To Sleep with an Open Window

When I was a young girl, for a school project I interviewed my then 90 year old neighbor.  I used to observe her most days outside tending her garden.  She was a strong and spry woman.  I asked her about her youth, growing up, and then I asked her what her secret for being healthy was.  Her answer surprised me.  She said she always slept with about one or two inches of her bedroom window open, even in the winter.  Mind you, this was in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  For those not familiar, Grand Rapids can get to as low as 18 degrees Fahrenheit on average, but it is not unusual to dip below 5 or 10 degrees.  Mrs. Cook lived independently into her upper 90′s.

This advice stuck with me over the years.  Sometime in my 20′s I started training myself to sleep with a window open, first in the summer, then the early fall/late spring, and finally all year round… even in the winter.  I must admit, it is the most refreshing thing to do on an ongoing basis, and I highly recommend it.  Chinese medicine calls the vitality we get from fresh air “air qi”.  Everything in Chinese medicine worthwhile has qi connected with it.
Here is what I recommend:
  • Don’t sleep directly under a draft
  • Open a window farther away from you, for example a far wall
  • Start slowly, gradually…..Don’t go for extreme temperatures in the beginning
  • If you are sick don’t sleep with an open window until you have trained yourself and know your limits of endurance
  • Use your common sense
  • If you don’t have thick hair or are sensitive to temperatures, wear a sleeping hat
  • Go ahead and burrow under thick quilts once the temperatures become cool at night
  • Don’t forget to turn off the heater in the room!
I believe like Mrs. Cook did that this is one of the most healthy free things you can do for yourself if you prepare over time for it.  I feel fantastic myself for doing it.  I feel as if I get air qi all night long.

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