Black-out curtains, shutters, and other necessities for sleep-full nights...

>> Wednesday, 8 February 2012

This is a sponsored post.


It’s dark here right now. That’s probably because I’m writing this piece at 10.30pm, but it would be almost equally dark if I were writing it at 8.45am, since sunrise isn’t until 9.15 in the morning at the moment. But it isn’t always like that in Moscow. Come summer time, the sun rises early, and doesn’t set until 10.16pm. Long summer evenings stretch out for what seems like an eternity, and there’s nothing like the blinding sun at 5.00am to make sure you greet the day bright and early.


That’s all very well for me and Husband; we’re grown ups; we’re supposed to be able to handle minor inconveniences like that (apparently). The Boys, however, are a different matter.


I’ve always considered myself blessed in that my sons are not early risers. Not for me those exhausted conversations at the school gate about Junior rising at stupid o'clock; historically, I’ve been lucky, and from an early age the Boys have slept through the night.


Or rather, they did sleep through. Until we arrived in Moscow, that is.


Here however, the sun rises at 4.44am in June and, by a not-so-happy coincidence, theirs is the first window that it’s rays hit. Soon after we arrived, I realised that blackout curtains were called for if I hoped to maintain any normal kind of sleeping pattern in the summer months, but it turns out that they are not the total solution I had imagined they would be. Light creeps in around the edges and over the top of the curtain rail; no matter how thick the actual curtain, it’s still lighter than is ideal in their bedroom.


It’s also noisier than I might like; we might send our children to bed at 8.00pm, but it’s light until 10.30 and not everyone else follows suit. You can hear other kids rampaging through the compound well after the Boys have been tucked up in bed (these children clearly need less sleep than my sons), giving my two yet another reason to shout crossly down the stairs about how bossy I am and how I’m ruining their lives. (OK, not the latter, not yet, but it’s just a matter of time, I know).


As we’re in a rented property, and building renovations are not a possibility, there’s not much I can do about this. But when I was contacted recently by Shutters Direct about the products that they offer, I have to admit that my interest was aroused. Apparently, not only do their interior shutters control the light, but they help to block out the noise as well, and also provide a safer alternative to blinds, since trailing cords are not ideal when you have young children about.


Sadly I don’t think Shutters Direct have an outlet in downtown Moscow just yet, so we’re continuing with our regime of blackout curtains for the time being to help combat the light pollution in the Boys’ room. As for the noise, well we’ll just have to put up with it, since I doubt that a stern word with our neighbours about suitable bedtimes for their children will make a blind bit of difference. They already think that I am beyond cruel to send my sons to bed when it’s still light in the summer.


It looks as if I may yet be one of those exhausted mothers at the school gates, after all...

3 comments:

The Expatresse 10 February 2012 at 14:30  

We moved to Moscow in late December, and at first I could NOT figure out why all the windows had these heavy velvet curtains. Even with, the last month of school was always tough as no one wanted to go to bed at the regular time and, as a result, everyone was exhausted by the end of the school year.

Potty Mummy 10 February 2012 at 16:35  

You just helped me work out why the school year ends so early, in June. It's clearly because of the long evenings and consequent lack of sleep - why on earth didn't I think of it before?

Dot 11 February 2012 at 21:07  

Last summer my husband improvised an inelegant but effective blackout solution that solves the problem of light getting round the edges of the curtains: he blu-tacked tin foil to the insides of the windows. Brutal but it worked.

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