Sleep in darkness. Seems like a natural preference, an inevitability, a no-brainer, right? Except… I wasn’t sleeping in darkness. Far from it, actually. My problem was simple and probably common: there’s a streetlight right outside my bedroom window, and even with the blinds closed it leaves buttery stripes of artificial light across my bedspread and sleeping face.
Aside from a speck of irritation when I bunked down every night, I didn’t give it much thought. I’d heard Robb Wolf strenuously advocate sleeping in darkness on his podcasts, but viewed the recommendation like I still perceive taking vitamin D or fish oil (for better or worse): too much effort, too much of a commitment for what would probably be negligible benefit.
Then I got the solution to a problem I didn’t believe I had: a sleep mask. Suddenly, that vague restlessness and the effort it took to fall asleep disappeared, and insufficient sleep seemed taxing but not insurmountable. It became evident that sleeping in darkness could help maximize the benefit of short periods of rest, assist me in falling asleep immediately instead of tossing and turning, and intensify the deep regenerative effects of a long sleep. Now I can’t sleep any other way. Who knew? (Aside from Robb Wolf and the legions who take his advice.)