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The Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep

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Secret to a Good Night's Sleep

For many in Canada, getting restful, quality sleep is an exact art. It can take dedication, preparation and a little bit of luck. Sleep takes up a third of our lives, and yet many may not think about it much on a day-to-day basis.

sleep takes up 1/3 of our livesFor those who are sleep deprived, however, the need for sleep can easily become the only thing on your mind. Nothing has the potential to ruin your day like not enough sleep, and it can be hard to catch up from a sleep deficit — especially if you don’t have the right light-blocking blinds. As demands on our time and attention continue to grow, people are becoming confused about what defines quality sleep and how to get it, creating a society of individuals who are sleep deprived and don’t know what to do about it.

We live in an age where multitasking is the norm. It’s a society where every waking moment is filled with work or some sort of activity, whether it’s exercise, networking or spending quality time with family. Even the most passive activities require attention and concentration, making it difficult for individuals to wind down at the end of the day and get some rest under the perfect light control shades. This change in how we live and perform on a day-to-day basis only emphasizes the need for quality and restful sleep. Without proper rest, we simply would not be able to function.

The Definition of Nighttime Has Changed


Lack of or interrupted sleep is a fact of life for some people. Any person with chronic sleep problems can tell you that to ensure uninterrupted, restful sleep, it can require adopting and maintaining certain habits, routines and an appropriate environment, including having the right blackout blinds in Canada. Any break or change in these routines and habits can disrupt sleep patterns for days or even weeks.

For many today, daily demands are slowly encroaching on the time they have to sleep. Work is no longer completed during office hours in the office. Instead, it’s in your home, your bedroom, your bed or on your phone — the piece of technology that is likely with you at all hours.

Being this connected has a two-fold effect. It makes it difficult for many to prioritize restful sleep, and it makes many blind to the fact that the light from all of these gadgets, including phones, laptops and big screen TV’s, may be the very reason so many are sleep deprived without explanation or solution.

Nighttime has a natural effect on the human body. When it gets dark, our bodies release melatonin, a natural chemical that tells the body it’s time to sleep. However, nighttime today is a lot different than it was 50 or even 100 years ago. We have light at all hours of the day in the shape of lightbulbs, streetlamps and car lights, but there is also light in the many gadgets we have grown to depend on daily. This makes it much more difficult to unplug and rest.

But it’s not all bad news. If you’re recently recognizing that you’re dealing with lack of or interrupted sleep, it can be just a matter of getting the right room-darkening blinds in Canada or adopting the right routines. Either way, know that getting rest is just a matter of understanding what interrupts your ability to sleep, and fixing it.


Lack of sleep has many immediate physical and psychological effects on the human body. Individuals who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep often feel fatigue, have muscle soreness and have trouble concentrating after a night of interrupted sleep.

Studies show that going even 17 hours without sleep can slow down reaction time in some individuals by 50%, and it can be the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of .05%, enough to get you a legal warning in Canada. After more than 19 hours without sleep, reaction times in individuals can be the same as a blood alcohol level of .1%. A person with that much alcohol could get a ticket for driving under the influence or get into an accident, meaning that driving without getting enough sleep is just as dangerous for you as for others on the road.

Over the long term, the effects of lack of sleep only worsen and can include:

  • Depression
  • A weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Memory problems
  • Moodiness

These are just a few examples, making it clear that getting the right sleep is important for your health and for those around you.

Who Is Most Vulnerable?

Lack of, or interrupted, sleep can affect everyone, but there are many who are particularly vulnerable, especially if they don’t have Canada-made, room-darkening blinds to make it easier to rest. Those most vulnerable include:


Any children under the age of 21 need quality sleep, but newborns need sleep the most. Studies show newborns can sleep anywhere from 10 to 18 hours a day. Infants need about 9 to 12 hours of zebrablinds_toddlerssleep, and toddlers need about 11 to 14 hours of sleep a day. Because of this, younger children are the most affected by not enough or interrupted sleep. A child napping in a room without the right blackout window coverings may have trouble falling asleep, or they may wake up long before they are fully rested. This can cause negative moods, colicky behaviors or simply make it difficult to go back to sleep.

