When considering the different factors that affect our sleep, air quality is usually one that is overlooked. It’s usually the more obvious ones that get addressed. Things such as noise, caffeine, alcohol and being either too hot or too cold. The quality of the air in our bedroom is important though. It goes a long way to determine the kind of sleep we will have.
How does air quality affect sleep?
As we learn more about it, the quality of our indoor air is getting more and more attention. This is because of the large impact it can have on our wellbeing. A recent study by the American Environmental Protection agency has actually suggested that the quality of air indoors is actually worse than that of outside. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation has also reported that a bedroom can often have the worst indoor air quality in the entire house. This problem is heavily compounded when you consider that we spend around a third of our lives in our bedroom.
Our sleep can be impacted in many ways. Pollutants such as particulate matter and harmful gasses in our bedrooms are detrimental to our sleep. Poor indoor air quality can have an adverse effect on your airways. Not only can your upper airways become more congested but you can also develop problems such as sleep apnoea.
Polluted air has also been linked to the development of other breathing conditions, such as asthma. Such difficulties can affect all aspects of your life, including your ability to sleep. Another study also concluded that people who were exposed to more pollution were also likely to suffer from mental issues. Mental problems have been closely linked to sleep.
How can you improve the air quality in your bedroom?
Fortunately there are things that you can do to improve the quality of the air in your bedroom. Here are just a few:
Clean your bedroom regularly.
A bedroom that is cleaned regularly will have far less dirt, dust and debris than one that is not. All of these things can adversely affect the way we breathe and our allergies. You may remember being told as a child to keep your toom tidy. It may be worth having a regular cleaning regimen. This will ensure than dust doesn’t build up in the room where you sleep.
Aim to vacuum carpets and rugs at least once per week. Preferably with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Regularly wash all soft furnishings such as bedding, curtains and throws. It’s best to wash them at a temperature of at least 50 degrees (subject to the cleaning instructions).
Get some air-filtering plants
A famous study by NASA concluded that many common houseplants are effective at filtering impurities from and increasing the amount of oxygen in the air. Research recommends one plant for every 10m2 of space. The following plants are great natural air purifiers:
- Spider plants
- Peace lilies
- Aloe Vera
Not only will they clean the air in your bedroom, but plants have also been known to boost your mood, and who doesn’t need that?
Invest in an air purifier
An air purifier is a great investment. Such devices are able to clean the air within a room by removing contaminants. If your bedroom is particularly prone to mould or dust mites then an air purifier will definitely be beneficial to you. There are several different air purifiers out there, for different room sizes and budgets. So be sure to shop around and read reviews before investing.
Make your bed anti-allergy
Keeping your bedding clean is a great way to reduce the amount of harmful particles in the air. You can also make some preventative purchases. These will help you to improve the quality of the air in your bedroom.
One of the best anti-allergy purchases you can make is a mattress protector. Silver and Aloe Vera are common natural ingredients found in the most effective protectors. You can also buy mattresses that have the same properties. And anti-allergy pillows and duvets are extremely common nowadays.
Keep humidity levels in check
Humidity also affects your sleep. In a very humid room, you’ll find it difficult to sleep and as a result you’ll be tossing and turning for longer due to the horrible sticky feeling. Such conditions are also perfect for the formation of mould and dust. These are some of the worst things for indoor air quality.
To avoid having a bedroom that is too humid, the are some steps that you can take. The most vital is to ensure that the air in your bedroom is circulated regularly. Keeping your doors and windows open for a while every few days will help with this. This means that fresh air can enter and replace older air that has been trapped inside. It’s also important to avoid drying clothes in your bedroom. The moisture from the clothes can contribute to higher humidity. If your bedroom is particularly humid then a dehumidifier will also be a worthwhile purchase.