Case Study: Better Sleep with New Blinds
Cindy struggled for years on achieving a good night’s sleep. As a shift worker, she was bouncing back and forth on trying to sleep days and nights. For years she tried everything to aid her in being able to sleep during the day after returning home from night shift including sleep masks and keeping her blinds closed. Unfortunately, she suffered from interrupted sleep and staying on task at work proved to be difficult. As a nurse, that wasn’t something she could live with.
We met Cindy when she came to our Coach Hill showroom desperate for a solution. After chatting to other nurses, she realized light in her room may be disrupting her sleep. We installed Duette Architella shades with room darkening fabric in her bedroom and added drapery side panels to help block the light from the light gap on either side of the blinds.
Now, with her new room darkening shades, if she wakes up during sleep, she finds it much easier to fall back asleep in a dark room. It’s no surprise that light has an impact on the quality of sleep. Sun rays begin to activate the body and can cause some of us to rise before we’re ready, and the proper window coverings can help keep sunlight out.
Cindy now enjoys sleeping when she needs to, whether it’s during the day on shift work, or a nice sleep-in on a bright summer’s morning. If you’re looking for a better sleep, try out the tips below and contact us to chat about room darkening shades for your home!
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Tips from the National Sleep Foundation:
Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good sleep hygiene. Try to keep the following sleep practices on a consistent basis:
- Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends. This helps to regulate your body’s clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual. A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
- If you have trouble sleeping, avoid naps, especially in the afternoon. Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can’t fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
- Exercise daily. Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
- Evaluate your room. Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner’s sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, “white noise” machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
- Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms. Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening. Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. If you can, avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime. Try a light snack 45 minutes before bed if you’re still hungry.
- Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading. For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.
- If you can’t sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired. It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to find a sleep professional. You may also benefit from recording your sleep in a Sleep Diary to help you better evaluate common patterns or issues you may see with your sleep or sleeping habits.
Supporting Research: National Sleep Foundation, 2012 Bedroom Poll
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