A good full restful night’s sleep can be the difference between an enjoyable and a miserable next day. It can also be the difference between a productive and a difficult day. Sleep quality has a huge impact on both our physical and mental wellbeing. Improving home indoor air quality can be an incredibly beneficial step to ensure better sleep. Yet, when it comes to improving sleep or solving sleep disorders, pursuing good indoor air quality is usually overlooked.
The average time spent sleeping or trying to sleep equates to roughly one-third of our lives. That is a lot of time clocked in a single space! So, how exactly can you ensure good indoor air quality in your bedroom?
Does Indoor Air Quality Really Affect Sleep?
While stress, late-night screen time and caffeine are oft discussed sleep factors, poor indoor air quality is a common source of sleep issues as well. It doesn’t come as a surprise that IAQ is overlooked, as most disregard the potential impacts of poor air quality throughout the home. However, the inability to get a good night’s rest brings IAQ concerns to the forefront.
The short answer is: yes, indoor air quality really does affect your sleep. Research shows that those who live in high pollution areas are 60% more likely to suffer from poor sleep compared to those living in cleaner air areas. Indoor air quality impacts our health and wellbeing 24/7. Indoor pollutants like dust, mold, pollen, pet dander and allergens circulate in the air we breathe inside. They also affect breathing quality and breathing patterns, worsen allergies, asthma and respiratory conditions and impact general comfort. Common bedroom pollutants include:
- Allergens which worsen allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes, making it difficult to sleep. They can also interrupt the deep breathing necessary for good sleep.
- VOCs can cause headaches, allergic reactions and worsen respiratory conditions and symptoms. VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are gases emitted from chemicals found in many household products.
Indoor air pollution may also increase the chances of developing sleep apnea–a serious and potentially debilitating sleep condition. A recent study points to the possible connection between ambient air pollution and obstructive sleep apnea.
Why Is Indoor Air Quality Worse at Night?
Indoor air quality is worse at night, not because more pollutants magically appear in the dark, but because living habits change. You’re spending multiple hours asleep in an enclosed bedroom. That automatically means less air circulation. You’re also sleeping through potentially noticeable air quality shifts such as the heat running too long and drying out the bedroom. Instead, you’re then left to wake up with a stuffy nose or irritated throat.
Poor ventilation is one of the top reasons IAQ worsens at night. A majority of people sleep with the bedroom door shut, resulting in limited ventilation throughout the night. This allows indoor pollutants to build up in the space. A Technical University of Denmark study found that college students had both improved sleep quality and better next-day performance with increased overnight fresh air in the bedroom.
Poor humidity regulation is also a huge sleep quality factor. Ideally, home humidity should fall between 40 and 60% for optimal comfort and health benefits. If your home’s humidity levels are too high or too low, it can cause sleep disruptions. Poorly regulated indoor humidity is noticeably uncomfortable. At night, it can look like sweating while you sleep or waking up in the middle of the night with a dry throat and nose.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality in Your Bedroom
There are a few helpful source control measures you can take to improve air quality where you sleep. That includes vacuuming frequently, cleaning the mattress and washing bedding in hot water on a regular basis. Keeping pets out of the bedroom can be a huge help as pet dander is one of the top indoor allergens.
The best way to improve air quality in the bedroom is to improve air quality throughout the entire space. Whole-home solutions are an ideal upgrade because they are actively working to provide good indoor air quality. A whole-home solution installs directly into the home HVAC system, using existing ductwork to provide cleaner, healthier air.
Upgrading to a whole-home purification system means the air and surfaces in the bedroom are sanitized in the hours leading up to bedtime. With a whole-home mechanical ventilation system, the bedroom is consistently being pumped with clean fresh air. A whole-home humidity control system ensures the space remains in the ideal humidity range automatically. Whole-home solutions work throughout the day and night to provide good indoor air quality.
How Can Purification Improve the Air Quality in my Bedroom?
Purification is an incredibly powerful indoor air quality solution. The purification process greatly reduces the number of indoor air pollutants in your space. Meaning–all of those pesky potential particles won’t be present to cause sleep disruptions or worsen sleep quality. Less indoor pollutants means improved air quality means healthier, cleaner air while you sleep. Whole-home purification can help you both sleep through the night and wake feeling well-rested.
The purification process targets three types of contaminants: germs, gases and particulates. It’s targeting and reducing all sorts of pollutants including allergens, VOCs, bacteria, viruses, dust mites, mold, plant spores and more. A whole-home active air purifier helps eliminate any indoor air quality issue that could turn into a potential sleep issue.
Investing in Better Sleep
Upgrading to a whole-home purification system, focusing on your home’s IAQ issues and using source control tactics can help provide better sleep. Reducing the number of indoor pollutants in your home will not only benefit sleep quality, but create a cleaner living environment overall. Reach out to us today with any purification questions or to find a local IAQ expert!