Summer is here: People stay out later, sleep less, and feel less energized in the morning. However, there is a solution to this.
A recent study of 40 subjects found that opening the bedroom window at night can help improve sleep, as well as improving cognitive skills. This is because fresh air, which improves a room’s ventilation, helps one sleep better. This could explain why people who slept with the window open did better on cognitive skill tests the next day.
Researchers recruited people who were willing to have their sleep tracked for two weeks. The participants slept as usual for the first week. For the second week, they were asked to open their window and bedroom door if they were closed, or to close them if they were usually open.
Sleeping with open window improves sleep quality
The study found that when people slept with the window open, they slept for much longer and made significantly fewer errors on a three-minute test of their thinking skills.
The study’s author, Dr. Pawel Wargocki from the Technical University of Denmark, said that a bedroom’s air quality might affect cognitive abilities like concentration, comprehension and reaction time.
The study, published in the journal Building and Environment, showed results from 29 bedrooms where people opened or closed their doors or windows from one week to the next, so the indoor air quality changed significantly.
When people slept with the window open, they reported being less sleepy during mornings and evenings. In addition, 87% of people reported sleeping soundly with the window open, compared to 70% when the window was closed.
The study, conducted between September and December 2020, suggests that opening the bedroom door may not improve air quality enough to increase sleep. Sleep duration wasn’t seen to be affected when people kept the bedroom door open.
A much larger study is needed to confirm the study’s results, but these results follow a previous small study involving members of the same research team who suggested that opening the bedroom window also reduces snoring – and that’s definitely good news.