National Sleep Foundation Focuses on Light Control

sound asleepThe National Sleep Foundation is calling attention to the problem of the “winter blues” and emphasizing the importance of creating a beautiful and comfortable bedroom environment that is conducive to a better night’s sleep.

Through a series of consumer brochures, marketing and merchandising programs—developed by the National Sleep Foundation and distributed through its Official Licensed Products program—the NSF and its partners are highlighting a wide range of sleep informational tips designed to help consumers achieve a deep and restful night’s sleep in bedrooms that they love.

“The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to helping the public understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and providing the public with information on how to create the optimal sleep environment,” points out David M. Cloud, chief executive officer of the National Sleep Foundation, the leading educational and scientific not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving sleep health and safety. “A great way to combat the ‘winter blues’ is by loving your bedroom and carefully controlling every element of your sleep environment. Be comfortable so that you get the sleep you need. This includes blocking unwanted exterior light at night and then opening your curtains to take advantage of morning sunshine when you wake up.”

Exposure to morning sunshine is important to keeping a natural sleep cycle and avoiding symptoms of the “winter blues,” including trouble sleeping, daytime sleepiness, loss of energy, concentration problems and forgetfulness.

“The National Sleep Foundation’s Official Licensed Products program is designed to help people create bedrooms that contain all of the right components for a healthy and restful night’s sleep, including products that help consumers manage light and darkness in their bedrooms,” Cloud adds. “As the trusted sleep authority, the National Sleep Foundation is proud to work with leading home furnishings industry manufacturers, including Ellery Homestyles, manufacturers of the Sound Asleep™ curtain line, the Official Room Darkening Curtain of the National Sleep Foundation.”

The National Sleep Foundation’s annual Bedroom Poll has helped the organization to identify how important the issue of light control in the bedroom is to the general public—and indeed, 73% of Americans say a dark bedroom is one of the keys to achieving a better night’s sleep. About four in ten poll respondents, or 38%, say that they have room darkening curtains, which are specially made to block light. Among those respondents with room darkening curtains, more than half—55%—say that they frequently close them at night and open them in the morning. More than three-quarters of those respondents—76%—say they used their room darkening curtains to manage light in the past two weeks.

Light control is particularly important during the winter, when the days are shorter, according to Cloud. “Changing patterns of light and darkness occur with the approach of winter,” he explains. “Circadian rhythms are regulated by the body's internal clock and by exposure to sunshine. When the days get shorter in autumn, circadian rhythms may become desynchronized and trigger the ‘winter blues.’ ”

The Sound Asleep curtain collection from Ellery Homestyles was specifically designed to help consumers manage light in the bedroom, and the product was selected as the Official Room Darkening Curtain of the National Sleep Foundation due to its innovative, thermal-lined construction that helps reduce penetrating sunlight.

“Sound Asleep curtains are constructed using a thermal coating, which is applied to the reverse side of the curtain fabric to create room darkening properties,” Susan A. Lazor, director of brand management for Ellery Homestyles, comments. “In addition, Sound Asleep curtains also are designed to be an attractive complement to any bedroom décor. The curtains are constructed from a textured woven chenille fabric, and offered in an array of six calming colors that can enhance the look of any room.”

Lazor says the Sound Asleep collection also includes several decorative top treatment options, including a coordinating ascot valance and a straight back-tab valance.

In addition to the room darkening properties, Sound Asleep curtains can help improve home energy efficiency and reduce intrusive noise in the bedroom, Lazor asserts. “The thermal properties of Sound Asleep curtains actually enhance the energy efficiency of a home, helping consumers save money by reducing heat loss through the window” she says. “The soft thermal coating also helps reduce outside noise, which is another factor that can help promote a better night’s sleep.”

Cloud notes that polls show that this marriage of fashion and function is a significant consideration for consumers. “The National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Poll finds that more than six in ten (65%) of consumers currently own or are considering buying curtains for their bedroom,” he relates. “Of those who currently own or are considering buying bedroom curtains, almost one-half of the respondents believe that room darkening (47%) and/or color (46%) are very important elements of curtains. Four in ten (40%) find style to be an important element, and one-fourth (25%) find energy-saving to be very important.”

“Controlling light plays an important role in creating a bedroom environment that allows Americans to achieve a better night’s sleep,” Cloud comments. “The National Sleep Foundation offers a wide variety of informational tools and tips designed to help people learn about sleep and sleep health, including a consumer-focused website ‘Inside Your Bedroom’. This website spotlights how the body’s five senses can impact sleep, and offers a compilation of practical advice about creating the optimal sleep environment.”

The National Sleep Foundation and its Official Licensed Products Program also are distributing informational brochures on sleep health and creating healthy sleep environments with every official National Sleep Foundation product sold, including a brochure “Controlling Light For Better Sleep,” which is distributed by Ellery Homestyles in every package of Sound Asleep curtains.

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About The National Sleep Foundation: The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. It is well-known for its annual Sleep in America® poll. The Foundation is a charitable, educational and scientific not-for-profit organization located in Washington, DC. Its membership includes researchers and clinicians focused on sleep medicine, health professionals, patients, families affected by drowsy driving and more than 900 healthcare facilities.

About Ellery Homestyles : Ellery Homestyles is a leading supplier of branded and private label home-fashion products to major retailers, offering curtains, bedding, throws and specialty products. The company’s proprietary brands deliver innovation in fashion, function and design and include Sound Asleep™ room darkening curtains, The Official Curtain of the National Sleep Foundation. Ellery is a global company headquartered in New York City with a 375 million square foot distribution center in North Carolina and offices in China, India and Pakistan.