The quality (and quantity) of your sleep affects almost every aspect of your life, from your driving ability to appetite and decision-making skills. When you're tired, everything about your brain and body slows down. While there are a lot of things you can do to improve the quality of your rest, one that’s often overlooked is the air quality in the bedroom. I know I don't usually think about it until I lay down to go to sleep, I’m ready to close my eyes, and wonder why I’m having a hard time getting comfortable. Then it hits me—the room is stuffy.
A warm room with unmoving air can feel stifling and make the room feel hot. Your body temperature naturally falls while sleeping. If a stuffy room keeps you too warm, it can get in the way of not only falling but staying asleep. Any discomfort from an uncomfortable bed to too much light can stop you from getting a full seven to eight hours of rest. While purchasing a new mattress is an option, it’s more expensive than finding clever ways to improve your air quality. With that in mind, here are a few ways you can clean the air and enhance your sleep.
Open the Windows and Doors
Maybe this one is a no-brainer, but it’s easy for me to forget the simple things I can do to make significant changes in my home. While you might not want to leave the windows and doors open all night, you can certainly leave them open once it starts to cool off in the evening.
Circulating air through the house helps remove any fumes that could interfere with your health. Of course, make sure you have screens on your windows and doors, so you don’t let in any unwanted bug friends. You can start the air moving by turning on bathroom fans to pull the air in from outside. As you get that breeze going, you’ll notice a big difference in how your bedroom feels.
Ceiling fans were once an ugly accessory, but today they’re still just as functional but come in designs that add to the decor of the bedroom. Use your fan to circulate air through the room. A gentle breeze makes a summer night feel soothing and comfortable.
I sometimes use my ceiling fan in the winter too. You can reverse the spin direction, so the fan pushes warm air back toward the ground. I don’t put it on the highest speed, but it does keep that warm air moving through the room instead of letting it settle on the ceiling.
You can also add to the quality of the air. Houseplants make a beautiful addition to the bedroom and are excellent filters. Organic chemicals like ammonia, benzene, or xylene can enter your home through common household products like paper bags, printing inks, and window cleaners. NASA scientists did a study on the types of plants that work best for improving indoor air quality, and they found quite a few that helped reduce the number of organic chemicals:
Dwarf date palm
Variegated snake plant
*Some plants like the snake plant remove chemicals and release oxygen at night when you most need it [oxygen].
Improving the air quality in your room might take a little pre-planning and re-decorating, but it’s worth the effort to get better sleep.
Thanks for reading this contributed article!