Circulating fresh air

As far back as I can remember, bedroom windows were opened as soon as their sleepy inhabitants rose. In winter, a warm housecoat would be put on first, and in summer, a thinner one (or none). The point is, the windows were opened to circulate fresh air through the room.

Some of you know I grew up in Switzerland. My grandmother and my mom both opened windows in all the bedrooms while simultaneously uncovering the beds. It was standard practice and called “airing out the room”. Sometimes, the duvet or blankets would stay on the ledge of the open window, reminding me of a folk tale called Frau Holle. When Frau Holle shook out her duvet, the landscape around her became covered in snowflakes.

source: wikipedia

Do people in North America not do this? Air out their bedrooms with or without shaking out the duvet?

I first noticed this when my then boyfriend didn’t open his bedroom window 20+ years ago. He was raised by Eastern European parents and I’m almost positive his mother aired out the bedrooms after sleeping.

When I moved into his childhood home after both his parents passed away, I would get up and go to work and he’d still be asleep. At the time he was an airline pilot, and his schedule had no rhyme or reason to it. Nine plus hours later I would return home, eat, clean up and then ascend the stairs to the bedroom we shared to discover it was dark (blind down, curtains closed) and stuffy with the distinct smell of sleep in it. Needless to say the windows were closed and the bed unmade.

Probably what happened was he got up at the last possible minute to get ready for a flight, turn on a light rather than open the curtains during dressing and then rush off to the airport. Opening windows wasn’t part of his routine back then…

Today he makes his bed, works that into his morning routine, but he only occasionally opens the window in his room.

Is this opening windows a European thing? Is it a female thing? Is it me? 😀

What makes it worse (for me) is that I have a very heightened, acute sense of smell. I don’t know if that is because neither my hearing nor my sight is good, or if it’s just something I was born with, but I like the smell of fresh air in bedrooms. I don’t enjoy stuffy, moist air. I also keep windows slightly open when cooking, especially odorous items like bacon or fried onions.

After the pandemic was over(ish) the collective consciousness of the population was more attuned to fresh air and improved hygiene in the homes and public buildings. At home there are now more open windows than there was pre-pandemic. Yes, in winter, the windows don’t stay open long in an effort to keep the heat inside, but I still air out bedrooms after sleeping.

Meanwhile, my teens never open their bedroom windows nor do they open the blinds (or make their beds). 🤷‍♀️

It… irks me. But I have stepped back a lot since the separation in micromanaging trying to educate the children’s habits. I do at times step into their rooms to air them out, but I don’t take on that responsibility as often anymore. I tell myself I don’t have to live and sleep in there… How they can’t smell or sense the stuffiness is beyond me.

Which brings me back to my time in the dorms of my University days. The boys’ rooms I visited always had a specific smell to them, indicative to not airing out. And, if they had sex the night before and still didn’t open a window, I, with my heightened sense of smell, could always tell. 🤪

So, my question today is, who opens windows after sleeping? And if not, why not?

Thank you for reading my post today. See you in the comments!I


14 thoughts on “Circulating fresh air

  1. I don’t open a window—but I also don’t make my bed immediately. I was taught to let it “air out” by leaving the sheets pulled back for a bit before making it up—now I’m thinking I might also try opening the window…


  2. We almost always leave a window open, all through the night, even in the winter. Except in the extreme cold. Larry and I both appreciate fresh air and a crisp room. I guess it’s an individual thing? Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know, in summer when it’s hot and humid here I open the window for a short time just to mix the stale inside air with the outside air. If the a/c is running it doesn’t stay open long, maybe 5 minutes…🤷‍♀️

      And in winter, when the window freezes shut, I leave the door open as a backup measure.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My window is always open. I do block it off around the AC unit if I’m running it, but I don’t use heat in my room. If it’s 4° C outside, so be it🤷🏼‍♀️ our house has next to no insulation anyway.
    I also make my bed immediately. Dog, child, Chalk Dust, etc… the very top blanket on my bed is basically a drop cloth😂😂😂 I don’t want any of that stuff between the sheet where I sleep 😱


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fascinating. I also have a heightened sense of smell. I’ve been airing out the bedrooms after sleep for years. (I think I once read about it in a home cleaning book.) I also air out the house after someone has been sick. I think Americans spend more time indoors and in cars. They’re accustomed to air conditioning (which I dislike except during a heat wave) and indoor heating and afraid to open windows during the winter. I often stay in hotels and. if possible, try to book one that allows the window to open. Really hate when I can’t get that artificial air freshener smell out of the room. I recently heard another reason why opening the windows can be beneficial: bringing in good microbes from the outdoors to mingle with ours, thus diversifying our microbiome and strengthening the immune system. Also, there are many indoor pollutants that fresh air can help dissappate. Breathe in!

    Liked by 2 people

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