You have to envy Sleeping Beauty. She was able to get a hundred years of uninterrupted deep sleep. Of course, she was in a forest, surrounded by lots of greenery and fresh air. Clean air is something we all take for granted, even though air quality conditions can range in Alaska.
The air you breathe inside your home has its own kind of pollution. It may contain particles from formaldehyde, radon, ammonia, cleaning solutions, pet dander, and of course, dust.
Dust mites and mold are major allergens. Even if you don’t have pets, you may carry pet dander into your house by being near others who have furry family members. When you’re out in public, you're exposed to different kinds of allergens every day.
While good sleep hygiene is important, it’s just as crucial to pay attention to the cleanliness inside your home.
Carpets and rugs are full of allergens. Some have been there since before the day you moved in! Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters reduce toxins, dust mites, pet dander, and pollen.
Along with filters, strong suction and rotating brushes help keep dirt from being blown out in the exhaust. Use your vacuum wand on upholstered furniture, carpet edges, and dusty walls. Vacuum two or three times a week and wash out the filter as needed.
Swishing a mop on solid floors helps to keep dust from floating into the air. Soaps and cleaners aren’t necessary; plain water will do. Microfiber mops and dust cloths are available at your local marketplace.
3. Floor Mats
Because you track in all sorts of dirt on your shoes, and sometimes chemicals from outside, it’s a good idea to put a large floor mat at every door. Mats cut down on the amount of dirt and pesticides that get into your home.
It’s a good idea to change furnace and air filters often. You may also want to clean out the vents and ducts in the house, especially if there's visible mold, dust, and debris flowing into rooms. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests you read the pros and cons of duct cleaning before hiring anyone to do the work.
5. Sweet-Smelling Plants
Plants are a perfect way to freshen up the air. The money tree plant, jasmine, lavender, and peace lilies filter toxins from the air.
The mother-in-law tongue plant is better known as “the bedroom plant,” because it converts CO2 to oxygen at night. Aloe vera and snake plants also emit oxygen at night as they filter trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon dioxide.
Dust mites, mildew, mold, and bacteria thrive when the air is moist and humid, especially inside. Keep relative humidity levels of your home at less than 60 percent. Any higher, and you may see condensation on your windows.
Dehumidifiers reduce indoor air moisture and control allergens. Exhaust fans also control moisture that occurs from running the dishwasher, bathing, and cooking.
Other tips that can help? Vent the clothes dryer to the outside, fix leaky plumbing, empty drop pans from air conditioners, and don’t overwater the houseplants.
7. No Smoking!
Secondhand cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke contain more than 4,000 chemicals that float through the air. Smoking increases the risks of asthma, cancer, and breathing problems. Smoke settles into upholstery, bedding, carpeting, and clothing — and it never really goes away.
Smokers should find outdoor areas to puff away ... but not in the car. If you want to breathe better, clear out your lungs and improve your health. Talk to your doctor about support groups, nicotine replacement therapy, and other methods of quitting smoking.
8. Reduce Synthetic Scents
The pine and citrus aromas of household cleaners aren’t real. They’re added to cleaning formulas to keep the true smell of chemicals from disturbing your nose.
When you spray household cleaners on a kitchen countertop, you can see and smell the particles floating through the air. Hello, sneezing fit!
Synthetic fragrances in air fresheners aren’t cleaning the air, they're masking unpleasant odors. Replace chemical cleaners with eco-friendly products and natural scents.
10. Air Cleaners
Air cleaners clear out pollen, spores, and dust, but only if the units are clean and work properly. Air cleaners filter particles floating through the air, but not on furniture and solid surfaces.
Still, depending on the size and type of unit, cleaners can suck in allergens as they recycle the air. Two types of air cleaners are on the market; those mounted to furnaces that cover the entire house, and portable ones to place in single rooms.
Keep the Air in Your Home Clean and Fresh
Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products and filling your home with greenery will improve its air quality. The aroma of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies couldn’t hurt, either.
Thanks to our tips, you can create ideal conditions in the bedroom for a comfortable pastime and a pleasant sleep. A night of healthy sleep will help improve immunity, get a supply of energy and a good mood for the whole day.
There are many reasons why people don't get the quantity or the quality sleep that they need. If your sleep problems are a consistent issue, call Alaska Sleep Clinic today @ 907-770-9104 and speak with one of our board-certified sleep specialists. Our free consultation will get you on the right track to improving your sleep and your life.
About the Author: Karen Hasket is a yoga instructor, Alaska native and freelance writer who can’t imagine living anywhere else. She’ll occasionally venture to Seattle to visit friends, but is always eager to return home.