Getting enough sleep can be a challenge for anyone, no matter what your job role, but it’s especially important for shift workers. Shift workers are often required to get their much-needed shut-eye at odd times, usually throughout the day time whilst the rest of us are busy working the usual nine to five.
That’s why being able to close off the outside world and block out any sunlight is so important for those of us who make a living via shift work. Creating the perfect environment for sleep can greatly improve your quality of life and mental health.
Below are five window dressing tips for shift workers that should ensure a peaceful sleep at any time of day.
1 - Install blockout curtains
Choosing the right curtains for your room can make a world of difference when it comes to creating the perfect environment for a restful slumber. Blockout curtains are treated with a foam coating on the reverse of the fabric or produced using a tightly woven fabric. Both of these techniques stop light from penetrating the fabric and therefore eliminate light entering your room
When installing blockout curtains to minimise the amount of light that enters a space it’s important to install your curtains correctly to gain the most benefit. The curtains should cover the window entirely and overlap the window if possible.
Hanging your blockout curtains correctly will ensure that light grazing in from the outskirts of the window is minimised and your room is as dark as possible at any point during the day.
2 - Roller Blinds
Roller blinds are also a great window covering choice for shift workers as they are often made using thick material as will therefore block a considerable amount of light from entering a space. You can also find may types of roller blinds that have been treated with a foam coating or thick backing that will further increase their light blocking ability.
Roller blinds are a good option for those who don’t have the space or aren’t fond of hanging curtains. Their minimal design makes them perfect for more contemporary rooms and when open they are hardly noticeable.
As roller blinds are usually installed inside instead of over a window many often experience more light grazing from around the blind when closed when compared with other window coverings.
3 - Layer curtains with blinds
Pairing curtains with blinds is probably one of the best ways to completely eliminate light leaking in through your windows during the daytime. Hanging blockout curtains over a thick roller blind will stop light from grazing in around the blind that usually sits flush with the wall creating the perfect space for sleep on even the brightest of days. For added effectiveness you may also consider using curtains that return back to the wall.
This layered look can give your windows a high quality, well dressed feel and make your windows a real statement in your space. It’s also probably the only option for those who are very light sleepers who often get disturbed by sunlight and want to reduce the risk of being woken unnecessarily.
4 - Install a double track curtain system
If you’re looking for window dressing option that is not only stylish but also highly effective at blocking out light then you may want to think about installing a double track curtain system. A double track curtain system will allow you to hang two styles of curtaining over the top of your window.
This option is an excellent choice for those of us who love the tactile element that sheer curtains add to a space but also need something heavier for when the time comes for sleep. With a double track curtain system you can layer any two curtain fabrics to create a truly unique look, without the need to compromise on your sleep.
5 - Turn your existing curtains into blockout curtains
Finally, if you’re on a really tight budget but still require a window covering that will block out sunlight you could experiment with converting your existing curtains into a light blocking option. If you’re a dab hand with a sewing machine, this will be a relatively simple and cost effective task and could be a short term solution to making your space more conducive to a good night's rest.
There are so many window dressing options that will reduce the risk of sunlight disturbing your sleep. Be sure to select an option that is not only functional, but also suits your unique sense of style and adds to the overall scheme of your space.