Are you getting good sleep at night?
Do you wake up in the morning feeling rested, refreshed, de-stressed and ready to give your best to the new day?
If you are like so many Canadians today, you probably answered, “Not really.”
Maybe some nights you get good sleep, but even then, you probably still aren’t getting nearly enough of it.
And perhaps you have already tried to make adjustments to increase the number of sleep hours you get each night or the quality of those sleep hours, but nothing you do really seems to be working.
Here, it could be that you just haven’t located the real source of the problem yet. Read on to learn about an important study linking sleep quality to indoor air quality!
Canadians Are Sleep-Deprived!
Sleep is so important! Researchers now understand things about why we sleep and what sleep does for us that that were previously unknown.
During your sleep hours, the body repairs itself. The mind reorganizes, processes, downloads and deletes to clear itself. The impact on our physical and mental health of not getting enough sleep, or enough high-quality sleep, can literally shorten our life.
Unfortunately, this is not good news for Canada, which in 2016 was labelled the “third most sleep-deprived nation” in the world.
According to the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, we also know that one-third of all Canadian men are sleep-deprived. The same holds true for an estimated one-third of Canadian youth.
For Canadian women, the news is even worse. A full 55 percent of all Canadian women report being chronically sleep-deprived.
What about the sleep hours we do get? Are those hours at least refreshing and rejuvenating?
Not to hear survey participants tell it. Unfortunately, nearly half of Canadians report that the sleep they do manage to get isn’t refreshing and that they are drowsy during much of the day as a result.
What Contributes to Poor Quality Sleep & Not Enough Sleep?
So what is it that is interfering with our ability to get enough sleep and get good-quality sleep?
There are a variety of factors, many of which are now becoming mainstream knowledge.
Screen time is a big culprit, as is eating or drinking the wrong things too close to bedtime. Stress, health issues, using the bedroom as a satellite office, lack of exercise and other factors run rampant.
A bad mattress or pillow, inappropriate lighting, snoring partners, ambient noise and other issues can also interfere with sleep.
But there is one thing almost no one mentions that may just hold the key to improving sleep duration and quality: indoor air quality.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a nationwide survey in which up to 98 percent of respondents (71 to 98 percent depending on participant ethnicity) highlighted the importance of a clean bedroom and pure, allergen-free indoor air in the bedroom.
Clean, pure, fresh indoor air—could this be the reason you are not getting the great sleep you need to look and feel your best while you are awake? Let’s find out!
What Happens When Your Indoor Air Is Toxic
Between commute times, work and home time, the typical Canadian adult spends up to 90 percent indoors—and some of us spend less than five minutes a day outside!
Add to it that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report stating that our indoor air can be up to five times more toxic than the air outside.
This means that the quality of our indoor air is that much more critical to our health and well-being… and to our quality of sleep.
When the air we are breathing is toxic, what happens? Harvard University researchers decided to study this issue and discovered that exposure to toxic indoor air can trigger a whole menu of health issues ranging from cardiovascular disruption to systemic inflammation, sleep apnea, allergies, asthma and other sleep-time breathing problems.
Increases in indoor air pollution were linked to low blood-oxygen levels and breathing issues that disrupted sleep or even prevented sleep.
Respiratory inflammation and central nervous system malfunction are also linked to poor sleep quality, as airborne particulate matter makes its way up the sinuses and straight into the brain.
How to Improve Your Indoor Air Quality
What can you do to remedy indoor air quality issues that may be impacting your health and preventing restful sleep?
Researchers discovered that simply running a home air purifier could reduce airborne particulate matter as much as 82 percent.
Running your air conditioner or heater is another strategy researchers recommend to filter out airborne toxins through the furnace filter.
Something simple, affordable and immediately effective you can do today to begin improving your indoor air quality is to add houseplants to your indoor décor (you may just want to scan through this popular post for ideas on the best houseplants for this job).
Adequate indoor air ventilation is also key to keeping your night-time air oxygen-rich and carbon dioxide-poor. One study highlighted how much better sleep study participants rested when a ventilation system was installed in their bedroom.
Finally, research has proved that indoor air duct cleaning can be key to removing recirculating particulates such as dust mites, pet dander, mould and mildew, pollen, tobacco residue and other sleep-interrupting toxins.
Your Indoor Air Quality Help List
For ventilation, you won’t find better than the heat recovery ventilator (HRV), an appliance so essential it is now mandatory for new-construction homes in Toronto.
Indoor air duct cleaning typically takes less than half a day and leaves your air ducts cleaned and sanitized.
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