Leaving an open window makes for better sleep. But is it healthy for you? Is it safe for you or are you opening a proverbial door to a criminal?
There are many reasons for leaving the windows open at night. The refreshing air helps you sleep better, and you get a bit of white noise. However, it might also be dangerous if there’s a lot of crime in your area, and your window is not otherwise secured.
There are many pros and cons to leaving a window open during the night, as well as many ways to keep your home safe despite your windows being open. If you want to know more, read on.
Health Benefits of Sleeping With Open Windows
One of the biggest reasons to open the window at night is because it just feels good. Light breeze and cool air sways your hair while you sleep — what could be better? However, opening the window doesn’t just make you feel good. It also helps your health in many ways.
The biggest benefit of sleeping with a window open — and the clearest one — is that it’s refreshing. Your house, and especially your bedroom, can get stuffy during the day, and with the windows closed, you would have a much harder time falling asleep.
A breeze from the outside can make you feel right at home and help you fall asleep much sooner while having better sleep quality throughout the night. Some studies have even commented that there’s a connection between the fresh air and relaxation.
Of course, this only works if the air from the outside is cooler than the air inside. If it is, keeping the window open is a good thing to do.
Preventing Carbon Dioxide From Hanging Around
Carbon dioxide is what we breathe out. During the day, you are likely to move around, go outside, etc. so you won’t feel it as much. It ventilates away in one way or another. However, when you sleep, it builds up, especially so if you keep the doors and windows of your bedroom.
The results can be headaches, dizziness, etc. Once you wake up, you would probably feel terrible instead of rested and happy. This is why opening doors and windows at night is recommended. Opening the window is better, however, as it can help you get some fresh air. Your sleep will be much better.
White noise is a well-known instigator of great sleep. Sometimes the silence is hard to take, especially for people who grew up sleeping with some sort of noise in the background. The outdoors can provide a much less expensive — and more natural — source of white noise than white noise machines.
For example, you may hear cars slowly rolling around the corner. If it’s a rainy evening, the rain will easily put you to sleep. Even the sounds of a storm — as long as it’s not too big — can be incredibly relaxing. Crickets, wind, etc. all provide a decent sound background for your sleep.
While the proof of white noise being helpful for sleep is scarce, anecdotal evidence — and likely your own experience and preferences — show that it does help, at least a little bit.
Sleeping in a humid room is a terrible idea, as much as it is to sleep in a room full of dry air. You can create humidity if you take a hot shower just before sleep, cook something, etc. However, it can be hard without opening the window.
Getting a dehumidifier is an option. However, in a pinch, it’s often easier to just open the window. This will give your room the chance to equate its humidity with the one outside, and you’ll have a much easier time falling asleep.
This has more to do with shades, but windows are also a part of it. We’ve become used to the commodities that help us sleep whenever we want, but it’s much healthier to sleep according to our natural rhythms.
Everyone’s circadian rhythms are different, but the most basic one is sleeping until the sun goes up and falling asleep soon after the sun goes down. With fresh air and open blinds, you would be able to sleep this way and adjust your rhythms to ensure that you are well-rested. Sleeping during the day and being awake at night, on the other hand, can make you even more tired, confused, and even make you gain weight.
So, train yourself to sleep at night and wake with the day, with fresh air and sun rays.
Negative Sides of Sleeping With Open Windows
Sleeping with the windows open can have its negative sides too, especially in certain situations.
While it can certainly be healthy for you and great for your sleep, leaving a window open also decreases the security of your home, especially so if your area is full of crime. So, if you are certain that there’s a lot of crime in your area, keep the windows shut or look for another solution.
Great sleep shouldn’t be compromised, but neither should your safety. So, it’s best to lock everything up and have a peaceful night than to sleep and fear that someone will get in. Even more so if you are on the ground floor and everyone can reach you easily.
Springtime is an excellent season to keep your windows open while you sleep, but it’s also the season of allergies. So, if you are allergic to pollen or anything similar, it’s best to close your window than to sneeze and cry all night long.
Pollen can get into your room with ease, and you will not be comfortable doing this. Naturally, if pollen is your only problem, it might be better if you purchased a filter that can keep the pollen away while still letting the fresh air in.
If you live near a factory that releases pollutants, you might be better off closing the window. The air certainly won’t be fresh, and you might feel even worse because of it.
Air purifiers can help, but it won’t do the job well, so it’s best if you just keep your window shut. This probably goes for people living on high-traffic streets. Try to get a good fan in this case, to get that breeze and move the air around. You can also check the pollution of your area online and then open the window according to that.
Now, white noise is a great thing for when you need a good background tune for sleeping. However, white noise and just noise are not the same things. So, if you live in the middle of the city and the “white noise” you hear when you open the window are police cars, vehicles, people screaming, club music, etc. — and it’s not comforting to you — close the window.
People who grew up in the middle of noisy cities may consider this white noise too, but you might not. So, if you open the window and you don’t like what you hear, it’s best to close it completely.
Or, get one of these noise-canceling earmuffs and masks for sleeping.
