Should You Sleep With the Window Open?

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Sleeping with the window open is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The fresh air coming in reminds one of a cool winter night, almost Shakespearean in nature.

But, is sleeping with the window open recommended for everyone? Is there a better way to improve your sleep quality?

Photo of a woman sleeping in bed

Sleeping with the window open is beneficial to most people since it can improve the air quality in your home, help your body reach a cool temperature, and give you a more restful sleep. However, sleeping with the windows open should be reserved for people without pre-existing medical problems or allergies.

Benefits of Sleeping with the Window Open

First and foremost, let’s discuss the many benefits of leaving your windows open at night.

Whether it’s the simple act of letting in the fresh air to relaxation, there are various reasons to leave your bedroom windows open!

1. Improved Health Benefits

Photo of a woman stretching while sitting on a bed in front of window

Now, more than ever, protecting oneself from the novel coronavirus is of the utmost importance.

Did you know that something as simple as leaving your windows open at night can help reduce your chances of catching coronavirus? It’s true!

The Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, issued a public health message to inform the public to keep their bedroom windows open to reduce airborne transmission of the virus.

Keeping windows open ensures your home is receiving good ventilation and helps:

  • Reduce the concentration of germs and viruses in the air
  • Helps reduce airborne transmission and transmission from surfaces
  • Helps circulate and get rid of other airborne particles in your home like dust mites and other build-ups
  • Reduce carbon dioxide levels in your indoor air

All of these can help your risk of catching coronavirus when combined with other safe practices.

In addition, opening windows in your home can also lead to overall better air quality and reduced carbon dioxide levels and moisture levels inside your home. 

Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality, which can be caused by keeping the windows shut, has a myriad of negative health effects, including:

  • Capacity to trigger asthma or allergy attacks
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Eye irritation
  • Nose and throat irritation

2. Improved Sleep Benefits

Photo of an opened window with curtains near a bed

If you’ve already slept with the window open At least once in your life, then you know just how relaxing of an experience it can be.

The fresh air can help you breathe better and get deeper sleep. This is because cold air can help lower the temperature inside your room. 

Studies have shown that high humidity levels actually increase awakeness, on top of being incredibly uncomfortable.

On the contrary, having an open window allows the body to be cool, which actually helps improve sleep and is the perfect way to help people with insomnia get the good night’s sleep they deserve.

In addition to cold air helping you fall asleep, open windows also produce natural white noise.

Instead of spending money on a white noise machine, you can simply practice keeping windows open and letting in all the beautiful white noise like crickets, rustling wind, and rain. 

The white noise produced from an open window can also help you meditate when you’re trying to sink slowly into a deep and restful sleep. 

3. Spiritual Reasons to Leave Windows Open 

Photo of a woman stnding by the window on daylight

In some cultures, an open window allows much more than fresh air to enter your room. In the Dutch tradition, leaving windows open can help a spirit transfer into the afterlife, and can help welcome heavenly spirits. 

For people that have recently had loved ones pass on, leaving your bedroom window open can be a comforting practice.

Potential Problems From Keeping the Bedroom Window Open

Although there are many health benefits and sleep benefits to keeping windows open, there can be potential negative side effects as well.

Below are some things to keep in mind if you’re contemplating keeping your windows shut or open.

Can The Cold Air Make you Sick?

image of a dim bedroom with microbe-looking floating on air

We know that a build-up of carbon dioxide in your living space can make you sick, but what about cold air entering your home?

According to the American Heart Association, the winter season is associated with viruses because:

  • Viruses can reproduce more easily in the cold
  • The cold temperature has been shown to lower a person’s immune system strength
  • Cold air means people spend more time indoors, exposing themselves to others, especially in a small living space or small home

However, in the end, it’s the viruses, not the temperature of your bedroom, that contribute to you getting sick. Keeping your home clean can help prevent the spread of viruses.

How Cold Is Too Cold?

Image of a living room with French door and a room thermometer attached on the wall

On the other hand, it’s important to note that older individuals and those with pre-existing medical conditions might have negative health effects from open windows at night.

