Let’s face it — there’s always room for improvement when it comes to enhancing your quality of life. Meeting up with friends and family, doing sports, and eating healthily are all important aspects that affect your welfare. Similarly, sleep is another factor that plays a major role in your well-being. It might even be at the top of that list since most people need at least seven hours of sleep every night.
Taking all of this into account, it’s safe to say that sleep is an essential part of your life. So, what happens when you sleep in unsafe and unhealthy conditions? Many factors contribute to poor sleeping habits, including caffeine consumption, wall colors, and room temperature. However, there’s another element that is often overlooked — air ventilation.
In this article, we’ll dive into the effects of sleeping in a closed room, as well as provide some solutions that could help you improve your quality of sleep and, consequently, your quality of life!
1. No Fresh Air
Nobody likes the feeling of stuffy, heavy air. Even so, you might prefer to keep your doors and windows closed. This might be for privacy or even safety reasons, but sometimes, it’s not a matter of preference at all. For instance, it’s only logical that you’d want to keep your space warm in the winter or keep the nasty bugs out in the summer. Regardless, all of this will lead to a lack of fresh air.
As a result, the air in your room becomes stale because of the lack of oxygen. As such, it’s ideal for bacteria and viruses, especially in colder weather when you’re more prone to getting sick.
The quality of air can also affect your cognitive abilities, but the most concerning issue is the high CO2 concentration levels caused by irregular air circulation. It can cause a number of problems, including shortness of breath, disorientation, drowsiness, and other unpleasant reactions that might get in the way of your productivity and general well-being.
2. Increased Humidity
Another effect of poor air ventilation is high humidity. You might think this isn’t a big issue, but heightened humidity levels increase the possibility of mold growth and infestation.
Some of the negative effects of living with mold include:
- Rashes – ranging from small itchy spots to open wounds, scars, and pigment changes;
- Breathing problems – inflammation that causes wheezing and labored breathing;
- Allergies – can cause coughing, asthma, or more serious issues;
- Irritated eyes and nose – swelling around the eyes and nose, vision problems, headaches;
- Lung diseases – may cause permanent scarring of the lung tissue;
- Cancer – mold spores can cause lung cancer indirectly.
3. Psychological Consequences
Taking care of your mental health is just as crucial as keeping track of your physical health. With how busy life can get, it’s easy to overlook the importance of good, quality sleep. This doesn’t only involve going to bed at a certain time or sleeping for a particular number of hours.
Your bedroom should be a safe and pleasant space where you can relax and doze off without any worries. In other words — there should be enough fresh air to oxygenate the brain. Otherwise, you could find yourself with numerous problems that will make your day-to-day life unbearable. These issues can range from small, irritating disturbances to serious consequences that may impact you in the long run.
Inability to Focus
Focus is necessary even for the smallest tasks and actions. The lack of alertness might result in lower work performance and silly mistakes that could’ve been easily avoided. Additionally, you might find yourself frequently losing and misplacing things, which can lead to frustration and irritability. You might also feel less present in social settings and appear distracted, unfriendly, or even unprofessional.
Temporary Memory Loss
Short-term memory loss is usually not a cause for concern. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not unpleasant. It can cause confusion and difficulty speaking or understanding speech, as well as put you in dangerous and unpleasant situations, such as forgetting to turn off the stove or missing an important appointment.
Studies have shown that not getting enough sleep can cause mental issues. One of the most common issues includes depression. While a lack of sleep isn’t likely to be the sole cause of depression, it can worsen your symptoms.
According to psychologists, sleep problems and anxiety are often connected. The constant worry and fear you may feel can make it harder to fall asleep, while the lack of sleep can only further worsen those feelings. This creates a cycle that can result in insomnia and other mental health issues.
4. Unpleasant Odor
While this issue isn’t as serious as the previously mentioned consequences of sleeping in a space with poor air ventilation, believe it or not, it can still affect the quality of your sleep!
Human bodies shouldn’t smell like fresh flowers. Even after a shower, it’s unlikely that you’ll be completely clean, and that’s only natural. Additionally, you might grab a quick meal and decide to eat it in your bedroom from time to time. This is all perfectly fine, we all do this at least once in a while. However, you must take into account that all of these smells gather and mix together.
If you don’t open the windows and doors and ventilate the air on a regular basis, these odors could make for a vicious combination. Naturally, falling asleep in such conditions can be next to impossible, so that leads us to sleeping issues — yet again.
5. Lack of Sleep
Last but certainly not the least important effect on this list is the lack of sleep itself. Sleep is an essential part of your life since you spend one-third of your day sleeping. For that reason, it’s important to sleep in adequate conditions. Aside from sound, light, or the position of your bed, air ventilation is also extremely important for the quality and longevity of your sleep.
Lack of sleep leads to issues such as:
- daytime sleepiness
It’s safe to assume that sleep deprivation can have detrimental and sometimes even life-threatening effects. Even though these problems might not be solved just by opening a window or two, providing air circulation can still ease them at least a little bit.
The Possible Solutions
Now that you’re aware of the serious effects sleeping in a closed room can have on your mental and physical health, what can you do to prevent, or at least lessen, these consequences?
One simple way to solve some of these issues could be to leave the windows and doors open while you aren’t in the room. You don’t even have to open them fully; rather, you can just leave the windows cracked!
Pro tip — try opening the door and windows simultaneously. That way, the fresh air will circulate more efficiently, and the room will air out much faster.
Another way to air out a room is by investing in air circulator fans. As the name suggests, these fans regulate the flow of air in a room. They’re not only suitable for air ventilation purposes, but they also regulate the temperature of the air, which is convenient during scorching hot summers.
Thankfully, there are also lots of readily available products that can help lower the humidity levels in your home. Some of them include air conditioners and humidifiers.
If poor air circulation has led to the growth of mold, you can try and get rid of it by yourself. Simple household ingredients, such as baking soda, vinegar, or even chlorine bleach, can effectively treat a small infestation. Baking soda is perhaps the safest option for you, your family, or your pets.
The steps to getting rid of mold with this ingredient are simple:
- Dissolve baking soda in water;
- Spray the mixture on the moldy area;
- Let it soak for a short while;
- Take a sponge and clean the affected surface lightly;
- Use clean water to rinse the wall;
- Lastly, spray the area one last time to ensure permanent results.
If you follow these tips, you should be able to notice an improvement in the air quality almost instantly.
You may also like to read: What Does Mold on a Mattress Look Like?
Living in an unventilated space can lead to several health issues. They can be mild, including fatigue, sore throats, and a runny nose. However, they can also be more serious, such as insomnia, lung problems, and even cancer.
Poor sleep quality due to sleeping in a closed room doesn’t only affect your physical health. It can have short-term or long-lasting psychological issues as well. For example, conditions like insomnia, memory loss, anxiety, and depression can cause bigger and more severe disorders.
There’s also the possibility of lower work quality and effectiveness, as well as frictions in personal relationships.
All of this can significantly reduce your quality of life. However, you can easily resolve some of these issues. Keeping your space well-ventilated requires only minor adjustments to your living habits.
Consider these ideas when moving into new spaces or renovating old ones:
- keep the windows open as much as possible
- use an oscillating fan
- avoid placing beds near doors as they can cut off air circulation
- keep carpets clean so they do not trap excess moisture
Remember, all these issues are easy to prevent. To avoid complications, you should regularly inspect the condition of your home and react in time with the necessary repairs. At the end of the day, you are the one living and spending most of your days in that space, so if you don’t ensure its safety, who will?