Video:How to Buy or Make Blackout Shadeswith Jonathon E. Stewart
Are blackout shades worth the purchase? Light pollution can not only keep you awake, it can complicate your sleep even when you can get some shut-eye. Hang some light-blocking shades and you'll be snoozing like a baby.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Buy or Make Blackout ShadesHey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Waking up to a beautiful ray of sunlight can be a great way to start your day, unless it's 5:30am on Saturday and it's beaming you right in the eye. Take a look at these tips for choosing and hanging blackout shades, and your room will be vampire-friendly in no time. Check it out.
Lighting and SleepThe human body is naturally geared towards a 24-hour sleep and waking cycle, where we're active during the daylight and resting at night. However, since the invention of the incandescent light bulb, these circadian rhythms are prone to being interrupted, particularly when exposed to bright lights at night.
Some experts suggest that sleeping in total darkness can not only help you to feel more refreshed and energetic during the day, but that it might even help to boost your immune system, regulate monthly cycles, and reduce your risk of certain types of cancer. Wow - and I was just hoping to catch a few more weekend morning z's.
Benefits of Blackout ShadesEven if you have curtains for your windows, a lot of light can enter your room, either through the sides or through the curtains themselves. Blackout shades come in many varieties, from venetian blinds to roll up shades, to other custom window treatments. Some of these can be quite expensive, so be sure what to look for when you're selecting a set of shades for your windows, particularly if you're ordering from the internet or a catalogue. Oh, catalogues are those old paper magazine-like things everyone used to send through the mail before we all got real conscious about pitching in to help the environment.
Choosing Blackout ShadesOnce you've decided on the style of shade you're looking for, make sure that you choose true blackout shades, as opposed to light filtering shades or other light-permeable blinds. Next decide how you want your shades to hang either by an outside window mount, or an inside window mount. Generally the inside mount will prevent the greatest amount of light leakage, but it also depends on the shape of your window. If you choose an inside mount, measure and order your shades to the exact dimensions of your window - if you choose an outside mount, add about two inches to each side, top and bottom. To install the actual shades, you should follow the manufacturers directions, but it's pretty much just hanging a couple brackets and then sliding the shades right in. Or, that's the way it works in theory.
DIY Blackout ShadesIf you're on a budget, you can also use duvetyne fabric or even heavy duty trash bags to make perfectly functional blackout shades for any window. Measure the same as you would for an inside wall mount as before, layout, trim, and tape your homemade material to fit the window you're blacking out. Use a few strips of heavy duty velcro to secure your shades directly to the window, and you're all set. This homemade method can also make it easier to cover unusually shaped windows or French doors. Finally, turn off an unplug any electronic devices, and cover power strip indicator lights and other LEDs with electrical tape for a true, pitch-black sleeping experience. Ah, now that's more like it.
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