Shift workers

Nothing interrupts sleep more than an unpredictable schedule. If you’re a shift worker who often has to sleep during daylight hours, it’s no wonder you’re not getting quality sleep, no matter how long you lie in bed. An inconsistent sleep schedule is bad enough, but having the sun in your eyes just makes it worse.

Remember, darkness is the best indicator for your body to know it is time to rest. If you don’t have at least cheap blackout blinds to block out the sunlight, you’re only making your life harder. So if this describes you or someone you love, invest in good light-blocking blinds. You can buy blackout cellular shades online and have them delivered to your door.

The elderly

Because long-term sleep deprivation can have many negative health effects, these symptoms can worsen for our aging and retired population. While studies show the elderly don’t need as much sleep as teenagers or middle-aged adults, the difference is only by an hour or two. The emphasis, however, is on quality. It’s not just a matter of getting sleep, but it’s making sure that sleep is restorative. The older we get, the less efficient our bodies are at fighting physical ailments or infection. Lack of sleep will only make matters worse.

Purchasing light-filtering shades in Canada can help make sure you get the restorative sleep you need.

Why You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep

The reasons you’re not getting enough sleep might not be as obvious as you think. Take a look at the common sleep interrupters below and the ways you can get them out of your life:

  1. You’re not going to bed early enough. Some people can fall asleep immediately, while others need time to wind down. Whichever type you are, be realistic about the time you need to wind down and rest. This means not playing on your phone in bed until you pass out. The light from your phone’s screen alone may be the reason you’re still awake. Instead, put the phone away, in another room or in a drawer if possible, and tell yourself it’s time to go to sleep. Even this small change can do wonders to your sleep schedule.
  2. You’re sleeping too late. If you’re waking up naturally long before your alarm goes off, resist the urge to roll over and go back to sleep. Waking up naturally and alert is your body’s way of telling you it’s had enough rest. Rolling over and going back to sleep, whether for 20 minutes or an hour, can make you feel sleepier, groggier and more tired than if you had just gotten up. It can be tempting to roll over and go back to sleep for some extra time, but sleep is not something the body can stockpile for later. Not getting enough sleep one day is going to be fixed by getting more sleep the next day — not by going back to sleep after you’ve woken up alert.
  3. You’re fighting rest. “I want to sleep,” you might be thinking. “How could I possibly be fighting rest?” Well, it can be easy, actually. If you’re finding yourself waiting ten more minutes to watch the ending of a TV show episode or finishing that last chapter in a book, then you are guilty of fighting rest. Stop doing this to yourself, and respect your body’s cues. If you’re nodding off or yawning, then accept the hint and go to bed. Take the time to enjoy sleeping in a room with room-darkening blinds in Canada, and get some rest. Whatever you’re doing can either wait for later or be handled by someone else.
  4. You’re disrupting sleep at the worst times. Waking up in the middle of a deep sleep can be incredibly uncomfortable and counter-productive. If you’re waking up at the break of dawn feeling even more tired than when you went to bed, the light could be disrupting your sleep. Treating yourself to the perfect light blocking blinds will block out the sun so it doesn’t wake you up.zebrablinds_ban-gadgets
  5. You’re too plugged in. Your dependence on technology may be the very reason you’re not getting rest. In addition to the light from your gadgets keeping you awake, the mere presence of these tools might be keeping you awake. Try not to go to sleep with technology if you can. This means leaving your laptop, phone, tablet and/or television alone for the day. Take them out of the bedroom, if you can, to create a sleep-only zone. For many, this can be more easily said than done. Doctors have it the hardest because it is their job to be on call. But for those whose professions don’t require them to be available at all hours to handle life-or-death situations, sleep should be a priority.
  6. Your space is not conducive for restful sleep. In this day and age, our bedrooms are not just for sleeping. They can be our living rooms, offices or even the only space we can really be ourselves. This can be especially true for teenagers or young adults who have to share space. A bedroom is a sacred place where you can listen to music, go online uninterrupted, talk on the phone privately or read a book alone. Because so much activity happens in such a small space, it can be difficult to tell your body it’s time to rest. This issue can be magnified if the same gadgets you use to entertain yourself are adding artificial light to the space. If designating your bedroom as a sleep-only zone is not possible, you can still rearrange the space to make it easier to sleep. This can be as simple as adding a divider or putting blackout shades in the windows. You can even establish a going-to-bed routine to condition your body to wind down can help.


