2

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Darkness and quiet ideas for a light, noisy urban bedroom?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I just slept 8 solid hours in a pitch black and deathly quiet cabin in the woods, and was reminded that that only seems to happen there. It reinforced for me how opposite the situation is at home where I never enter deep sleep and wake frequently despite never having problems falling asleep initially. Other factors such as stress and lifestyle are not significant in my case. What can be done about street light coming in around he edge of blinds, that nevertheless need to be opened during the day, and intermittant night-time traffic noise that we drown with white noise from fans? I don't want to duct tape all the way around the blinds. Do those sleep-masks work? Can't imagine being comfortable in one. We can't use earplugs because of the baby and kids. Help?

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on June 15, 2013
at 02:44 PM

So basically look silly and problem solved? But in all seriousness thanks for the detailed answer. I do use a computer late at night but for entertainment not essentials so I should should probably just stop.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on June 15, 2013
at 02:41 PM

The idea freaks me out because I'm claustrophobic, but I have to give it a try.

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5 Answers

best answer

6
72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on June 15, 2013
at 02:28 PM

I know your pain. The light leakage from around the blinds drives me crazy! Here are a few tips:

  1. I use the Hibermate: http://www.hibermate.com/ (or I did until my wife stole it from me). It's a truly comfortable sleep mask, silky on the inside and soft and fuzzy on the outside, and it's the only one that doesn't seem to slip off while I'm sleeping. It also comes with little ear covers that block some sound but by no means all of it. I see that they're quite expensive nowadays ($40), but shipping from Australia is free, and there's a 2 month money-back guarantee.

  2. In a pinch when I don't have a sleep mask, I can use a T-shirt. Put the shirt on upside-down -- that is, push your head through the neck hole from the outside, so that the collar of the shirt covers your eyes but doesn't go over your nose. Arrange it so it sticks up over your head while you sleep. It's looks ridiculous, but it's pretty comfortable and doesn't fall off.

  3. I'm suspicious about the idea that your sleeping space needs to be a totally lightless cave -- we evolved sleeping under the moon and stars, after all. The problem instead may be light exposure before bed. I recently started using red lighting for a few hours before bed, and I find that it makes it much easier to go to bed and I've naturally been waking up earlier too. You can put in some extra lamps with red light bulbs, or wear a pair of verified blue-blocking glasses like the very inexpensive UVEX orange (http://www.amazon.com/Uvex-S1933X-Eyewear-SCT-Orange-Anti-Fog/dp/B000USRG90). They look silly (are you seeing an inadvertent theme in my answers?), but they certainly block those dastardly blue wavelengths.

  4. If you use a computer late at night, cut blue and green light by using f.lux (http://justgetflux.com/), or go much farther and use Nocturne (http://nocturne.en.softonic.com/mac) to create a custom red filter (there are comparable programs for Windows, but I haven't tested them).

Good luck!

(note: I changed the links in my answer to have visible URLs, so you can distinguish between the things I was actually linking to and the ad links that are automatically added to posts.)

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on June 15, 2013
at 02:44 PM

So basically look silly and problem solved? But in all seriousness thanks for the detailed answer. I do use a computer late at night but for entertainment not essentials so I should should probably just stop.

1
723519573be05b5edeb0659025b2fcd2

(306)

on June 16, 2013
at 12:42 AM

I've tried a lot of masks and this one is by far the most comfortable for me:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WNX21Y/ref=oh_details_o07_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

1
7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

on June 15, 2013
at 08:24 PM

I'm obsessed with the Mindfold sleep mask. I think Mark Sisson recommends that one. And I use wax earplugs. And turn my fan on for white noise. And meditate before going to bed. Works like a charm!

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on June 15, 2013
at 02:20 PM

I use a sleep mask and it works really well. Check out the silk ones on Amazon.

37cc142fbb183f2758ef723a192e7a9d

(1353)

on June 15, 2013
at 02:41 PM

The idea freaks me out because I'm claustrophobic, but I have to give it a try.

0
3c870e2b839e4e0a9397cdbc213abea4

on June 15, 2013
at 03:48 PM

Sleep masks are your friends, as are Macks' earplugs. I live in a almost all-glass apartment on the 56th floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. Earplugs and a sleep mask, it's like being in a sensedep tank. Good luck!

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