should you sleep with your bedroom door open or closed?
Sleep Safety

Should I Keep My Bedroom Door Open or Closed At Night?

Last Updated on October 1, 2023 by Louise Carter

Sleeping with the bedroom door closed affords privacy and security when we’re most vulnerable.

An open bedroom door means you’re exposed to household noise. This can be a problem if you live with others, especially if you keep different hours. Also, other people can easily see and hear you.

Fire safety experts recommend sleeping with the door closed because this slows the spread of a blaze.

Some people feel safer and less isolated with the bedroom door open. A wide-open door can also result in improved ventilation and alertness during situations like burglaries and health emergencies.

Should You Sleep with Your Bedroom Door Open or Closed?

We instinctively know if we prefer to leave the bedroom door open or closed while sleeping. Living arrangements play a significant part, as does the location of the bedroom in the house.

Let’s explore why we open or close bedroom doors at night:

Privacy and Security

The bedroom is our safe space and sanctuary. Sleep is a time of peace and vulnerability, so we must feel safe and secure while we sleep. In many cases, this involves closing the door behind us.

However, some people fear sleeping alone in the darkness. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality stated that many adults are apprehensive about sleeping in a dark room with closed doors.

Closing the door is recommended if you want privacy in a bedroom because you prefer to sleep unclothed or engage in physical intimacy with a partner.

If you have roommates, the privacy afforded by closing a door is considerable. However, an open-door policy can work if you need to provide easy access for young children.

should i leave my bedroom door open at night?

Is it Okay for Parents to Close Their Bedroom Door at Night?

Naturally, parents may wish to close their bedroom door at night. Young children rarely respect or understand boundaries surrounding adult privacy and may burst into a room without warning.

However, if somebody needs to access your room urgently, closing a door can take time to gain access.

Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with a child struggling to reach a door handle and waiting outside. In an emergency, every second counts.

Despite these concerns, most emergency services (like firefighters) recommend closing bedroom doors. This suggests you can close and lock your bedroom door upon retiring for the night.

Discuss this with your children, explaining that a closed door means you should not be disturbed.

If you’re anxious about how your children will react in an emergency, agree on a special knock or safety word that encourages an instant response.

Is it Normal to Have a Lock on a Bedroom Door?

If you decide to sleep with your bedroom door closed due to privacy concerns, you may wish to take things one step further and install a lock. Older children or guests in your home may request a lock on their bedroom to ensure their space remains theirs.

Locking bedroom doors is a personal choice, so you must assess the pros and cons. Also, ensure you can use a lock on a bedroom door.

No legal restrictions exist, but a landlord may object if you rent your home.

On the one hand, locking doors bolsters privacy and safety, especially if you share your home with roommates and can’t always be certain who’ll be spending the night.

Consider that locking a door can also slow down any attempts to leave in an emergency.

If you’re going to lock a bedroom door at night, familiarize yourself with other exit options. For example, you may feel much more secure if you can escape through a fire escape.

The best lock for a bedroom door is a doorknob with an emergency key.

This will allow you to secure the door from the inside, but it can also be opened from the outside if safety dictates by using the key or household tools like a coin or screwdriver.

Noise

Closing a bedroom door at night will block noise from elsewhere in the home.

If you don’t live alone, that could be considered essential. Nobody wants to be kept awake by family watching TV in the living room or roommates clattering about in the kitchen.

Closing the bedroom door at night also insulates others from the noise you make. If you have sleep apnea or are prone to loud snoring, you may stop others from getting sufficient rest.

Sleeping with the bedroom door open will make it much easier to hear a fire alarm, an intruder unlawfully entering the property, or a child’s cry for attention at night. Consider if these benefits outweigh the potential drawbacks of noisy housemates.

Ventilation and Air Flow

A study published in Indoor Air claims that sleeping with the bedroom door open improves room ventilation. This study was based on 17 individuals but raises an important point.

Rather than trapping yourself in an enclosed space, regularly breathing the same recycled air, you’ll constantly renew the oxygen supply.

Consider if sleeping with a closed bedroom door could protect you from toxins.

Nobody should sleep in a newly painted bedroom until the paint is dry. The same rules apply to a newly wallpapered room or a carpet that has been professionally cleaned.

