Loving light and how it affects our lives, our moods, and our homes, the summer solstice which happens this Sunday, June 21st, highlights a special day of celebrating light and fantasy. Here in Southern California the summer solstice begins Wednesday, June 21st as the sun rises at 5:41 AM and sets at 8:00 PM to give us the longest daylight hours of the year.
The sun rises high in the sky and as it begins to set, the sun appears to almost stop and then change direction on a downward southern path. Solstice comes from “sol” which means sun and “stitium” which means stop. Even though the sun is at its highest point in the sky on summer solstice day and the rays strike the earth at its most direct angle, after this midsummer night’s day, our sunlight hours will decline just as the first day of summer officially begins. No wonder there is so much magic and mystery wrapped up in this momentous event. As William Shakespeare mused in ” A Midsummer Night’s Dream”…
Are you sure
That we are awake?
It seems to me
That yet we sleep,
Sleeping and dreaming are essential to our well-being and as we embrace the light, our sleeping patterns are challenged with brighter and more abundant light. New statistics reveal that we are sleeping more, averaging (14 years and older) 8 hours, 44 minutes per day. We are working less, as watching TV still remains our #1 hobby, but the ease and popularity of our smart gadgets continues to erode sitting in front of “the big screen.” Reading, and socializing in person has declined and it is no surprise that surfing the web, pinging social media (TikTok alert) and playing video games now occupies more of our leisure time. Whether you fit this pattern or choose to be a throwback or a renegade, sleep time and restful time-outs are needed more than ever to calm hyperactive and overstimulated brains.
A quick reminder that all light disrupts sleep, but the blue wavelengths that are released from electronics like TV’s, computers screens and smart devices, interrupt the part of our brain, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which produces melatonin, our sleep hormone. Melatonin is cued during the onset of darkness to induce that sleeping feeling. Our body naturally craves a dark room for optimal sound sleeping and we need to be vigilant in protecting our sleeping spaces from all kinds of disturbances.
Be prepared for ever earlier sunrises in the morning and for longer, leisure days of light. Here are some of my favorite bedroom window treatment ideas to surround your bedroom in subdued comfort. Don’t cheat yourself out of a good night’s sleep. Get rid of the aluminum foil or black poster board taped to your window and control the light in style!
1. Roller Shades
A blackout Roller Shade is the easiest and most economical window treatment to shield you from annoying streetlights or glare of the full moon or early sunrises. Rollers are slick and simple and fit smoothly into the window frame. You will still get some light slipping in around the sides, but if you mount the shade behind the Roller, the shade will have a tighter fit against the window. You will still get some light seepage, but if you choose an inside mount and measure precisely, a tighter fit will create a darker room at night. However, if you prefer the looks of an outside mount , adding a few extra inches to your shade will give you additional coverage. Our Reminiscent Vinyl Blackout Shade really offers maximum light seepage as the three ply vinyl material offers utmost thickness.
2. Cellular Shades
Cellular Shades, the window treatments that replicate the honeycomb patterns that bees make in their hives, are one of the most popular styles as they scoop up and down the window and almost disappear at the top. But at night, a Cellular Shade with a blackout liner, not only adds a crisp, modern look to your bedroom, but is a warrior at keeping out the light. For the ultimate in room darkening, the Slumber Shade is the champion which is the one and only window treatment that blocks out any bit of light leaking around the edges with additional sidetracks to securely mount tightly against the window. The Slumber Shade is a heavy duty shade that adds heft to your window, but is the window treatment for you restless sleepers that sleep with your eyes open!
3. Roman Shades
Roman Shades are soft window treatments that offer a more decorative look to the bedroom and if style outranks room darkening, you will definitely need a blackout liner if you choose Romans. I can’t deny that Romans will amp up the look of the bedroom and will add a sense of solace and flair as you relax and end of day; however, some light will spill out around the edges. If you mount these shades outside the frame of the window, leave extra width and length to provide more space around the edges to create a darker room.
Drapery gives the bedroom thorough coverage as the entire space from top to bottom is covered so that all the light is blocked. Drapes are like blankets for your windows, enclosing the room and swaddling you in comfort. You will need a liner to ensure room darkening. If you don’t want heavy drapes covering the windows during the day, you can also choose a sheer or translucent curtain and then add a blackout drape to close at night to keep your room dark. These two sets of drapes will give soft light during the day and a room more conducive to sleeping at night.
If you are a light sleeper and need the darkest room possible, you can always add any drapery to any of the above three window treatments for maximum coverage. Layering is versatile and adds another styling dimension to the bedroom.
We do spend a lot of time sleeping and relaxing, so don’t overlook the bedroom. Bedroom window treatments need special consideration in controlling light together with expressing good taste. Your bedroom should be the spot that envelops your sleepy soul so you can awaken renewed each morning!