How do you blackout your windows to sleep better?

by 55320 · July 10, 2013 at 4:07 AM

Robb Wolf suggested aluminum foil. Is that actually easy to put over a window? Does anyone have any less hideous solutions?

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22 Replies

13928 · September 08, 2010 at 7:09 AM

Duvatyne AKA Commando Cloth AKA Blackout Curtain.

Film industry people use this to blackout windows to be able to shoot night interiors during the day (among other uses). It works!

Make sure you get the really thick kind.

40 · July 06, 2011 at 7:48 PM

I work nights so sleeping during the day is hard. I am planning on ordering these because they have gotten excellent reviews:

Blackout EZ

It is super simple and honestly, the most cost effective choice.

9551 · September 16, 2010 at 4:44 AM

Just thought of something, a quick fix you can do in the meantime. If you have a large enough piece of cardboard (say, if one of your friends has just gotten some Ikea bookshelves) then you can cut it to fit your window just right so that the sides of the window make for slight compression in the cardboard, enough to keep it in place in the window. Then you also have something that is very easy to take down during the day and throw under your bed or wherever. I did this once when I was frequently sleeping in the middle of the day -- very un-paleo, I know. The trick is getting a big enough piece of cardboard.

766 · September 08, 2010 at 6:03 AM

Yeah the eye mask does not = black out room as your skin is still absorbing it.

What I did is got a $1.00 long piece of PVC pipe from home depot, got some fabric ring clips, and folded 2 old sheets into a curtain. For under $20 I have probably a 90% blackout going (I'm still tweaking it) but it looks good and I can pull open the curtains during the day.

20 · December 07, 2012 at 11:33 PM

The ShiftShade blackout window shade is the best window covering I've found, and it doesn't require any attachments, glue, or velcro.

ShiftShade Blackout Window Shade

20 · September 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

How do you get fresh air without an open window? I hate slowly using up the oxygen at night in a sealed room...

10 · February 07, 2013 at 2:00 AM

Motherf!@#er that blackout ez window covers is just what I made for myself using the large rolls of black drawer mats. You know the rubber drawer mats you get from hardware stores to cut to fit inside your kitchen drawers. I cut them to size to fit on the outside of the window frame adhered to velcro strips. The only difference with his is his fabric is lighter, but I tested mine using a 1200 lumens flashlight and nothing gets through. Also because I cover it on the outside it is one large piece and it is heavy; ie it starts to pull on the top. I think I'll cut mine to fit like this guy's and just cover the glass panel. I also used white duct tape on the outside side so it doesn't look ugly from the street.

455 · July 09, 2012 at 9:13 AM

How to make your own blackout blinds from the blog Eat Sleep Move: http://eatsleepmove.com.au/how-to-make-your-own-blackout-blinds/

10 · July 09, 2012 at 7:04 AM

I work 3rd shift, and sleep during the day, and the light coming in really bothered me. I stopped at the hardware/lumber store and bought "1/2-inch foil-sheathed foam", and cut it to JUST fit inside my window, and lightly tapped it into place. It blocks out all the light, and cuts out the drafts too. Bonus is that it keeps the cats and dog off my bed, since there's no view of the outside for them!

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19355 · July 06, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Our apartment complex has those lantern style floodlights and one was positioned such that it was always "sunny" in our bedroom. Actually, we were both quite sad since neither of us could sleep and the blinds plus "blackout" curtains didn't come close to addressing the problem.

Frustrated and needing a low-cost solution, did some shopping around and eventually found sheets of foam insulation (~ 1 inch thick with a foil coating on one side) at Lowe's and cut them to the size of our bedroom windows. I inserted them between the blinds and the window itself (with the white side facing out and it made a tremendous difference.

Its not a perfect solution (we leave them in all the time, so the windows stay closed), but for less than $20 it has done the trick.

2525 · September 08, 2010 at 6:53 AM

I have blackout material lined curtains in my bedroom. Also extremely useful to have blackout blinds in young childrens rooms, especially in the summer when the light can otherwise wake them early. Doesn't feel very paleo...as it is artificially changing your light settings, but does allow you to sleep longer if that's your goal.

In the past, I also used black bin liners taped to my son's windows. Also looks tacky, but you could feasibly take these up and down pretty easily.

2143 · September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

My flat has enormous windows, 110" x 50" and it also faces east so I get the rising sun blasting in far too early. Blackout curtains or blinds for that size would need to be custom-made and would run like $400. Last year I went to an art supply place and bought some giant sheets of 1/2" black Foam-Core board and some adhesive velcro. It worked for almost a year but the board started to warp and curl after awhile so I pulled it down. I have some more but I think I'll look into the blackout material and just staple-gun it to the window frame. There's no way to hang it like a curtain and still seal off the light as far as I know.

0 · July 10, 2013 at 4:07 AM

Can anyone recommend a TEMPORARY way to black your room out? I like having natural light in my bedroom during the day, so it would be great to find a way to easily black it out at night (with minimal time required) to get better sleep, but also to be able to have that natural light during the day.

3365 · December 07, 2012 at 11:39 PM

A Hopi proverb speaks of two elders, contemplating their sore feet. The first laments it would be nice if the Earth was covered in soft furs... The second invents shoes.

Buy yourself a sleep mask.

4176 · July 09, 2012 at 3:43 PM

I just sleep with a soft t shirt over my head

287 · July 09, 2012 at 3:33 PM

We bought some liners to put up on our daughter's windows over the blinds. Come in a pair. They just slide onto a rod (we bought some of those inexpensive ones that have a hook on each side of the window and you line it up with the holes on the rod. Hold the weight pretty good). Maybe out $25-$30 each window. A must during the summer to keep them sleeping in a bit :) plus when school starts back up and they're going to bed when it's still light out.

124 · July 09, 2012 at 10:02 AM

I hung two black towels on curtain clips to the window side of my curtains, so that they could slide with the curtains as I opened and closed them and were hidden behind the curtain from the inside so they didn't look ugly, and it worked perfectly. That was until I realised I could sleep better without blackouts :P

481 · May 02, 2012 at 5:20 AM

Black corrugated plastic. Cheap, easy to cut to any window size. Works awesome. Durable. Lasts forever.

For extra darkness, line the edges with black duct tape.

789 · March 17, 2012 at 4:02 PM

We had a sheet metal shop cut us pieces of sheet metal exactly the size of the glass which were white one one side (so they look like closed blinds outside the house) the total cost was and then we taped them to the frame with aluminum foil tape. The total cost was less than $60 and light blockage was 100% except that we found a gap in the window frame! Not the solution's problem though, just bad workmanship in the windows. We could still slide the windows open for air when needed.

966 · September 08, 2010 at 10:58 PM

I bought black out curtains at KMart.

2684 · September 08, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Aluminum foil is great as long as your complex/building/association doesn't prohibit it. It does look a bit "tacky" from the outside if that is a concern.

I ended up installing an extra layer of special "room darkening" shades over our blinds. It was basically a thin sheet of white opaque vinyl. If I recall correctly, it cost us around $50 to cover an 8' by 6' window.

77338 · September 08, 2010 at 5:29 AM

Why not just wear an eye mask like I do- it is a lot more cost effective to cover two eyes than a few windows, and it works really well.

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