How Sleeping with the Window Open or Closed Can Affect How You Look and Feel
The benefits of sleeping with the window open have been proven in quite a few studies: it makes it easier to fall asleep, and improves the quality of sleep itself. However, there are times when this option just isn’t suitable at all. After all, if there’s a noisy party going on outside your window at 3am, it’s unlikely to help you get a good night’s sleep. So it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons to choose the option that’s ideal for you.
The advantages of sleeping with the window open
- The most obvious benefit of an open window is the influx of cool, fresh air, which helps makes sleep deeper and better. One reason for this is that when the sun goes down and the air cools off, our bodies subconsciously begin to relax and prepare for sleep. In a hot, stuffy room with stale air, on the other hand, it’s much harder to fall asleep. Also, sleeping in a cool room promotes the production of melatonin, a hormone which slows down ageing and promotes weight loss.
- Keeping the window open also prevents the build-up of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is a gas we exhale. While during the day we might go out for a walk and get some fresh air, at night, when we’re in an enclosed space, this gas has no way to escape. As a result, you can wake up with a headache instead of the long-awaited feeling of being refreshed. On the other hand, after sleeping in a room with an open window and good airflow, your productivity and ability to concentrate increases.
- An open window creates so-called “white noise,” which is another factor for a good night’s sleep. Moreover, this white noise is created naturally — the sounds of rain, wind, and crickets can be an additional relaxing factor.
- The ability to control humidity in the room. Sleeping in a room that’s too humid is as bad an idea as sleeping in one that’s too dry. What’s more, you can accidentally make the room even more humid by taking a hot shower or turning the heater up to full blast. If you don’t have a dehumidifier handy, you can try simply opening the window.
- Pollen allergies, or something similar, can negate many of the benefits of an open window. After all, in spring, during the flowering season, pollen can easily enter a room and make you sneeze and cry all night long. It’s worth noting, however, that nowadays you can buy special filters that trap pollen but allow fresh air to pass through.
- Sometimes the fresh air might turn out to not be so fresh. For example, if your house is next to a factory, the air coming into your home is likely to be affected. In this case, even air purifiers may not do the job. In cases like this, it’s a good idea to get a decent fan that will help with air circulation.
- Living in a big city can mean that any window opening will be accompanied by incessant noise. It’s no longer just the sound of rain, but also car horns, people shouting, and club music. Not everyone can sleep in such conditions, so the solution is either to close the window, or to get special noise-cancelling headphones.
- The simple fact of it being cold may be the cause of not wanting to open a window. And it’s not just about catching a cold. The cold air irritates our airways and can exacerbate various chronic illnesses, such as numerous lung conditions or asthma. And for the elderly, it increases the risk of chest infections, heart attacks and strokes.
What about you? Do you sleep with the window open or closed?
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