I’m really lucky. I live in an area where, from May to October, I can sleep with my windows open at night. For those of you who don’t live in a part of the world that experiences brutally cold and snowy winters, that period of time where you can sleep in with the windows open might be longer. Or you might be like my Mom and sleep with cracked windows regardless of the temperature outside.
If I had it my way, all the windows and doors would be open from May 1st through October 31st. One of my favorite purchases I’ve ever made is a door screen magnet. We have one for the front and rear sliding glass doors. The mesh material allows fresh air to circulate through the house without having to worry about bugs flying in too. Plus, it makes it easy to carry food and drinks in and out from the patio area to our kitchen.
But when it’s time for bed, I love to open my windows. To me, it’s how I signal it’s time to for bed. While having a nice breeze roll through your windows brings a level of calm and comfort to your home, did you know it also provides health benefits? Here are some perks!
1. Sleeping with your windows open at night decreases carbon dioxide levels in the home.
A study conducted in the Netherlands showed that opening windows and doors helped to improve ventilation and airflow in the participants’ bedrooms. This resulted in an improvement in their quality of sleep. According to scientists, carbon dioxide is a good measure for ventilation because humans should be the only source inside their homes producing CO2. But if carbon dioxide levels aren’t good, it’s an indication that there’s something else emitting CO2 in the home.
When CO2 levels are too high, sleep gets interrupted. Conversely, the study noted that those participants who slept with their windows open had fewer instances of awakening during the night, leading to a night of more efficient sleep. Sleeping with the window open, or even leaving a door open with a door screen magnet (if you live in an area where you feel safe enough to do so) helps to counteract some of the environmental issues you may be encountering in your room.
The author of the Eindhoven University of Technology study in the Netherlands, Dr. Asit Mishra spoke to Healthline about their findings. “We spend a considerable portion of our life in bed. However, bedroom ventilation and pollutants in bedroom are not a very well-explored subject. There needs to be an awareness that in the confined environs of a bed, without proper ventilation, we are likely to expose ourselves to a myriad variety of pollutants.”
Have you ever felt a little nauseous or dizzy and decided to take a step outside for some “fresh air?” Sleeping with your windows open brings that concept inside, helping to keep your body regulated with fresh air as you sleep.
2. It lowers the temperature, which helps to improve sleep.
Think about it. It’s a chilly fall night, and you’re barricaded in your room, doors and windows shut, your TV humming and your phone plugged into the outlet beside you. You’re piled under comfy blankets, laying against an insulated wall of pillows. Eventually, you fall asleep.
Three hours later, you wake up drenched in sweat, extremely uncomfortable and annoyed that your comfy night’s sleep just got majorly disrupted. What happened? Well, you overheated. The National Sleep Foundation reports that sleeping in a room that’s too warm causes discomfort and restlessness.
Sleeping in a room that’s slightly cooler is beneficial for a few reasons. When it’s time for bed, our bodies’ core temperature automatically starts to decrease in the evening. When you open a window to let that fresh, crisp night air in, it helps to notify your body that it’s time to initiate bedtime mode. Fun fact! At the same time your body’s temperature starts to dip, it begins releasing the sleep hormone melatonin. As you sleep, your temperature decreases, bottoming out in the early morning and then starts to warm up as the sun rises. Additionally, sleeping in a room that’s too warm doesn’t allow us to spend the proper amount of time in each sleep stage, which is why those who sleep with the windows open are able to sleep more solidly through the night.
3. The sounds of nature can be incredibly soothing.
This final point may not be a perk for everyone, but it definitely is for me. I can’t sleep in complete silence; I need some type of noise to help lull me to sleep. I’ve found that having a fan running while sleeping next to my open window, listening to the leaves rustle in the breeze and the crickets chirping are a perfect pairing. The sounds are comforting and do a great job delivering me to dreamland.