Is There a Relationship Between Air Filters and Sleep Disorders?

It is estimated that at least 40 million Americans suffer from chronic, long term sleep disorders. There are an estimated 20 to 30 million more that experience occasional problems with their sleep. These estimates, provided by the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, are not necessarily shocking, considering that we live in such a robust and technologically dynamic society.

Pollutants are everywhere in the air. In fact, research indicates that pollution should be seen for what it is: a serious health danger. According to studies at Hasselt University in Belgium, air pollution is responsible for catalyzing more heart attacks than using cocaine and is as powerful as alcohol, coffee, and heavy physical conditioning in jump-starting heart attacks.

These are the extremes; indoor environments can be controlled to a greater extent than ever before through the use of air conditioning and air treatment. Up to 99.7 percent of the pollutants and toxins can be removed from the air by utilizing high quality HEPA air filters but most homes are not equipped to with HEPA filter systems. As an alternative accept no less than a MERV 11 air filter and consider a good electronic room air cleaner with a HEPA filter. So if a friend walks into your house on a hot day and happens to comment that the cool air is a real life saver, they may not know exactly how accurate their statement actually may be.

There are a variety of problems that can be caused by air pollution - and remedied by the use of high quality air conditioning filtration. Breathing problems increase during sleep in concert with increased air pollution and temperature, according to Diane Gold, MD, MPH, associate professor of environmental health, Harvard School of Public Health.

According to Dr. Gold, air conditioned homes are of paramount importance in the treatment of patients with sleep disorders: "I would advise patients with sleep-disordered breathing, particularly if they are not too responsive to therapy for their sleep problems, to seek air conditioned homes, and to seek out air conditioning if they don't have it in their homes during times of serious air pollution problems."

Dirty air finds its way inside the house quite naturally through doors, windows, chimneys, garages, roofs, basements, and so on. Polluted "outside air" can and does find its way inside - even when doors and windows are closed. A house acts as an empty vacuum - that must be filled. The best alternative: fill the house with clean, filtered, conditioned air, air that is beneficial and healthy and that has a minimal amount of toxins and particulates.

The American Lung Association said that we - people in the US - are breathing cleaner air overall, but there is vast room for improvement. Discussing particle pollution, or soot, and ozone levels, smog, the ALA indicated that they are "persistent threats against large parts of the United States." Children, senior citizens and asthma sufferers are especially at risk.

High quality air conditioning filters should be changed regularly - and as frequently as needed. This will vary with each individual household, depending on the number of occupants, the size of the air conditioning unit, amount of use, and other variables. For some home units it may be once a month. Others may have to be changed every 60 or 90 days. It is vitally important to be vigilant in checking the state of the air conditioning filter. Proper and timely filter replacements will keep the air conditioning unit functioning at peak performance levels. High quality air conditioning filters will benefit everyone and add a measure of stability within the home.

About the Author

Terry Edeker is a partner in (, LLC, an online air filter distribution company. Terry is a brand development and entrepreneurship specialist with Pixallure ( and has with over 25 years experience in the field of marketing, branding, advertising, and communications.

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  • Name: Terry Edeker
  • Date: 7/06/11 at 11:44
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