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Last Updated on April 15, 2024

Why Does Fresh Air Make You Tired & Helps You Sleep Better?

image of our writer Filip Maric

Written By Filip

Sleep Advisor

Featured image for Why does fresh air make you tired.
If we got a penny every time we heard the advice – get some fresh air… Well, that made us dig deeper into its benefits. However, we only found new questions like – why does fresh air make you tired?

Don't worry, you're not here for nothing. We found out what is hidden behind such tips and prepared answers to all your questions! Let's finally find out what that fresh air can do.

Maybe now you are thinking – where can I find fresh air in the bustling city? Well, there is definitely an enigma about fresh air, and we are ready to solve it for you. Even in the city, there is something magical about taking a deep breath of fresh air that helps us fall asleep. Therefore, it gives us a sense of calmness and tranquillity. Plus body temperature naturally drops in cool bedroom environment, full of fresh air.

However, there are still many hidden secrets of the great outdoors and its influence on our mind, body, and sleep patterns. To begin preparation for good night's sleep, let's find out what fresh air makes us tired.

Oxygen and Sleep Quality: Why Does Fresh Air Make You Tired?

An image of a woman enjoying a clear sky.

What is the first thing you feel when you let fresh air into a room or go outside? Yes, a cooling and relaxing sensation – that's exactly what we have in mind! When you think about it, we sleep best when we feel that way. And the gentle breeze not only brings immediate refreshment but also affects the self-regulation of the temperature. Such a sensation is a consequence of the action of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the primary energy source for cells.

In this way, the brain has enough material to consolidate memories, process information and performs important maintenance tasks. But there are often big challenges like sleep apnea. This disrupts normal breathing and makes it difficult to fall asleep. That's why your body loves oxygen, it prevents respiratory issues and ensures healthy breathing patterns during sleep.

Lack of oxygen also causes frequent awakenings at night, and sometimes cardiovascular problems are the main culprit. How does it relate to fresh air? It's simple – your heart needs to function, which means you need it constantly. Otherwise, you risk health problems such as high blood pressure, one of the main enemies of quality sleep.

Indoor Air Pollution: A Silent Sleep Saboteur

An image of a white window on a yellow wall.

Indoor air pollution is much more dangerous than you think. We often underestimate its negative impact on sleep quality. Here's a short reminder so that it doesn't happen to you:

  • Respiratory discomfort.
  • Sleep-disrupting allergies.
  • Chemical irritation.
  • Disrupted circadian rhythm.
  • Poor indoor air quality.
  • Sleep-disrupting odors.

Don't worry, there is a solution. Actually, several of them: proper ventilation, regular cleaning and air purifiers. You're welcome!

Common Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

The main sources of air pollutants are more or less the same in all parts of the world. However, pollution intensity also depends on your home's conditions. We all love the smell of cleanliness, which is why we resort to air fresheners. Do you know that they can do more harm than good? Yes, this product is one of the potential contaminants. They don't even neutralize the smell, they just mask it while containing a large percentage of toxins.

The quality of the interior space can be damaged by appliances and devices that burn fuels, such as gas stoves or fireplaces. You all know about the harmful effects of tobacco, but certain building materials can also release volatile organic compounds over time. Many household cleaning products such as bleach and aerosol sprays contain harmful ingredients (ammonia, chlorine, and VOCs).

We must not forget mould and moisture problems resulting from water leaks or inadequate ventilation. If you have pets, you should be aware of allergens that can trigger allergies and asthma. However, dust mites, dander, pollen and cockroach droppings can have the same effect.

The Detrimental Effects of Indoor Air Pollution on Sleep

We hope we haven't scared you with information about pollutants in your home. You probably won't sleep well tonight if the damage is already done. Who should you be afraid of? We are talking about the main enemy of your dreamland – Indoor Air Pollution.

Let's get rid of it once and for all. All you have to do is let fresh air fill your living room. Then the magic happens – you won't have to worry about disrupted respiratory functions, allergic reactions, increased sleep fragmentation, sleep-disordered breathing or circadian rhythm disruption. Yes, you guessed right. These are the consequences of Indoor Air Pollution that disturb your sleep.

The Benefits of Fresh Air

An image of a woman smiling.

What do you achieve with fresh air? To begin with, you will relieve asthma symptoms and prevent respiratory problems. But that's not all, because your mental state can also benefit. So you get a clean environment (read: chemical-free), contributing to better over-being health. Find out how below.

Increased Oxygen Levels

Blood oxygen level is the amount of oxygen circulating in the blood. Normal blood oxygen levels vary between 75 and 100 mm Hg. On the other hand, a blood oxygen level below 60 mm Hg is considered low and often requires supplementation. Of course, everything depends on the doctor's decision and the individual case. Such a condition is called hypoxemia, which causes:

However, some health conditions, such as asthma and congenital heart disease, can contribute to these factors. And now, let's get to the point – how fresh air increases the oxygen level. In addition to the anti-hypoxic effect, fresh air raises the body's defence ability by increasing the activity of the immune system!

