The Importance of Darkness

A number of years ago, my family went on vacation and we stayed near the ocean. Every night, I slept soundly and woke up the following day with the sunrise. My family remarked on it because I was a little bit notorious for staying up late and waking equally late. It puzzled me too, at first. What I came to realize that it was the darkness. It never really occurred to me that I had spent most of my life sleeping in places with quite a bit of ambient light. I thought my room was dark when I shut out the light, but it turned out that it wasn’t dark enough. Ever since then, I’ve made a point wherever I’ve lived of trying to get my bedroom as dark as possible. This is one of the reasons I’m so obsessed with making drapes.

My new apartment is great but there’s one little catch. My bedroom window faces what appears to be an assisted living facility and the rooms directly across from mine seem to be nurses stations or something similar. There appears to be three rooms in a row on each floor, with a pair of window to each and banks of florescent lights on the ceilings. Most of the time, most of the blinds on those windows are open and the lights stay on all night. There are about fifteen floors and all those lights make my bedroom quite bright at night. So, I am in the process of making drapes with blackout linings.

From talking to people I know, it seems to me that people underestimate how much light can disturb one’s sleep. If you have difficulty either falling asleep or staying asleep, I highly suggest that you try making your room darker.

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