In particular, the increase in blood pressure can lead to stroke and heart attacks, which is why it’s recommended to never let your bedroom go down below 10 degrees Celsius.

This is equal to roughly 50 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The optimal temperature for your bedroom should be between 60 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower than this can be uncomfortable and disrupt your sleep schedule.

How To Handle Allergies

Phot of a woman holding her nose while in the bed with a glass of water near her.

Some people might wake up with a sore throat and headache after leaving the windows open at night. Cool air does have a tendency to consist of dry air, especially during the wintertime.

Colder air can trigger allergies and other symptoms such as mucus buildup.

It’s recommended people with these issues invest in a humidifier, which can help improve their quality of sleep and overall health!

When To Avoid Sleeping With the Bedroom Window Open

Photo showing image of a burglar looking person, a street with cars and a branches with leaves

Although you can get better sleep with your windows open, and it can help increase the ventilation rate inside your room, there are certain reasons you should keep the windows shut. These include:

1. Safety issues. If keeping your window open at night puts you at risk of a crime, such as robbery, it’s best to explore other ways to improve your sleep quality and overall health.

You can also invest in bars to place over your window if you sleep on the floor level, or windows with secure screens, so you can still get the health benefits and sufficient airflow without putting your safety at risk.

2. Excessive Noise. From people bickering, to car horns, barking dogs from the neighbor, ambulances, and police cars, living in an urban area can be a noisy experience.

If you’re unable to get a good night’s sleep with the window open, feel free to keep the windows shut and instead buy a white noise machine.

3. Excessive allergens. Although allergens in the air are more prevalent during the daytime, they can still be present at night.

If leaving the window open at night triggers your allergies, speak with your doctor about medication that can help control your allergies. This can help improve your overall quality of health and life too.

Where is the Best Place to Open Windows?

Photo of an open window from a higher place in the house

If you’re worried about intruders entering your home, you should leave any ground floor windows that aren’t in your immediate line of sight closed (such as those in basements).

However, you can still get good ventilation and even health benefits from keeping your top floor level windows open.

Warm air tends to rise to the top, meaning the top floor of your home is generally the warmest area of the home.

Opening up the windows on the top floor will help warm air exit your home and create a cooling effect in the rest of your home as well.

If you’re taking a cat nap during a cool day, you can also practice opening doors and see if this is a better option to help you get great sleep.

Remember, everyone’s room is different, so try out different areas to see which is the best place to keep your windows open and improve your sleep.

Other Ways to Get Restful Sleep

Besides keeping your bedroom window open, there are other ways to get restful sleep if you must keep your windows closed at night.

You can use these in combination with your cool room or as a way to improve your overall quality of sleep.

  1. Set a sleeping schedule. Humans are creatures of habit, and setting a sleep schedule can help your body get used to the feeling of winding down.
  2. Meditate. Watching a YouTube meditation video might be all that’s needed to get you to feel sleepy. Meditation is also an excellent way to relax and unwind!
  3. Turn off electronics before bed. You don’t want your mind active before heading to bed, so turn off that tablet, put down your phone, and focus on drifting off to sleep.
  4. Get rid of excess noise by soundproofing or blacking out your room with curtains.
  5. Stay away from caffeine late at night. This might seem pretty obvious, but there are other foods that might contain caffeine that you might not know about.These include dark chocolate, tea, soft drinks, and refreshers that are commonly sold in the supermarket.

Final Thoughts

Although the EPA considers keeping the windows open as critical to public health as hand washing, it is still a personal preference.

From lowering the amount of carbon dioxide in the air, to keeping you get the best sleep and helping you live in good health, open windows might just be one of life’s greatest (and most beneficial) pleasures!


Image showing an open window near a bed with text overlay that reads Should You Sleep With the Window Open

About Emma

Hey there! I'm Emma. When I'm not wrangling kids I like to walk aimlessly around hardware stores and watch HGTV for hours on end.