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Does the Air quality affect our Sleep

  • 23 November 2017
  • By Alphonse Reddy

That haze hanging over your city is most likely a dangerously high level of pollution threatening the health and well being of all its inhabitants. Whatever the reason- industrial fumes, increasing traffic or fossil fuels, it is jeopardizing any amount of growth we achieve. According to the WHO, air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India.

The toxic air pollutants that fill the air especially during winter time are overall hazardous to health. Children and the old infact are most susceptible and can fall prey to serious lung issues, owing to deteriorating environmental conditions.

Research has shown how constant exposure to polluted air can lead to disrupted sleep. Not surprising as bad air is known to enter the upper respiratory system causing irritation and making the process of breathing that much harder. Our lungs are the primary organs of the respiratory system. Other organs, of the respiratory system direct air to the lungs, such as the trachea (windpipe) which branches into a smaller structure called bronchi, which is a passage of airway in the respiratory tract that conducts air into the lungs. The entire process becomes hard and those with weak lungs or not yet fully formed organs have a harder time and begin to have restless nights moment pollution is on the rise.

What you can do to combat bad air and sleep better-

  • Limit your exposure to air. Avoid stepping out early morning or at night when pollution is at its highest. Try keeping your windows shut for most part of the day, 
  • If having breathing trouble, can get an inhaler. It is no more reserved for those with asthma. It provides relief against incessant coughing, wheezing, chest tightness or any discomfort in the lungs. The beta agonist helps relax the bronchial muscle in the lungs, opening airway and allowing more oxygen in. You can try doing the inhalation before sleeping. 
  • Get an air purifier or add more greenery around your house and even get indoor plants to help cope. 
  • To cleanse your system drink an anti inflammatory drink of ginger, tulsi and turmeric, atleast twice a day. 
  • Have a good dose of Vitmin C to increase immunity and combat the ill effect of all that smog. With ozone air pollution comes a lot of toxins. Stay detoxed. 
  • Do some breathing exercises. To help your lungs cope, nothing better than some yoga. Bhastrika Pranayam is most effective. This breathing exercise helps in detoxification of the system and helps keep up energy. The way to do it:
    • Sit in padmasan or lotus pose. Inhale deeply and expand your belly fully as you breathe.
    • Exhale after counting upto five. Now breathe in and out forcefully
    • Make sure the breath is coming from your diaphragm; keep your head, neck, shoulders, and chest still while your belly moves in and out.


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