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Air Pollution Linked to Poor Sleep, Study Finds

Researchers believe that air pollution, particularly nitrogen dioxide and small particulates known as PM 2.5s may adversely affect your sleep. The report comes from five years of data collected in six U.S. cities, according to The Guardian. Even after accounting for age, conditions such as sleep apnea and smoking status, statistics still showed that sleep efficiency was lower for those exposed to the highest pollution.

Air pollution has become a major health danger around the world, with 92 percent of the world’s population breathing polluted air — and these figures don’t even include nitrogen oxides or ozone pollutants. While you may think you can escape this by staying home, the bad news is that often your home harbors as many, if not more, pollutants than the air outside or at your work.

Common toxic exposures include aerosolized particles such as chlorine from a steamy shower, radon gas, organic compounds released from man-made products such as paint, fuel, upholstered furniture and personal care products and glymes, which can be found in your printer ink cartridges, digital cameras and some chemical carpet cleaners.

The good news is there are several steps you can take at home to reduce your risk of breathing polluted air. Begin by filtering your air. Commercially purchased air filters may change measurements of health, include lowering the amount of C-reactive protein and other measurements of inflammation and blood vessel function. Next, filter your water so you’re not exposed to the chlorine and fluoride in it.

Remove harsh cleaning products and scented chemicals and cosmetics from your home, and decorate with plants. The top 10 plants to improve air quality are aloe, English ivy, rubber tree, peace lily, snake plant, bamboo palm, philodendron, spider plant, red-edge dracaena and golden pathos.
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