To get the most out of your sleep and learn how to fully rest, try some of these tips:

  • Ban all gadgets. Cellphones, laptops and TV sets are strictly forbidden in the sleep-only zone. Not only are they a distraction, but the light and sound they generate may be the very reason you’re losing sleep. Leave your gadgets outside of your bedroom for a restful night. If you must have them close by, cover them with something that will block the light, or put them in a drawer.
  • Designate your bedroom as an area only for sleep. This means no eating, talking or meandering in any way in your room. By making your bedroom a sleep-only zone, your will train your body to associate your room with rest and sleep. In no time, you might find yourself yawning the moment you step inside. This is also a great rule to help your room neat and clean, and for couples, it can be an ideal way to designate your bedroom as a place to relax. It will also make you look forward to going to bed since you will be away from your bedroom for long periods of time.
  • Have a going-to-sleep routine. Brushing your teeth before bed isn’t just good for your teeth, but it might be just the thing you need to trigger your brain to get ready for rest. Take a shower before bed. Take your makeup off or plug in your devices for the night. Associating a routine with getting ready for bed can help your body to recognize sleep is just around the corner. If you have children or pets, make them part of your routine and help build habits for years to come.zebrablinds_sleep-aids
  • Get sleep aids. Sometimes, your sleep is being interrupted by things you cannot control. If you have loud neighbors or your room is cold, invest in earplugs or warm socks to keep your warm in bed. A sleep mask is also a great investment if you’re married and have a partner who needs to have the light on while you need rest. This is also true if you have pets that require you to keep your bedroom door open and vulnerable to light, or if you have children who might enter your bedroom in the middle of the night.
  • Add peaceful colors to the space. The color blue has been found to help individuals get to sleep faster because it affects receptors in your eyes that send information to your brain. These receptors, called ganglions, recognize that blue is calming, helping lower blood pressure and heart rate. You can find blue in many different shades to decorate your bedroom, as well as other calming colors such as grays, silvers and neutral tones that encourage a cozy feel.
  • Add relaxing scents. The human sense of smell is incredibly powerful, and it can work to your advantage when it comes to getting a restful night of sleep. Scents such as lavender, jasmine and chamomile are all known to be calming. Rose and eucalyptus are also great options. You can even try a scent that is uniquely calming to you. If there’s a smell that makes you happy and calm — whether it be the scent of a particular perfume or the smell of fresh-cut grass — make those scents part of your sleep experience, and you will be resting in no time.
  • Make your bedroom comfortable. Because sleep is so important to our health, it’s only reasonable to make sure the things we sleep on are comfortable and inviting. Invest in a quality mattress. It’s a one-time investment that will pay off over decades. Invest in quality sheets, whether you love cotton, satin or silk. It might feel like a splurge, but you really only need the one set on your bed. Also consider investing in quality pajamas, pillows and comforters.

Cover Your Windows With Complete Blackout Blinds From Canada

Light is a sneaky sleep interrupter that comes in many forms. It can be the blinking light from your phone or the sunlight hitting you in the eye from your bedroom window. If you’re losing sleep and can’t figure out why, light may the culprit.

Whatever solution works for you, keep in mind that a restful night’s sleep is important for you to function daily. Don’t leave your sleep to chance. Instead, invest in window blackout blinds from ZebraBlinds Canada, give your room a make-over so it’s an inviting sleep oasis and get some rest.

To learn more about room-darkening blinds and blackout window coverings from Canada, take some time to shop in our online store. And remember, a good night’s sleep could be only a window shade away.

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2 thoughts on “The Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep

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