Most people do not realize just how much your HVAC system can impact the quality of your sleep. We all know how important quality sleep is to your health, happiness and productivity, but quality sleep is more than just the number of hours you spend in bed.
You might be like many Americans who toss and turn, struggling to get a good night of sleep. You might even have a list of suspects for the lack of sleep but have you ever thought seriously about how your home’s HVAC system has impacted the quality of your rest? Factors such as temperature, humidity, air quality and noise levels can all affect how rested you feel when you wake up in the morning.
Continue reading to learn five ways how a problematic HVAC system can impact your sound sleep.
The Sleep Environment
Your bedroom environment can have a significant influence on sleep quality and quantity. Several variables combine to make up the sleep environment, including light, noise, and temperature. If you are tuned in to factors in your sleep environment that put you at ease, you can eliminate those that may cause stress or distraction.
Things like too much light at night can shift our internal clock and make restful sleep difficult to achieve. Noise is another factor that can affect sleep. Although background sounds may relax some people, the volume level must be low. Otherwise, increased frequency of awakenings may prevent transitions to the deeper stages of sleep. In addition, temperature can create a harmful or healthy environment. The ideal temperature range for sleeping varies widely among individuals, so much so that there is no prescribed best room temperature to produce optimal sleep patterns. People simply sleep best at the temperature that feels most comfortable. That said, extreme temperatures in sleeping environments tend to disrupt sleep. REM sleep is commonly more sensitive to temperature-related disruption.
Ways Your HVAC System Can Impact Your Sleep
Poor quality sleep affects your concentration and productivity. An HVAC system impacts your sleep by controlling humidity levels, temperature and indoor air quality. Below we will explain how HVAC systems can affect sleep.
- Inconsistent Temperatures
Many people prefer it a little cooler when they go to bed. Setting the thermostat lower at night can save money in the winter. However, if your HVAC system does not maintain a consistent temperature, you could wake up when you get too hot or too cold during the night. A faulty thermostat or another issue could be the culprit; one of our HVAC professionals can fix the problem so you wake up ready to take on your day.
When your bedroom is too hot or too cold, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay sleeping throughout the night. A quality HVAC system will maintain a consistent temperature in your home. Your core body temperature
- High Humidity Levels
Muggy and damp conditions resulting from high humidity in your home may ruin a good night’s rest. Alternatively, an arid environment can cause itchy skin and a dry throat, which aren’t great for bouncing out of bed in the morning. You may have to adjust the humidity level in your home with the help of a professional to improve the quality of your sleep.
- Poor Indoor Air Quality
The quality of the air you breathe can also play a major role in how well you sleep and how you feel when you wake up each morning. Poor indoor air quality is a growing problem across the nation. A dirty air filter is one of the most common culprits of poor air quality in homes across the country. A dirty filter can cause a home to smell or create dust and dirt in the air. This can lead to coughing, sneezing and other respiratory issues likely to disrupt a good night’s sleep.
Common symptoms of poor indoor air quality include congestion, sore throats, eye irritation, and headaches. You can combat the problem by having an HVAC technician clean out your ducts regularly. This service is beneficial to both your health and your wallet, as it can help your heating and cooling system operate more efficiently.
The sleep cycle is regulated by the circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is based on the light-and-dark cycle of the sun and controlled by a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, located in the hypothalamus. This master “body clock” gets its cues from a number of environmental and personal factors, ranging from the amount of light exposure (most significant), to exercise, and temperature.
If your bedroom houses any components of the HVAC system, the lights from these units can make it hard to sleep as well. A thermostat typically has glowing lights on it, while a smart thermostat might have a lit-up screen that shines too much light in your bedroom.
Cover any of these components before you go to bed to prevent the light exposure from impacting your body’s natural sleep patterns.
- Excess Noise
Noise can be a major disruption when it comes to sleep, especially if you are a light sleeper. HVAC system noises can negatively impact sleep, especially for light sleepers. It is vital to contact a service technician when you notice any strange noise from your system. Some of the common HVAC noises include gurgling, squealing and hissing.
Typically, the HVAC system’s loud noise will indicate underlying problems that can cause a breakdown if not fixed. Our service technicians have the necessary skills to help you identify and correct any source of HVAC noise.
Proper airflow is important for good sleep quality. Poor air circulation can cause hot spots in certain rooms, making it harder to get comfortable. An HVAC system with the correct ductwork design and proper air circulation will help you get a good night’s sleep by keeping all areas in your home comfortable and well-ventilated.
It is common for ductwork to clog with dust and other debris, making it difficult for fresh air to circulate in your home. A clogged duct can cause you to feel stuffy and irritate your nose throughout the day, which is a major contributor to poor sleep. You will know if your system is working properly when you notice clean, dry air throughout your home.
Tips for Keeping at Optimal Temperature
There are a number of ways to optimize your bedroom temperature for sleeping, including:
- Closing the blinds to reduce heat build-up during the day
- Moving downstairs during the summer
- Turning down the thermostat at night
- Using a fan or air conditioner in hot climates, or a hot water bottle on cold nights
- Opening the windows to promote ventilation
- Controlling bedroom humidity
- Reducing sweating by using the best mattress, sheets, duvet, comforter, pillow, and pajamas for temperature regulation
- Taking a warm bath
In addition to optimizing the temperature of your sleep environment, you can help your body prepare for sleep by supporting your internal thermostat. As the circadian rhythm is sensitive to fluctuations in light, diet, and exercise, the timing of these activities can impact body temperature, and potentially sleepiness.
Keeping your heating and air conditioning running well is a big factor in getting a good night’s sleep. Let our HVAC experts at Aire-Tech explain the important role your HVAC system plays in sleep quality and offer you tips on how you can optimize your system for better rest.
If your system needs repair or inspection before winter, call Aire-Tech on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our Contact page and complete the contact form.