I already published this article twice, at around the same time of the year – but each time it is because I am asked again and again how to beat early morning daylight in England, not (only) because I am utterly lazy… So once again let’s share the good news: you can fight!
As the days are getting longer, you slowly realise that they are no shutters (=volets) in this country!!! AAARRRRGGGHH!!! Even after eighteen years of living in the UK, this is the one thing I hate with a passion, as daylight instantly wakes me up and summer days start very early here. Today, the sun rose at 5.21am; and by 21st June it will rise at 4.43am.
So here are the solutions Mr WembleyWonderful and myself have explored over the past few years to block the light out of ours and the children’s bedrooms.
- Sleep with a black tee-shirt on your eyes (I am not joking) – but is has to be soft, thin and natural fibre (like cotton) … Both me and my daughter have our favourite, I call it my personal doudou, what will be yours?
- You can also get hold of an eye mask but finding the perfect one is a huge challenge: not too tight not too loose, sufficiently covering without blocking your airway… I never managed (but I am super fussy), so good luck!
- Temporary black-out blinds work well in rented accommodation, where you are not allowed to make any holes in the walls. I have used these, which work by sticking to the window thanks to static cling – they are reusable quite a number of times and do the job reasonably well; and these, which stick to the window via suction cups – they let in more light but stick better than the other ones.
- Built-in blinds are definitely the best but they have to be fixed to the walls – before signing your rental contract, it is completely reasonable to ask the landlord to install them in all bedrooms, along with curtain poles. Blackout roller blinds are easy to install and reasonably-priced, but they do let in quite a bit of light on the sides, so I would tend to use them along with blackout-lined curtains. Alternatively, we had these accordion blinds installed in all bedrooms a few years ago and they are incredible. I am absolutely over the moon and would strongly recommend them to anyone as light sensitive as me.
So now you should be perfectly equipped to sleep longer!