Sleeping with the Window Open in Winter: Is It Healthy?

Can sleeping with a window open in winter benefit your health? According to medical experts, for most people, most of the time, it’s very possible. However, certain stipulations apply, depending on conditions indoors and outdoors and other factors. Here are some ways that sleeping with a window open in winter can be a plus:

  • Sleep research has repeatedly shown that people fall asleep sooner in a cool room, sleep more soundly through the night, and are more likely to feel rested in the morning. Overnight exposure to heat and stuffy air, conversely, are proven to increase wakefulness at night.
  • Reduced carbon dioxide exposure. CO2 is naturally released by the breathing process. In a closed-up room with people sleeping, carbon dioxide levels may increase overnight. Breathing higher levels of CO2 interferes with the quality of sleep and may make you feel more tired in the morning instead of refreshed.
  • An open window won’t make catching a cold or flu more likely. These illnesses result from contracting a virus — not from breathing cool air. In fact, a room with adequate fresh air ventilation may be less likely to harbor contagious airborne viruses.

Potential Downsides

If you live in an area with significant air pollution, keeping windows closed day and night may be the best option for healthy indoor air quality. The same goes for persons with sensitivity to outdoor airborne allergens like pollen. Also, where there are security concerns such as a high local crime rate, leaving a bedroom window open all night might not be prudent.

How Cold Is Too Cold?

There is general agreement that the recommended lower limit for sleeping with a window open in winter is an outdoor temperature around 50 degrees. In many regions of the country, however, winter overnight temperatures lower than that are common. Therefore, checking your local weather forecast may be a good idea before opening the window and dozing off.

Altermatives such as sleeping with a window open in winter may help improve both indoor air quality and quality of life. Ask the professionals at Paitson Bros., for more information.

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