Blackout curtains are a standard feature of bedrooms in the Western world – especially in the temperate latitudes, where the sun can shine as early as 4 AM in the summer months.
These curtains can be thick and heavy, or made from special material to block out the direct rays of the sun. Also, washing and drying them is no mean feat, but a dark, cosy bedroom makes all of this effort worth it.
An easier way to make your bedroom darker is to use sleep masks – those black flaps that go over your eyes when you’re on a long haul flight. A sleep mask is cheaper and way more portable. It’s like having blackout curtains that slip inside your pocket. However, not too many people use sleep masks because having something held up against your face takes some getting used to.
Blackout curtains and sleep masks point to two diametrically opposite tendencies. With blackout curtains, we expend considerable effort in bending the external environment to our will. With sleep masks, we are make a smaller effort, but one that is internal. Being able to tolerate two flaps over our eye is more of a mindset change than one that is environmental.
The fact that people often prefer blackout curtains, which sell for upwards of €100 over sleep masks that are cheaper than €10 points to our tendency to fight against external factors ahead of making an internal change.
To walk a thorny road, we may cover its every inch with leather or we can make sandals.
– Indian parable