install blackout curtains. Blackout curtains are curtains whose material is thick and dense enough to keep out any and all light from the outside. Not all curtains are blackout curtains, so be sure you select curtains that specifically guarantee their light-blocking ability.

When you choose blackout curtains, it is important you make sure they are both tall and wide enough. You should install the curtain rod for blackout curtains at least 4 inches above the window, and make sure the curtains go at least 4 inches or so below the bottom of the window. This will help prevent light from escaping in from the corners.

Keep in mind that blackout curtains are usually much heavier than standard decorative curtains. This means you need to select a strong curtain rod, and ensure that the rod can withstand the weight of the blackout curtains. As a rule of thumb, try and make sure your blackout curtains (both panels combined) are about twice the width of the windows themselves.

2. Consider A Curtains And Blinds Combo

Another great way to ensure a good night’s sleep is to have a combination of window treatment methods. Installing both curtains and blinds on your bedroom windows is a common and effective way at keeping out unwanted light.

When you combine the benefits of curtains with those of blinds you are able to double up the sun-blocking abilities while also capitalizing on the strength of both. Curtains are effective at keeping light out from vulnerable areas like the edges of windows and cracks between blinds. They can also be decorative and appealing to the eye, thus not sacrificing the look of the room.

Blinds, on the other hand, are often made of a thicker material like wood or plastic. This makes them fantastic at blocking out most of the sun. Wherever they are vulnerable or ineffective, the curtains can pick up the slack.

3. Use Magnets To Close Gaps

If you opt for curtains, or a combination or curtains and blinds, consider using magnets to seal up vulnerabilities. The trick here is placing magnetic strips along the edges of curtains. When you go to seal the curtains to keep light out, the curtains will snap together. This creates a seamless connection.

It is a great option for those with limited space for extra fabric, but want to ensure their curtains seal up and eliminate any chance of light coming through. This is also a great DIY option for those with blackout curtains who still notice little bits of light escaping along the edges of the window or between the two window curtains.

4. Angle Your Bed Facing Away From Windows

Another method to make your bedroom darker is as easy as adjusting some of your furniture. The best way to keep your sleepy eyes from seeing unwanted light is to position your bed so it faces away from the window. For one, if your bed is next to a window, you should definitely consider moving it. Having a bed under a window makes it hard for you to enjoy darkness, and it’s also likely to be drafty (not to mention it’s bad feng shui).

Try positioning your bed so that when you sleep your eyes don’t face a window. This way, even if some form of subtle ambient light escapes through your curtains, blinds or shades, you won’t notice it. You may also want to consider having your wardrobe with a room divider by a window if one window, in particular, seems to cause an issue.

5. Consider Thick Shades

While blinds and curtains are the more popular types of window treatments for bedrooms, don’t rule out shades. Shades can prove highly effective at keeping out unwanted light to help make your bedroom dark for sleeping.

Shades are often one long sheet of thick fabric, which means cracks and vulnerabilities found in blinds aren’t an issue. You can also consider adding a roller shade above the window, as an added barrier to combine with your blinds or curtains. Roller shades take up little space and can even be practically invisible. This is a great way to make your room dark for sleep when you need it, but hide the solution when it is not needed.

6. Hide Your Bright Electronics

While sun and streetlight is the most common cause of unwanted bedroom light, it is not the only light that inhibits sleep. In modern times, electronic devices also have a tendency of giving off light. Some devices even give off light when they are inactive, including throughout the night.

If you want to make your bedroom darker, do a spot check of all your bedroom electronics, and see which ones are unwanted light sources in the evening. Some televisions and device charges have lights, which you can try and hide from your line of sight. You also might have a digital clock that gives off light. See if it has a sleep mode, or consider getting a clock that does not emit light.

7. Wear A Sleep Mask

Sometimes no matter how hard you try, there is still a bit of light in the room. Or perhaps your living quarters prevent you from taking the measures needed to block out all the light around you. This can be particularly true if you share your space or work odd hours. If this is the case, find yourself a good eye mask.

A proper eye mask is a highly effective and cheap way to create total darkness in your bedroom. Best of all, if you find a comfortable sleep mask you love you can take it with you anywhere. This will allow you to have a dark and restful sleep everywhere you go.

8. Try Painting Your Bedroom A Darker Color

Another way to help ensure a dark night’s sleep is to paint the walls of your bedroom a different, darker color. If you happen to have that glossy “hospital white” color painted on the walls, then your room is likely to look bright even with the slightest bit of light. If, on the other hand, you have a darker color, and choose a matte or eggshell finish, your room will look darker.

You don’t need to paint your room dark. Simply look for a color that suits the room and can effectively absorb some light. Even light grays, lavenders and royal blue will help a great deal. Remember to opt for a matte rather than a gloss, as the reflective sheen can also reflect unwanted light.

9. Try A Blackout Window Treatment

If you are looking for a more drastic, and even permanent solution to make your bedroom darker, consider a blackout window treatment. There are many ways to blackout your windows. Some are subtle and removable, while others are rather drastic and borderline permanent.

There are vinyl and PVC liners you can purchase. These you can measure to the size of your window to help block out light. These might be helpful in rooms where you also want the utmost privacy. This is a semi-permeant solution, as they can be easily removed but will also stand the test of time.

For a quick fix, tin foil is often the go-to. While this is certainly not aesthetically pleasing, it is certainly cheap and easy. You can easily cut the foil to size perfectly with the windows. It will keep out all the light, and you likely already have it in the home. As long as you are careful, the foil can then be removed without causing any harm.

10. Remove Door Gaps

Another place where light can sneak into the bedroom and cause sleepless nights is underneath the bedroom door. This is particularly true if the room outside your bedroom is often lit, or if you find yourself sleeping different hours than others in the home.

There are both permanent and temporary ways to prevent this light from entering your room. For a quick fix, you can use a folded towel to hide the gap in the door. There are also specific thick materials designed to keep both light and cold/hot drafts from entering the room.

You can also opt for a more permanent solution by installing a pliable rubber draft stopper you can purchase. There are easy DIY precuts that you can attach to the bedroom door that will help keep out not only the draft, but also any unwanted light.

Wrapping Up How To Make Your Bedroom Dark For Sleeping

There are all sorts of ways the unwanted light can find its way into your bedroom. While a sun-filled room is great when you feel like being productive, even the slightest bit of ambient light can keep some restless sleepers awake for hours. The good news is there are all sorts of ways to make your bedroom dark to help you sleep.

The first and most popular option is using blackout curtains. You can also try a combination of blinds, curtains and/or shades. Make sure you hide all your electronics that give off light, and try positioning your bed away from the window. You may even consider painting your doors a darker matte color. Block the gap underneath your bedroom door if light comes through. If all else fails, find a reliable eye mask.

Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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