Blackout curtains have always been good friends with bedrooms. In recent years, even more so, as they are fine finishing detail of the minimalistic interior design. Also, it's known that, besides good bedsheets, blackout curtains can improve your sleep. If you're considering having them in your sacred dreaming space, that might be quite a good decision. Here's why.
They help your circadian rhythm
Ancient Greeks swore that Morpheus, the god of sleep, was the one responsible for their presence in the world of dreams every night. Today, however, we have a different divine creation to hold responsible for that. The ''goddess'' of the brain stem that helps you have a good night's rest is no other than your pineal gland. In order for a human being to function properly on a daily basis, there has to be a circadian rhythm - daily repetitive, strictly controlled secretion of hormones. The pineal gland is responsible for controlling it throughout your life.
How does it work?
Everything in your organism is connected in order to work properly. When the first ray of sun in the morning encounters cells in your retina, they send signals through the optic nerve to optic nuclei in the brain stem. This little part of your brain is anatomically close to your pineal gland and sends the signal further to it. When the pineal gland receives the signal, depending on the amount of light it receives, it starts producing certain hormones. If there's a lot of light, it secrets more dopamine. If it doesn't - melatonin kicks in.
The divine play of dopamine and melatonin
Dopamine is the reward hormone (it, of course, has a much more complex role). It's essential for motivation and execution of your daily activities, and that's why the pineal gland secrets it more during the day. On the other hand, melatonin is the most potent antioxidant in your organism. It means that it eliminates free radicals (wasteful products of your daily metabolism and other processes) that destroy your cells. ''A good night's sleep'' is the one that allows your body to regenerate correctly. Since melatonin is responsible for the vital regeneration of your body, it's no wonder its presence is crucial for the feeling of having a good sleep.
Blackout curtains can improve your sleep by stimulating melatonin secretion
The less light your pineal gland gets, the more melatonin it produces. Since blackout curtains block more light coming from outside, they basically mimic the dark nights in the caves that set the circadian rhythm of first humans. With a little help from light-proof fabric, you can maximize the production and secretion of melatonin and help your body regenerate. Also, some people are more sensitive to the lights coming from the streets, and blackout curtains are somewhat crucial for them to rest well. On the other hand, people that work night shifts and don't have the luxury of sleeping during the night can trick their pineal glands into thinking it's night by closing the blackout curtains in their bedroom.
Of course, blackout curtains can't do much for your pineal gland if you keep the lights on inside your bedroom. So, if you have trouble falling asleep, before tucking in your favorite faux fur blanket, try:
not touching your phone or laptop 30 minutes before
turning off all the lights 10 minutes before
resting your eyes as much as you can in those 30 minutes without gadgets
But, be cautious
Blackout curtains can trick your brain into thinking it's still night long after the normal morning hours. It may be harder for you to wake up with them blocking the natural light. Also, morning light is important for the development of circadian rhythm in babies. So, if you have a newborn, natural light is a way towards a fresh and healthy home. It's better to leave blackout curtains for a room that your cub doesn't sleep in.
They can help you reduce stress
The regenerative role of melatonin in the body helps reduce the harmful effects of everyday stress on your body. That's why having a good night's sleep is essential, especially with increased stress levels. When you have an important meeting or are making significant changes in your life, it's vital to sleep well in a dark bedroom. For example, professional movers often advise you to focus on the bedroom and the items you should unpack first after moving, like blackout curtains. That way, you'll ensure your body has enough rest to take on all the stresses starting a new life will bring.
Less risk for depression
Built up of everyday stresses presents a high-risk factor for falling into a depressive state. According to data provided by WHO (World Health Organization), approximately 5 percent of adults suffer from some form of depression. One of the theories that try to explain the high numbers is the fast way of living and the pandemic of sleep deficiency caused by it. Putting on your favorite pajamas and closing the blackout curtains at the right time can help prevent that or help you battle the undergoing diseases. Of course, if you are suffering from any depressive state or anxiety, please make sure to contact an experienced professional to help you deal with it.
In this time and age, we often forget how crucial just having a good night's sleep is. Everything seems more important than it until we feel the side effects of not having enough. The right, light-proof setting in your bedroom can play a crucial role. Blackout curtains can improve your sleep by increasing melatonin secretion and increasing regeneration. As a result, you'll be less stressed, and it will be easier to fall asleep the next night. The overall quality of life significantly improves once you start having a good night's sleep. So, make sure to choose a blackout curtain to your taste and let your personal Morpheus protect you and take you on a journey through a land of healthy dreaming.