How Air Purifiers Can Help You Sleep Better: Benefits Explained!

air purifier for a better sleep

Are you struggling to get a good night’s sleep, or perhaps you’re exploring options to improve your sleep? Whatever be the case, you might want to consider investing in an air purifier. The quality of the air you breathe can significantly impact your ability to sleep soundly, and air purifiers help you sleep better by removing these allergens and other pollutants from the air.

In this post, we will take a closer look at the science behind air purifiers and their impact on sleep. We will also discuss some of the benefits of using an air purifier while sleeping.

Medical disclaimer: This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for proffesional medical advice

What is an Air Purifier?

An air purifier is an electrical device that helps refresh and clean the stale air in a room by removing airborne pollutants and allergens. These devices are becoming increasingly popular in homes and offices, as they can help improve air quality and reduce the risk of respiratory problems. Air purifiers work by drawing in dirty air and passing it through a series of filters (HEPA, Fibreglass or Pleated) to remove contaminants. The filtered and sanitised air is then released back into the room, significantly improving the air quality and leaving the space feeling fresh and clean. High-quality air purifiers can weed out up to 99.8% of particulate matter (PM), thus immediately impacting the air you breathe.

Why Breathing Clean Air is Important for Sleep?

Whether outdoors or inside, air pollution can lead to adverse impacts on your health. Long-term and short-term exposure to dirty air can lead to respiratory complications. Exposure to pollutants may lead to increased chances of lung disease, aggravated asthma, or developing acute and recurring conditions that impact your daily life. Aiming to reduce the amount of airborne pollution is critical for health. And while we can’t impact the outdoors, it makes it even more important to maintain clean air within our homes.

Breathing in clean air has many benefits: cleaner lungs, improved skin appearance, improved digestion, better mood. The cherry on top is better and more normalised sleeping patterns. And with sleep deprivation costing the Australian economy roughly $66 billion a year in adverse health effects, it could help save you some money as well.

The Benefits of Sleeping with an Air Purifier

  1. One of the primary benefits of using an air purifier while you sleep is that it can help to reduce the allergens such as bacteria, fungi, dust mites, pollen, animal dander or mold in the air. Allergens can often cause problems such as sneezing, nasal congestion, sinus headaches and itchy eyes, making it difficult to get a restful night’s sleep. Indoor sources of contaminants in the air can come from various origins, from burning candles, using stoves or finding their way inside from the outdoors. By reducing the allergens in the air, an air purifier can help to alleviate these symptoms and allow you to sleep more peacefully.

  2. Another benefit of an air purifier is that it can help relieve asthma symptoms. Contaminated air is one of the triggers for asthma, and an air purifier helps remove such pollutants from the air, allowing you to breathe cleaner air. This can lead to a more restful night’s sleep and improved overall health.

     

  3. Neutralises foul odors: Air purifiers may help tackle moldy odor or other common smells like cooking or pets. Some air purifiers have built-in activated carbon, which is more effective to neutralise the pungent and chemical odor. That said, Air purifiers aren’t effective against all types of odor and won’t make your home completely odor-free.

     

  4. There is some evidence that air purifiers may help with snoring. Exposure to unclean or polluted air can irritate the upper air tract, which is often the trigger for snoring. Air purifiers remove harmful pollutants and allergens and may help to reduce snoring.

     

  5. Produces white or pink noise: When air purifiers operate, they make ambient noise, similar to white noise, which is known to help with sleep. In a higher-quality purifier, the sound is usually lesser, and some even come with an in-built pink noise machine, while the cheaper ones tend to be a bit loud. So white or pink noises are an inadvertent benefit of using an air purifier.

     

  6. Finally, with the reduced pollutants, the chances of skin irritation or inflammation reduce as well. So you may end up sleeping calmly, free from any distraction.