If your area gets cold during fall or winter — or any other time of the year — then you might reconsider opening the window. The same goes for areas that get stormy or too windy. Humidity from the outside may also not be your friend.
In general, consider the weather outside before you open the window. If it’s too cold for you or the weather is unfavorable, and moisture from the storm could damage your home if it gets in, you should keep the windows shut. And yet, if it’s not too cold and the weather is calm — and your home could use some fresh air — open the window and enjoy the benefits.
However, if you live in a city where the noise of the outside is a little… less… soothing, keeping your windows open might not be the best idea. No one likes to hear car horns honking and people bickering at 3 AM after all.
In turn, if you live in a more urban area where people are constantly out and about around your living space, keeping your windows shut might be your best move.
Is It Safe to Leave Windows Open at Night?
The safety of leaving the windows open at night will depend on the area you’re from and the location of your bedroom window. For example, if your window is on the ground floor, you might not feel as safe to keep it open all night.
The same goes for people who live in areas affected by crime.
In general, leaving your windows open all night long is a threat to security no matter where you are, unless the window is particularly inaccessible, and you’re certain you are safe. It’s much more secure to keep it closed instead of open.
Most burglars won’t carry ladders since it’s too obvious, and they will likely go for the most available window. If you make sure that all of your other windows are safely locked, and you live in a generally safe suburban area, you might be able to leave the window open.
How to Secure an Open Window While You Sleep
There’s an option to secure your window while it’s open at night. This can keep you safe from all intruders.
Here are two ways you can do this:
If you want to open a window while sleeping, a good choice would be to use a window stop. This is a generally simple device that can allow you to restrict the movement of your window. So, you would be able to crack the window open, but no one would be able to open it further than you chose to open it.
Air can get in even if you just open the window ajar, but burglars can’t. Depending on the type of your window, you’ll need a different type of stop. A sliding window will need a stop that attaches to both sashes of your windows. Then your window won’t be able to open completely.
Casement windows would need a similar form of a stop. You can also get a device that controls how much you can open a window.
Another excellent solution is to install a grille. This would allow you to keep your window as open as you want to, but no one would be able to get in. The good thing is that you can install this only on your bedroom window without needing to install it on another window. Security grilles look a bit like you’re in prison, but you can choose a style that suits you and makes you feel more comfortable.
You can install these bars either inside or outside. Outside installation is common with businesses, companies, banks, etc. while the inside installation is more common in homes. In any case, this can help you stay safe no matter what. Your window can stay open, and you’ll still be safe.
Is It Safer to Open a Higher Window Than a Ground Floor One?
Yes, it’s definitely safer to open a higher window than the one on the ground floor. Burglaries are often a case of opportunity, and a petty criminal won’t try as hard to get into your home. They will likely be in a rush to do the job and leave as soon as possible without being noticed.
So, if all of your windows are closed and only one of your windows on a higher floor is open — and it’s particularly hard to access, not available through climbing over your home — they will give up. As mentioned, they likely won’t have any ladders as that’s too obvious.
However, if you feel like adding more security to your home, you can also consider adding a stop to your window or a grille. This will help you feel safer while also allowing you to keep any window open, even if it’s the ground one. Grilles may be more secure than stops.
What to Do Instead of Opening the Window at Night?
If you don’t feel entirely safe opening the window or don’t have a window at all, here are some other options:
- If you miss the fresh air, open the door of your bedroom and turn on a fan at the entrance, so it would feel like a breeze. You can also get a portable AC that would make your room comfortable, but only as long as the doors and windows are closed, and your room is not too big.
- If humidity bothers you, you can get a dehumidifier and avoid showering directly before sleep, cooking, and other humidity-forming activities.
- If carbon dioxide bothers you, you can also open the bedroom door and allow the air to circulate throughout your home.
- If you need the white noise, you can turn on a white noise machine or play the radio on a low volume.
How to Secure Your Windows Against Burglars
Windows are usually a weak link in a home’s security because people forget about it when securing their home. However, this is where a burglar could enter, so you should focus on keeping that safe as well.
The most common way to do it is to install window locks that are not expensive and come in all shapes and sizes to suit your specific type of window. As mentioned, there are also window stops and grilles that you can install to make your home a safer place.
If you do get a window lock, you should make sure that you lock your windows every night to maximize your security. Consider a smart lock for your windows, too, as it can help you do everything quickly and allow you to see if your windows are locked or unlocked in one go.
Are You Insured if You Leave Your Window Open at Night?
Most insurance companies require that you close your doors and windows — as well as lock them — during the night if you want to be insured. Maybe some don’t, but it’s generally required. For example, if a burglary happens, they would easily inspect and see if the windows and doors were, in fact, open or not. If they were, you wouldn’t be able to claim the insurance.
While this is tedious — no one is organized enough to keep track of this all the time — you should try your best to avoid any activities that put you in danger.
Now that you have all the information related to leaving windows open during the night, you can carefully decide whether to do so or not. Whatever your choice, make sure it’s the best thing that you can do for yourself.
Installing grilles or stops to your window would provide a lifetime of safety to your window, and you would be able to keep your window open whenever you want. Remember to close up everything else during the night.