The simple bedroom hack to make you sleep better

Day or night.
Photography: Dave Wheeler / Styling: Corina Koch

Looking for a little extra rest and relaxation?

Bedtime should be blissful, but for some of us, it’s over all too soon. Research has shown that if we interrupt our circadian rhythms by sleeping and waking outside of our natural window, we risk sleep deprivation – and nobody wants that.

Causing your bedroom to be darkened artificially is one way to regulate the times you sleep and wake so that you can wake to an alarm, rather than by the sun streaming in. Similarly, a catch-up snooze in the afternoon will be aided by the absence of heat and sunlight.

Blackout curtains for the bedroom are a simple way to moderate the amount of light coming in through your windows. Often experienced in hotel rooms, the same effect can be achieved in your own home, blocking out light and sound either with a single-layer blockout curtain or with the use of double curtain racks.

coastal style bedroom with curtains
(Credit: Brigid Arnott)

What is a double curtain?

Double-layer curtains work by mounting a sheer curtain underneath, closest to the window with a second curtain track to hold another layer of curtain fabric, usually heavier in weight. The double layer blocks light, heat and noise and allows the flexibility of privacy when blackout is not needed.

What is the difference between blackout curtains and blockout curtains?

Blackout curtains are usually made from heavy fabric designed to stop light from coming into a room. Fabric choices range from natural cotton (including velvet) to polyester and man-made fibres.

Blockout curtains also stop light from entering a room but are more likely to have a coating of acrylic or rubber applied to the fabric, which can be thermally insulated against heat and sound entering a room. 


bedroom with blue and white gingham curtains
(Credit: Photography: Dave Wheeler / Styling: Corina Koch)

Depending on your budget, blackout curtains are sold ready-made in big retail stores with grommets, or eyelets punched into the top of the curtain so it’s ready to hang on a rod. Colour options are usually limited, however, and they’re not always tough enough to withstand the Australian sun. Windows come in all shapes and sizes too, so for best results and your choice of colour and a range of fabrics, have them custom made to fit your windows and ensure the best coverage.

Some online companies provide a home delivery service where you can measure windows yourself and have the final product arrive to your door. Be sure of what you’re buying and weigh up the options for hanging, which are many and vary from simple rod methods to more complicated track varieties. Read the instructions carefully and remember to measure curtain panels twice! 

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