Watch out for indoor air pollution!

Happy family in living room

Unfortunately, closing the windows will not keep you completely protected from pollution. Various sources of pollution can disrupt the sleep. All of them adversely affect sleep and, consequently, worsen sleep apnea. Let’s make a list and deal with them!

Indoor air pollution:

Indoor air is filled with chemical substances both from building and cleaning our “home sweet home”. We breathe them all in over time: solvents, degreasers, sanitizers, paint, adhesives, cosmetics, plastics… Several chemical products that permeate the inside air have been identified as toxic.
The exact connections between air pollution and sleep disorders are not clear and many factors may be at work. Chemical pollution in the indoor air may affect the brain and cause problems in the central nervous system. It is also believed that these pollutants can lead to inflammation of the airway, which may be blocked more easily when sleeping because the soft tissues in the back of the throat collapse during the night.(1)
The best course of action is to air every room for at least 15 minutes each day. Even if a sleep apnea patient sleeps with their CPAP mask, too much pollution in the air can cause disorders and tiredness, leading to sleep apnea.

Sound pollution:

Whereas soothing music will help you fall asleep, other noises can be more of a nightmare. Check your CPAP mask to make sure there aren’t any air leaks. Turn off every electrical device before you go to bed, including your computer. Don’t leave your watch near your ears if you don’t want to be disturbed by the ticking sounds of the hands. Remember not to use the washer/dryer late at night and close the blinds or curtains to really block out interference from your surroundings…

Light pollution:

Some people won’t be able to fall asleep until it is completely dark in the room. If your partner suffers from sleep apnea, remember that a single light can encourage the secretion of serotonin. This hormone is also called the hormone of the sun, whereas melatonin is the hormone of the night. As you may know, a bad sleep usually means more breathing pauses for sleep apnea sufferers. So turn off all the electronic devices you can, without using the stand-by mode, and use opaque curtains if necessary.

Electronic pollution:

More and more people prefer to switch off their electricals, including Wi-Fi, mobile devices and mobile phones when they go to sleep. If it works for them, it may work for you too… So isn’t it worth a try?

Time for bed! Did you air your room today? Are the curtains closed? Is it calm, dark and stress-free? Take a deep breath and sleep tight. You’re ready for a good rest tonight.

(1) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/environment-womens-health.html

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