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Keep light out to sleep soundly

Get a good night's sleep by adding blackout curtains to your bedroom windows.

Get a good night's sleep by adding blackout curtains to your bedroom windows.

Are you feeling groggy? You're not alone. The 2013 Rx Sleep Survey, which the Los Angeles Times recently reported on, found that 83 percent of Americans do not get enough sleep.

"There's strong evidence that lost sleep is a serious matter," states WebMD. "The Sleep in America polls and several large studies have linked sleep deficits with poor work performance, driving accidents, relationship problems, and mood problems like anger and depression."

The problem may be that light is disrupting your sleep patterns. Darkness signals your body to produce melatonin, the hormone responsible for putting you to sleep. On the other hand, light – even small amounts – tricks your brain into thinking it's morning and makes it difficult to fall asleep. Various studies have found that the use of computers, TVs, and phones close to bedtime results in a higher rate of sleeplessness. This sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems, ranging from obesity to depression and even cancer, according to WebMD. Studies show that night workers, who have poorer sleep patterns, are more likely to develop certain conditions and diseases. Sleeplessness can also impair your thinking and cause road accidents.  

So how can we make sure our bodies get a good night's rest? Experts suggest unwinding and distancing yourself from electronics at least an hour before bed time. If outside light from street lamps or early sunrises is keeping you up, invest in room darkening shades or drapes. Half Price Drapes' velvet and black out drapes and are sure to lull you into a deep sleep.