A recent report has revealed street lights are interrupting the sleep of millions of people in urban areas around the world, with those living in towns and cities of more than 500,000 people at the greatest risk of excessive light exposure.
The study, which featured 15,863 participants, looked at individual’s sleeping habits during an eight-year period, quizzing them on their quality of sleep in accordance with their levels of light exposure.
The survey concluded city dwellers experienced up to six times more intense exposure than rural residents, resulting in restless nights, fatigue and potentially life-threatening health implications. For example, prolonged lack of sleep over a number of years can have a detrimental impact on our health, increasing the likelihood of serious medical conditions such as Diabetes and Dementia.
Additionally, compared to those living in a rural location, city residents were six per cent more likely to sleep for fewer than six hours per night, which is considerably less than the recommended 7.5-9 hours required for adults to function at their best.
Dr Maurice Ohayon, a researcher in sleep, psychology and neurology and author of the study, explained: 'Our world has become a 24/7 society. We use outdoor lighting, such a street lights, to be more active at night and to increase our safety and security. The concern is that we have reduced our exposure to darkness and it could be affecting our sleep.'
However, all is not lost, as Dr Ohayon adds, 'people may want to consider room darkening shades, sleep masks or other options to reduce their (light) exposure.' For example, in recent years 'blackout blinds,' such as our external blinds with a solid finish, have become a popular choice for improving sleep conditions and increasing privacy whilst effectively controlling light levels within our homes.
And they're not just limited to bedrooms either, with our external blackout blinds enhancing home cinema rooms by preventing the entrance of unwanted light which can hinder the viewing experience.
For instance, earlier this month we installed two St. Lucia external blackout blinds to skylights above children's bedrooms in Notting Hill. These innovative blinds provide complete privacy along with ensuring the children can enjoy an uninterrupted and peaceful night's sleep, offering an innovative, eco-friendly and sustainable solution to sleepless nights.
If you would like to find out more about our external roller blinds along with seeing our full range of state-of-the-art solar shading solutions in action, visit our stand at Ecobuild where we are exhibiting from 8th-10th of March. The show, which places an emphasis on sustainability and innovative design, is a great source of inspiration for all your home improvement projects. Alternatively, if you'd like to discuss any potential external shading requirements, call one of Caribbean's specialists today on 0344 800 1947 or send them an email to [email protected]