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Want Better Sleep? Try Opening A Bedroom Door Or Window: Study

It doesn't cost anything.

11/29/2017 13:22 EST | Updated 11/29/2017 13:29 EST
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A new Dutch study finds the key to better sleep may come from cracking open a door or window.

People are trying everything from meditation apps, black-out curtains and white noise machines to sleep better. What if all you needed was your bedroom door?

A new Dutch study, published in the journal Indoor Air, says that you don't need to buy anything to get better shut-eye. Instead, just increase the amount of ventilation in your bedroom.

A team of researchers observed the sleep patterns of 17 healthy young-adult participants over five nights.

They observed that better-ventilated rooms had lower levels of airborne carbon dioxide (CO2), which ultimately led to better sleep for the subjects.

"Lower CO2 levels (in the bedroom) implied better sleep depth, sleep efficiency, and lesser number of awakenings," the researchers wrote.

Good sleep and the CO2 we expel is connected. Sleep disorders like as sleep apnea and obesity hypoventilation syndrome lead to a dangerous build-up of carbon dioxide in our blood. That accumulation can force a person to wake up gasping for air.

All bedrooms are not created equal

It's known that lowering the thermostat in our bedrooms leads to better sleep, but this study looks at the effect of the air quality itself.

"This study does remind us that all bedrooms are not equal, and the quality of our sleep is certainly influenced by physical properties of our surroundings at night," U.S. sleep expert Dr. Steven Feinsilver told HealthDay News.

Feinsilver, who didn't work on the study, added that the team could have measured sleep even more closely, saying "formal sleep testing including EEG (brain waves) might be more revealing under these conditions."

But if you're looking to further improve your chances of getting more Zzzss or shake off your insomnia, other studies have suggested that exercise could help.

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Exercise can have a massive impact on insomnia patients and cut down on the odds that patients would wake up, one Texas study suggested. In another study from Northwestern University, older women suffering from insomnia who exercised saw their sleep patterns improve — they even reported feeling less depressed and had more energy.

It's a common problem, too. A 2011 Université Laval survey found that 40 per cent of its respondents experienced one or more symptoms of the sleep disorder.

So if you're spending way too much time tossing and turning at night, consider opening a door, cooling down the room or even boosting the amount of exercise you're getting. There are options.