There is evidence that the quality of air you breathe at night plays an important role in the quality of sleep you get. In fact, a study by the Harvard School of Public Health found that air pollution significantly increases the risk of a group of disorders known as Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB).
Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common of this group of sleep disorders, refers to abnormal pauses in breathing or, in some cases, abnormally weak breathing. Body weight, gender, age and other factors all affect the risk of SDB. The use of alcohol, tobacco and other substances can also increase its occurrence. In its “State of the Lung Disease in Diverse Communities 2010″ report, the American Lung Association estimated that as many as 12 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea.
The Harvard study found that as the presence of air pollution increased, so also did problems breathing during sleep. The risk of stopped breathing for at least 10 seconds increased by 13% in summer months when pollution levels were also elevated. Although the direct causal relationship between the air pollution and the sleep disorders was unclear, the association between the two was established. Lead researcher Diane Gold suggested that pollution particles could be affecting the brain and causing problems in the central nervous system. Alternatively, she said, the particles may be causing upper airway inflammation.
Control of indoor air pollution is possible. A high-efficiency air purifier such as the IQAir HealthPro Plus can remove almost all of the airborne contaminants in indoor air, including tiny ultrafine particles. Many IQAir owners report dramatic improvements in sleep quality and breathing after buying an IQAir system.
After moving into a new home in San Antonio, Texas, James Campbell noticed his two young sons were having difficulty sleeping as a result of irregular breathing at night. The boys were becoming lethargic when awake, and were coughing and sneezing. Campbell took his sons to the family doctor, who recommended medication and a good air purifier. That night, Campbell unpacked the IQAir HealthPro Plus they brought from their previous home. Since then, “it has been four months of high-energy children and nothing but great nights’ sleep for all,” says Campbell.
The Harvard study linking air pollution to sleep quality offers more evidence that an air purifier may be as important as the right mattress and bedding when it’s time to sleep.