What Are Blackout Curtains?

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Next time you’re redecorating your bedroom, think about whether blackout curtains could be helpful.

As we all know, a dark room is of utmost importance when you are trying to get some rest. Darkness causes your body to release melatonin, which is a hormone that causes you to feel sleepy.

The National Sleep Foundation explains: “Exposure to light stimulates a nerve pathway from the retina in the eye to an area of the brain called the hypothalamus. There, a special center called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) initiates signals to other parts of the brain that control hormones, body temperature and other functions that play a role in making us feel sleepy or wide awake.”

Translation: Darkness is important because it tells your body it’s time to go to sleep.

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Blackout curtains are one way to make your bedroom as dark as possible. These are specifically designed to stop light from filtering through and come in the form of blackout curtains, blackout linings, or blackout blinds. Blackout curtains can also help muffle sounds from outdoors, particularly if you live on a busy street.

So, who might benefit from blackout curtains? While eye masks are an easy, portable way to make your sleeping environment seem as dark as possible — but they don’t work for everyone. If you toss and turn in your sleep, an eye mask may come loose in the night. And some people simply don’t like the feeling of fabric over their eyes or elastic straps against their head. For those people, blackout curtains may be helpful.

Blackout curtains are also useful in children’s bedrooms, especially for young children who may go to sleep before sunset. And if you are a night shift worker who sleeps during the day, blackout curtains may help you stay on your ideal rest schedule.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

Featured image: lzf/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.