How Does Bedroom Air Quality Affect Sleep?

|by Asleep

    [Editor's Note]

    Bedrooms are private and personal areas. They are often kept closed for privacy. As a result, it's also one of the least ventilated rooms in the house. The air quality can be particularly bad. Imagine spending nearly eight hours every night in an uncomfortable, enclosed space. It’s kind of scary to even think about.

    We've seen that a good night's sleep is only possible when your bedroom is at the right temperature and humidity, and clean air is also essential.

    Air quality can be affected by the season, location, and other factors in the room, such as temperature and humidity, which can greatly affect your sleep. Asleep informs you of the connection between air quality and sleep.

    How Does Bedroom Air Quality Affect Sleep?

    Along with temperature and humidity, air quality is an important factor in determining the quality of your sleep. The quality of the air in your bedroom has a huge impact on your sleep. In fact, being surrounded by stale air makes it unpleasant to breathe even when you're awake, and it's hard to fall asleep in such a space.

    When you're exposed to polluted air, your sleep efficiency is significantly lower. the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep increases, and you wake up more often. According to a study by the Washington University School of Medicine, 1,863 residents of six U.S. cities found that those who slept in polluted air were 60% more likely to have low sleep efficiency than those who didn't. Sleep efficiency is the amount of time you spend in bed compared to the amount of time you actually sleep. If it's low, it means you laid down to sleep but didn't sleep well.

    The bedroom air pollutants in this experiment were nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5).Another study has shown that it not only reduces sleep efficiency but also increases the likelihood of developing sleep apnea.

    Fine particulate matter(PM 2.5) is especially dangerous because its tiny particles can easily enter the respiratory system. They can even reach the lungs and blood vessels, and long-term exposure increases the likelihood of dying from lung cancer and heart disease. A study from Birmingham University in the UK found that for older adults, an additional 10 micrograms of PM per cubic meter increased the likelihood of dying from cancer by 22 percent.

    There are many pollutants in bedrooms that make air quality bad. This includes things like hidden allergens as well as dust, mold, pet fur, and animal skin particles. Don't forget about the invisible, toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can come from mattresses, bedding, and other appliances. These pollutants, especially ones caught in bedding, can be inhaled with the slightest toss and turn when you sleep.

    It can be harmful to your health to inhale these pollutants. Polluted air can make allergies, asthma, and respiratory conditions worse. Allergens can cause sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes, which can make it harder to sleep well at night. Pregnant women and infants are especially vulnerable to this kind of air. In fact, pregnant women who are exposed to extremely polluted air are more likely to give birth before their due date. Additionally, children are more likely to experience atopy and allergic rhinitis due to this polluted air.

    So what can you do to improve your bedroom air quality?

    1️⃣ Ventilate by opening windows and doors frequently

    In enclosed spaces with closed windows and doors, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels can rise to 2500-3000 parts per million(ppm), about three times the recommended level. Sleeping in a space with high CO2 levels can make your sleep efficiency fall, so be diligent about ventilating.

    2️⃣ Reduce temperature and humidity

    High indoor temperatures and humidity make it easier for dust, dust mites, mold, and other pollutants to hold onto. It also makes it easier for toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to be released into the air. If the temperature is too high and the room is humid, use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to bring it down to the right level.

    3️⃣ Keep pets out of the bedroom!

    Hair and dander from pets like cats and dogs are also major contributors to poor air quality. If you want to get a good night's sleep in a fresh bedroom, keep your adorable pets out of the bedroom for the night.

    4️⃣ Use plants or products that help purify the air.

    Keeping air-purifying plants in your bedroom, such as Sansevieria and Alocasia, is a great tip. Using an air purifier is also highly recommended. Especially when the air outside is more polluted than inside, opening the windows to ventilate can make the air in your bedroom worse. The easiest and most reliable way to ensure fresh air in your bedroom is by using an air purifier.


    1. <Air Pollution linked to poor sleep, study finds>, Guardian, 21 May 2017,

    2. <The effects of bedroom air quality on sleep and next day performance>, Technical University of Denmark, 2016, <Trouble Sleeping? Air Pollution Could Be the Culprit>, Live Science, 25 May 2017,