What's the best way to darken an east facing bedroom in the morning?
September 3, 2013 8:44 AM   Subscribe

I just moved into a new apartment with an east-facing bedroom, and the blinds on the two windows (one is horizontal, one vertical) do a terrible job of blocking out light in the morning when I'm trying to sleep. Installing curtains over them would probably help a bit, but I'd imagine the gap between the window and the curtain is increased by the presence of the blinds and will thus prevent an effective seal, especially from the sides. What's the best solution to really block out the sunlight in a way that's easily put aside when I wake up and am ready for all that sunlight?
posted by Vexir to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would take off the blinds and install blackout curtains.
posted by Snazzy67 at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2013 [5 favorites]

I think you probably want regular old cheapie roller shades (DIY craft option)? They stay closest to the windows (can you replace the blinds or are you stuck with them?) and are pretty good on the darkening and then roll up and totally out of sight the rest of the time.
posted by jessamyn at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have good luck with a doubled yard of fleece (i.e., two layers) on a cafe curtain rod (or other rod of your choice). You'd need to remove the blinds first. But if you use dark fleece colors, it really does block the light. And then you can open the curtains when you want to let the light in.

It works for getting my kids to sleep during an Alaskan summer.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:06 AM on September 3, 2013

Cut one or two pieces of cardboard to exactly fit into the window. Install in the evening. Remove in the morning.
posted by gnossos at 9:26 AM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

I used Redi Shade light blocking paper shades in between the window and blinds for exactly this purpose in my last apartment. The combination of the shade + blinds worked better than either alone. The shades are just stick up temporary, so relatively easy to remove when you move, but be careful about the surface you attach them to. They make a couple different light filtering or blocking weights though. The have clips so you can fold them up on occasion but they aren't durable enough for regular movement. I got mine in store at home depot.
posted by TheAdamist at 9:53 AM on September 3, 2013

If you want the ease of blinds, and have a Lowe's near you, try these - we've noticed that they block the light almost completely on our east windows and bonus, there are no string holes that let light in.
posted by Lynsey at 10:19 AM on September 3, 2013

I found it was far easier and effective to go about it the other way and use a sleep mask.
posted by artificialard at 10:29 AM on September 3, 2013 [4 favorites]

Mrs. Advicepig has started using an eye mask for those times she has to work overnight and has declared it amazing. Beyond the darkness, she thinks the gentle pressure keeping her eyes shut helps get her to sleep.
posted by advicepig at 5:03 PM on September 3, 2013

Aluminum foil does a pretty good job.
posted by hazel79 at 7:56 PM on September 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ikea sells blackout material for use with their roller blinds. Any handyman should be able to install them in a hour or two.
posted by conrad53 at 9:43 PM on September 3, 2013

I don't believe I could remove them without angering the management in my apartment complex, so some tandem solution would be the best. Blackout material seems to be the way to go (although a sleep mask is also possible), but I really like the idea of roll-up-and-out-of-sight stuff.

Thanks for the answers!
posted by Vexir at 9:47 PM on September 3, 2013

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