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Breathe Easy At Night: Indoor Air Quality and Sleep

Posted on January 19, 2012
by Wendy Stackhouse


Guest Post By Jim Gates, CAFS

The relationship between indoor air quality and sleep is a complex one. While we are sleeping at night, our body is recharging and restoring itself, providing us with energy to face the next day. Good, solid sleep is necessary to this process and poor air quality in an indoor sleeping area can disrupt sleep in a number of different ways.

Overcoming Three Indoor Air Quality Problems that Impact Sleep


1. Sleep Interruptions

Poor indoor air quality can cause interruptions in your sleeping patterns. Breathing in contaminants, animal dander, dust, and other air pollutants in large quantities while you are sleeping can result in restlessness and lack of sufficient oxygen in the blood, causing you to wake up feeling tired, cranky, and listless.

You can eliminate many of these air pollutants from the sleeping area by frequently changing bedding and pillows, not allowing pets to sleep in your bed, and installing a high quality air filter in your home’s heating and cooling system.

dogs in bed

2. Symptom Aggravation

Individuals with breathing difficulties, asthma, or allergies can find it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep in an area with poor air quality. Poor air quality can aggravate the symptoms of these conditions and make sleeping in the area an unpleasant experience.

The deep breathing that occurs during sleep causes the body to inhale many irritating particles that agitate the respiratory system and cause coughing, sneezing, inflammation of the sinuses, and other sleep disturbing effects. Using a high quality air conditioner filter that is capable of removing small particulate, pollen, animal dander, and dust from the indoor air will help reduce the effects of these pollutants on the body.

3. Health Problems

Breathing poor quality air while sleeping can result in a number of unpleasant reactions upon waking in the morning. Some individuals awake with a stuffy feeling in their nose or sinus cavities, a headache, or a scratchy throat due to the contaminants breathed in during the night. Restlessness while sleeping can cause lethargy, confusion, and a feeling of tiredness when the person awakes the next morning.

Making sure that your bedroom has adequate ventilation and air circulation can reduce the number of contaminants and air pollutants concentrated in the sleeping area.

What You Can Expect as a Result of Improving Air Quality

Improving the air quality in the sleeping area of your home can have numerous positive effects on your health, comfort, and overall well-being. Examples include:

  • Getting a good night’s sleep will help you awake feeling rested, strong, and alert and give you more energy to get through your day.
  • Your body will be able to eliminate more of the everyday toxins you encounter from your body.
  • Many chronic symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, or morning sinus discomfort, can be reduced or eliminated.

By making a commitment to improving the air quality in the bedrooms of your home, you are making a decision that will have a positive impact on the health of you and your family.

About the Author
Jim Gates, CAFS, is the brand manager for Quality Filters, Inc. (, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high quality home and commercial air filters. The company’s products are available online at (

Great thanks to Jim Gates for our guest post today! Look for Jim’s next post in February!

(Okay, it was a good excuse to take a picture of my dogs.)

Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek Indoor Air Solutions and our affiliate Alliance Environmental Group. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!

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