Science Signals Better Sleep with Air Purifiers

There have been plenty of studies that show how clean air impacts humans and the benefits that air purifiers provide. A study by Du et al. was able to show the power of an air filter in reducing the amount of particulate matter in the air. They found that introducing air filters in a child’s bedroom with asthma would lead to a 69%-80% reduction in the particulate matter that caused a decrease in respiratory health [1]. Another study by HK Park et al. looked at the impacts air purifiers had on the health outcomes of children with allergic diseases in Fresno, California. They also found that after 12 weeks, the active group with air purifiers showed a trend towards improving childhood asthma. The control group showed deterioration in the same areas [2].  

Particulate matter is unavoidable. Our air contains all manner of microscopic particles. The size of these particles is directly linked to the potential for adverse health reactions. That is why having a high-quality air filter is super important. Small particles less than 10 micrometres will give you the most significant problems. This is because they can get further along with your bloodstream. To combat this, look into a HEPA-certified air purifier. They remove any airborne particles with a size of 0.3-10 microns at 99% accuracy. Remember that all air purifiers will need routine cleaning and monitoring to work at their peak performance.

Are Air Purifiers Safe to Use with Pets?

If you have pets in your family, you understand how they can impact air quality. Whether it’s with allergens, or the smell coming from the litterbox, pets can disrupt the air quality in your home. It’s no surprise that humans love their pets, but that reduction in air quality can lead to a higher health risk. 

Even more than that, owning pets has shown that it increases mood and many other benefits, so pairing them with an air purifier is an easy choice. “Pet dander”, tiny pieces of skin that shed alongside the animal, can enter the air in your home. In a study by Sulser et al.,  the sham portable air filters (ones without filters) were compared to HEPA portable air cleaners (PRACs) in 36 asthmatic children sensitised to cats or dogs [3]. The study showed a significant reduction in nocturnal symptoms, including a reduction in the symptoms of a stuffy nose in the HEPA air filter group.

 

Most air filters are safe for pets except the ones with ionisers. Air filters help your furry friends breathe cleaner air and are good at filtering animal dander and odors, which may allow you to rest more comfortably.

Is it Safe to Sleep with an Air Purifier On All Night?

There have always been rumours circulating that sleeping with a fan, or an air purifier, can lead to fatal consequences. However, there is no evidence that sleeping with an Air purifier is unsafe.

That being said, there are things to consider when leaving your air purifier running at night. One aspect is that the continual moving of air through the filter will cause moisture in the room to evaporate faster. With the evaporation of moisture comes the removal of heat with it. If your room happens to be hot and humid, this would be great if you wanted to keep it cooler overall. If it’s already cold and dry, an air purifier will exacerbate it. Making sure that the air purifier doesn’t blow directly in your direction is one way to lessen the impact of dryness you may experience. There are no safety concerns when leaving an air purifier running all night; the only thing to consider is your comfort regarding the temperature or dryness of your environment.

One possible downside of running the Air purifier all day is the increased electricity bill. If you are concerned about the cost of running an air purifier all night, you can always try leaving it on for a few hours and see how you feel.

What’s the best place to put an Air Purifier?

Suppose you’re wondering where the best place to put an air purifier in your home is. In that case, it’s recommended to put it in your bedroom. The benefits of an air purifier in a bedroom outweigh other places in your house because humans spend a third of their lives sleeping. Not only is it safe to keep on at all times, but it will also lead to improved sleep. We’ve gone through all the benefits of having an air purifier running in your home. Having a clean and healthy air space to end your day is imperative to restful sleep.

James Lee

James Lee

James is the content director at WhatASleep, a certified sleep science coach from Spencer Institute and our in-house sleep product expert. Over three years, he's personally tested hundreds of mattresses. He likes to keep his reviews simple, objective, and straightforward so that the readers don't have to go through decision fatigue which is often the case while shopping for sleep products.

He hails from Sydney and has a journalism degree from the University of Queensland and an MBA from Melbourne Business School.

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