Conversely, if you’ve painted or wallpapered another room in the house, sleeping with the bedroom door closed will offer respite from volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Closing the door also prevents allergens from entering the room while you sleep. You’ll benefit from superior ventilation in a bedroom with the door closed.

Alternatively, you could get an air purifier or decorative plants because they serve the same function.

Temperature Regulation

Ideally, the temperature of the bedroom should be 60°F to 68°F. If you cool the bedroom before you enter, closing the door will help maintain the optimal temperature.

A cooler room is better for nighttime rest because it reduces your core body temperature. Also, cooler temperatures assist with melatonin production, a hormone that induces prolonged, restful sleep.

Some prefer to point a fan toward them or keep the windows open while sleeping. The suitability of these actions depends on the area’s safety, window position, height, and your health.

Lower temperatures aid prolonged sleep, but draughts and excessive cold can impact REM sleep. If you clamber under more bedsheets and blankets, this will raise your body temperature.

If you get too hot and stuffy, you’re likelier to wake up in the middle of the night.

Feng Shui

Originating in China, this tao revolves around the belief that arranging furnishings in a home according to natural balance creates harmony. For example, there are rules on the positioning of mirrors.

If you follow the teachings of this metaphysical belief structure, sleep with the bedroom door closed.

According to feng shui, positive energy (often referred to as “chi”) must flow in a loop around us. By closing the bedroom door overnight, you’ll keep the chi in the room while sleeping.

Leaving a bedroom door open means positive energy can leave a room, and negative energy can enter. To abide by feng shui, close any closet and dresser drawers while sleeping.

Fire Safety

Everybody hopes they’ll never be faced with a fire in the home. If the worst happens, sleeping with the bedroom door closed is significantly safer than leaving it open.

The Fire Safety Research Institute raises awareness with its slogan, “Close before your doze.”

The thinking here is that household fires seldom start in the bedroom, which means that smoke and fumes could spread before you discover the problem.

By sleeping with the bedroom door closed, smoke and fumes won’t reach you as quickly. A closed door keeps carbon dioxide to 1,000 parts per million. This is the upper tier of safety.

Open doors can increase CO2 exposure to 10,000 ppm. Equally, the room temperature with a closed door peaks at 100°F. It’s about 1,000°F with an open door.

This fire safety advice applies to every room and door in a home. It’s pivotal that this is done in a bedroom because we wake up groggy when roused unexpectedly from sleep.

Should you close kids bedroom doors at night?

Should You Leave Your Door Open for a Pet?

Animals like cats and dogs have vastly superior senses of smell and hearing compared to humans and frequently locate sleeping owners to warn them if something is amiss.

This could save you time when reacting to an emergency. This potentially explains why, according to a study published in Safety Science, pet owners are up to 16% likelier to leave their bedroom doors open.

However, cats and dogs can be noisy and disruptive during the night, especially if they wish to play or explore, and many animals release dander that triggers allergies.

You must be consistent about whether pets should or shouldn’t be allowed in the bedroom at night.

Don’t allow your dog or cat on your bed one night because a thunderstorm spooked you, but not the next when you’re feeling relaxed and calm.

Animals won’t understand and will likely disrupt your sleep, scratching at doors and whining to gain entry.

Should You Shut A Child’s Bedroom Door At Night?

Closing a bedroom door at night can be crucial to child development.

Putting a child to bed and closing the door sends a clear message that it’s time to sleep, and the bedroom should not be vacated until morning without a compelling reason.

As discussed, closing the doors of a child’s bedroom is also recommended by fire safety experts. However, many children protest against having their bedroom doors closed at night.

Why Do Kids Like to Sleep with the Door Open?

If your children are adamant they want to keep their doors open at night, consider why this may be the case. Common explanations for this desire include the following:

  • The child is nervous about being left alone, and a closed door symbolizes separation from parents.
  • It’s difficult to leave the room as the doorknob is too high to reach or the door too heavy. This may sound ideal, but the child may need the bathroom at night.
  • The bedroom doesn’t have a night light, and the child fears the dark.
  • You and other family members are still awake, and the child fears missing out on something exciting.

Experts in childcare and safety recommend closing a child’s bedroom door at night. Discuss any apprehension and help your child understand that closing the door is the right choice.

Assess the different factors and decide if you’ll get a better night’s sleep with your bedroom door open or closed. Settle on an approach that enables you to rest most comfortably.