How is air pollution linked to quality of sleep

How is air pollution linked to quality of sleep

I feel like every time we look at the news lately, we hear some horrible story about climate change: our oceans, filling with trash; our forests, burning down; and worst of all, our air, filled with pollution.

Poor air quality is one thing we’ll never be able to escape, unless you live in the middle of a lush forest like Snow White. For those of us who aren’t living with seven dwarves, however, the air quality can have a surprising effect on how we live and sleep. But how is air pollution linked to quality of sleep?

air pollution in city- quality of sleep

What is Air Quality?

“So how is air pollution linked to quality of sleep?” I’m glad you asked. To answer that, we first need to understand what poor air quality looks like. The Air Quality Index (AQI) is a scale on which we judge the safety of the air by measuring the levels of pollutants in the air. The AQI runs on a scale of 0-500, with 0-50 being safe levels, and 300 and higher being extremely hazardous. Even our safe air isn’t totally clean, though. Air can carry small amounts of pollutants without becoming dangerous.

The AQI lists the most common air pollutants as:

  • ground-level ozone
  • particle pollution (also known as particulate matter, including PM2.5 and PM10)
  • carbon monoxide
  • sulfur dioxide
  • nitrogen dioxide

How does poor air affect our sleep

Now that we’ve defined air quality, we can begin to discuss how it affects us when we’re asleep. Nicola Davis states in a 2017 article in The Guardian: “greater exposure to nitrogen dioxide and small particulates known as PM 2.5s are linked with a greater chance of having low sleep efficiency.” This is thought to be because pollutant particles can irritate our sinuses, nose, and throat, causing sleep disruption. It’s also worth noting that different factors that are related to pollution, such as increased noise from cars and trains, can also disrupt sleep.

Yikes! Even after changing your bedtime routine to improve your sleep, the literal air you breathe could be messing it up for you. So what can you do? Well, we can’t very well control the air everywhere else, but in our bedrooms we have a tiny bit of control.

girl sleeping in city

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What can I do to purify my air?

My suggestion is to get an air purifier for your room; they usually
don’t take up too much space, and some even look pretty nice! Also
adding more plants to your household can have benefits in absorbing some
of the pollution. Some types that can purify the air the most are: Spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum), Aloe Vera, and Dracaenas.

Here my suggestion on researching for air purifiers that have good reviews and that won’t break the bank either:

BLUEAIR Air Purifier

Here are the some hi lights on this product:

  • Claims to remove 99% of particles: smoke, dust, viruses, mold, pet dander and pollen
  • Using just 60 watts on the highest fan speed, is more energy efficient
  • Cleans 540sqft large room in about 12.5 min or up to 2592sqft extra-large space in 60min, on high
  • Delivers high performance with automated one-button control in a lightweight, compact package
  • Low noise at 56 dB at it’s highest speed
  • Swedish design

The Blue Pure 211+ is only $358 CAD!  4.5/5 stars

It’s so important to be aware of the effects of air pollution on your sleep quality. Taking one step could change your sleep pattern for the better and transform how you feel!

Please comment below if you feel that air pollution may be affecting your health and possibly quality of sleep.

Now, breathe easy, and sweet dreams!

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