Key to sleeping better is keeping light out of the bedroom whether it’s computers, TVs, smartphones or bright clocks. In Michele Ritan’s case in Decatur, Georgia it wasn’t anything she could easily control.

She lives in a vibrant, light industrial/commercial district. She loves the area’s dynamism but not the attendant disruption to her sleep.  She hung mini blinds plus two layers of drapes on her bedroom window to block the light at night from the nearby hardware store’s mercury vapor lamps. A carpenter even made the window smaller and it still wasn’t enough.


“I’ve been an insomniac for years,” she said. “I had read that sleeping in a really dark room is important for great health. . . My doctor said that was probably especially important for me because I’m not a good sleeper.”

Michelle is busy and needs shuteye! She writes grants for Georgia State University and started a small nonprofit –  East Decatur Greenway – to help clean up a contaminated gas station and create a bike path trail head.

A lot of inspiration for the project, incidentally, came from Oregon, which she toured recently to observe communities with strong bike cultures.

Michele finally got the dark she was looking for with an Indow Windows blackout panel.

“I’m sleeping much more soundly,” she said. “It’s amazing. I wake up a couple of times during the night. It’s so dark it feels very comforting to me and it feels easier to go back to sleep.”

But she said she wishes she knew about us sooner. Her 1952 cottage is in an area that generates noise and traffic with its restaurants, electrician, chiropractor, coffee roaster, musicians and a beauty salon. The house was drafty too. So she replaced many of her lovely old windows with vinyl ones. Expensive, yes. And she lost her frame depth so she couldn’t consider buying the acoustic grade Indow Windows to make her home even more hushed.

We’re just glad we could help Michele sleep better!