Removal of Airborne Pollutants

Yes, cleaning the air is a little more challenging than cleaning the mattress. However, that doesn't mean it's impossible. In order to always breathe fresh air, follow the next few steps.

So, these are some of the ways to remove airborne pollutants. What do they all have in common? Each of these methods encourages fresh air circulation, effectively removing airborne pollutants. That's the trick! But, first, identify the specific pollutants present in your indoor environment.

Psychological and Relaxation Effects of Fresh Air

An image of a happy girl.

Shortness of breath is one of the symptoms of lack of fresh air, but also anxiety. Do you see the connection between accumulated stress and oxygen? There is definitely a connection. For example, abdominal breathing can instantly help overcome stress, which involves alternating inhalations and exhalations for a few seconds.

Yoga and meditation work similarly, and other physical activities are also welcome. However, the purity of the air we breathe is more important than technique. When talking about fresh air, you will feel psychological and relaxation effects. Let's find out why that is.

Biophilia: A Natural Path to Relaxation

A literal translation would be: “love of nature”. Yes, from contact with plants and animals to enjoying daylight and smells. Then you guess what it means in the wellness interior design concept. Just in case, we'll explain. Regularly letting fresh air circulate in your home will make you feel much better and more motivated. How?

Fresh air, combined with other elements of biophilic design, reduces blood pressure, improves the heart muscle's work, promotes productivity, improves concentration and creative processes, and is excellent for relaxation. Contact with nature is an excellent way to relieve stress in urbanism spaces. In this way, you restore mental, emotional and health balance.

Circadian Rhythm Regulation

Our body's internal clock is responsible for regulating various physiological processes. Do you ever wonder – who is in charge of it? Well, there is no one answer, but we know for sure what affects it – fresh air. This environment plays a crucial role in regulating your circadian rhythm. Yes, it is a powerful tool for synchronizing your internal clock, specifically with the light-dark cycle.

You know that day-night game? Our brain works according to this principle; only sometimes we can confuse it. For example, when we are exposed to artificial light for a long time before going to bed. Then to promote alertness and wakefulness, you need melatonin – a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Speaking of melatonin, fresh air plays a big part in its production.

Its influence is especially strong in the evening when it is combined with reduced exposure to artificial light sources (screens or bright indoor lighting). On the other hand, you can work on your internal clock in the morning as well. Take advantage of that great part of the day, expose yourself to natural light and pure oxygen. This will help your body understand when it is time to wake up and be active and when to rest.

Fresh Air Tips for Better Sleep

An image of a woman standing outside.

You toss and turn on the bed because you can't fall asleep and you first think that you have to buy a new mattress. Okay, sometimes you really need to change the surface you sleep on, because this is the most common cause of poor sleep. But before that, ask yourself – when was the last time you opened your bedroom window? That's right, it can be the solution to sleepless nights, but there's more.

Open Windows and Doors

A lower level of carbon dioxide in the bedroom means greater sleep depth, sleep efficiency, and fewer awakenings during the night. If you didn't know it, here it is – a cooler room makes for a better nighttime environment. The optimal sleeping environment is between 18 and 19.5 degrees Celsius.

At these temperatures, our body temperature remains “thermally neutral”, meaning body does not have to do anything to regulate heat. We must not forget about the harmful influence of moisture. Well, what are you waiting for? Open your windows and doors! It's the fastest way to fill your room with fresh air and flush out toxins.

Outdoor Sleep Environment

Nature sounds – apps are a real lifesaver for many who struggle with sleep. When we think about it, it's not just about listening. You know how good it feels if you have ever spent at least 2 hours in nature.

In fact, images of trees help us relax and calm our minds. Our environment seems to have a great influence on us. Well, no app can beat the authentic sounds of nature. Therefore, it would not be bad to experience sleeping in such an environment.

But before that, choose a safe and comfortable location. You should look for a dry surface with no sharp objects, or potential insect nests. Also, get a tent or sleeping system and you're good to go.

Houseplants for Improved Indoor Air Quality

Indoor plants are an excellent way to decorate your room and also improve your sleep. And now comes the most common question – is it good to keep plants in the bedroom?

Some people perceive them as creatures with two personalities – during the day they are heroes who create oxygen, and at night they suffocate us with carbon dioxide. Creepy! You have no reason to believe such stories because plants actually absorb much less oxygen than you think.

Also, plants like Sansevieria release oxygen during the night. In addition, we recommend Jasmine, Lavender, Valerian, Gardenia and Green Lily, which are known for their relaxing effect.

Conclusion

If you haven't thought about the level of oxygen you're exposed to – it's time to start. Think of it like a cup of your favourite coffee that wakes you up from your sleepy state. But breathing fresh air is much more than that. On the one hand, it can boost energy levels during the day, while preparing us for a better night's sleep.

One of the reasons is the absence of indoor pollutants and allergens due to air exchange. When you add exposure to natural light, you'll establish better control over your circadian rhythm. Overall, you will get a more consistent sleep-wake pattern and a better mood.

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