A restful night of sleep is essential for us to seize the day. If you’re suffering from poor sleep, you’ll likely wake up feeling lethargic and unmotivated. You may also experience physical symptoms, like headaches, stuffy nose, congestion. It’s not fun—but luckily, there are things you can do to help you sleep better at night.
Today, we’re talking about indoor air quality. The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines “indoor air quality” as “the air quality within and around buildings and structures, especially as it relates to the health and comfort of building occupants.” While a stressful meeting or barking dog may be the culprit for keeping you awake here and there, if you’re suffering from lack of sleep consistently, your indoor air quality could be to blame.
You can assess your air quality with a tracker or monitor. Once that’s done, follow these tips on improving your air quality—and say hello to better sleeps.
4 Ways to Improve Air Quality for a Better Sleep
1. Clean your home regularly
This first tip is quite simple. The cleaner the home, the cleaner the air. Many allergens lurk in the home. Among them are:
Fortunately, you can reduce many of them through regular cleaning. To improve the air quality of your bedroom, wash your bed sheets in hot water regularly and vacuum your carpets. That’s right, fresh bedding doesn’t just smell good—it also helps you sleep better.
2. Ventilate your home
Keeping your bedroom ventilated is also a good idea—mainly to control mold from growing. Mold grows in damp places. While your bedroom may not be damp, mold spores can spread throughout the home and prevent you from having a good night’s rest.
With this said, depending on where you live and what time of year it is, outside air can also negatively impact your indoor quality. For example, if you live in the city or an area susceptible to wildfires, pollution and smoke would worsen your indoor air quality.
You could invest in a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air. Alternatively, you can invest in an air purifier. So no matter what your surrounding conditions are, you can rid the air of allergens and breathe easy.
3. Identify & control sources of pollution
We all know that exposure to pollution isn’t good for our health—but are you aware of all the different sources of pollution?
In addition to some obvious ones we mentioned earlier, like wildfire smoke and carbon monoxide gasses (from cars and factories), there are surprisingly many sources of pollution found in your home:
- Household combustion devices (like stoves)
- Cleaning products
- Construction materials (asbestos, formaldehyde, lead)
- Tobacco smoke
That’s right—paint and lacquers are also pollutants. Not only do these impact air quality and your sleep, but they can also lead to heart and respiratory problems! Our two cents? Look through your home and identify these pollutants. If you can, replace the sources with non-toxic solutions or materials.
4. Invest in the right tools
You don’t have to do all the work alone—there are several tools you can invest in to help you get a good sleep at night.
First, we recommend upgrading your air filters. While high-quality air filters are more expensive, they do a superior job keeping your house free of dust, smoke, pollen, and other irritants—without interfering with the airflow in your house. Don’t forget to change your air filters regularly to maximize their effectiveness.
Second, air purifiers are an excellent tool for cleaning your air. Why? Many allergens can’t be seen by the naked eye. While you may not be able to see the irritants impacting your sleep, air purifiers can catch and remove them from your air—so you can breathe and sleep easily.
Lastly, your sleep may be suffering because your air is too dry. If you find that you’re waking up with a dry throat, you may want to look into buying a humidifier.
Clean Air, Better Sleep, Better Life
Air quality doesn’t just impact your sleep—it also affects your health and quality of life. A 2019 study in Proceedings stated: "The quality of indoor air in bedrooms is of great importance not only for better quality of sleep but also better quality of life.” If the air quality is poor, you may have difficulty falling asleep. And once you do, your sleep is less restful, causing you to wake up groggy and feel less productive.
Not only that, but long-term exposure to poor air quality will also impact your well-being. To get a better sleep tomorrow, and maintain your heart and respiratory health in the future, take action to improve your indoor air quality.