Sleep Comfort Month

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Sleep Comfort Month: How Sleep Differs Between Men and Women

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Quality sleep helps your brain and body recover and re-energize. You can always feel the difference when you’ve had a good night of sleep compared to hours of tossing and turning.

But what factors play into those good or bad nights of sleep? And how may they be different for men and women?

“National Sleep Comfort Month” is recognized in November, and to kick it off we’re looking at the particular reasons that sleep differs for men and women on both sex- and gender-based factors.

Health-Related Sleep Differences Between Men and Women

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that all healthy adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. For any number of reasons, some people struggle to reach that amount or fail to experience quality sleep during those hours.

While all people can struggle with sleep, women have a 40% higher lifetime risk of insomnia than men, and they’re more likely to experience multiple insomnia symptoms. Let’s look at some of the health-related factors that disrupt sleep for both men and women.

More Common in Men

  • Obstructive sleep apnea (lapsed breathing while asleep)
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic lung problems
  • Excess alcohol consumption
  • Loud snoring (impacts sleep for self and partner)

More Common in Women

  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Nocturia (frequent nighttime urination)
  • Heartburn and acid reflux

Other Factors Specific to Women

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD)
  • Pregnancy, involving hormonal changes that interfere with sleep
  • Menopause (ceasing of menstruation), causing changes to circadian rhythm, hot flashes, and night sweats

Lifestyle Differences That Impact Sleep

In addition to the health-based factors above, societal norms and lifestyle choices can also impact sleep.

Because these factors are complex, they won’t be the same for all individuals and don’t always align neatly along sex or gender lines. But they’re important to keep in mind when assessing possible reasons for disrupted sleep.

Lifestyle and Societal Impacts on Sleep

  • Caring for elderly relatives
  • Providing childcare
  • Duties at home like cleaning and maintenance
  • Work schedules
  • Type of work and the ability to work remotely or take time off
  • Pressure to earn income
  • Marital status

General Sleep Tips

Remember that sleep needs and preferences can vary wildly from person to person, and you’ll be able to find your own optimized sleep through consistent routines and thoughtful practices. To get you started on your quality sleep journey, here are a few tips you can try out:

  • Maintain a consistent bedtime and waking time
  • Keep the temperature a bit lower in your bedroom (66–68°F)
  • Spend time outdoors and exercise regularly
  • Regulate humidity levels with an Aprilaire whole-house humidifier or dehumidifier. The optimal relative humidity for overall well-being and comfort is 40–60%
  • Avoid distractions like a cell phone next to the bed or a TV in the bedroom
  • Prioritize your Indoor Air Quality with an Aprilaire whole-house air purifier


gratitude and healthy air

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What Gratitude and Healthy Air Have in Common

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The holiday season offers a great opportunity for connecting with loved ones and taking time to focus on what you’re thankful for. It’s a season of gratitude.

At Aprilaire, we’re always grateful for Healthy Air. And around the holidays, that means being aware of the impact cold winter temperatures and cooking can have on your home’s indoor environment and your health.

Both practicing gratitude and breathing Healthy Air can play a large role in your overall wellness. Let’s look at some of the benefits these things have in common.

How To Practice Gratitude

To start, here are three ways you can begin a gratitude practice. These can be part of your daily routine, or something you try to do whenever you need a healthy reset.

1. Start a gratitude journal where you write down three things you’re grateful for. You can do this every day and focus on the small things, or try it once a week or once a month and reflect on what’s most impactful for you.

2. Share your gratitude with others. After you’ve reflected on what you’re grateful for, share a kind word or a thank you note with someone who is special to you. This can be a close friend or relative who plays a consistent role in your life, or an acquaintance you appreciate.

3. Connect with your basic senses. Sometimes we can feel lost when we haven’t slowed down and appreciated our surroundings and how we’re feeling. Try a basic 5- or 10-minute breathing meditation to clear your head and renew your focus on positive things.

How To Enjoy Healthy Air

We spend about 90% of our lives indoors, making our homes and places of work the areas where we need to ensure we’re breathing quality indoor air. The Aprilaire Healthy Air System is a comprehensive, all-in-one solution that provides a blueprint for creating a Healthy Home environment in three key areas: fresh air ventilation, air filtration, and humidity control.

1. Fresh air ventilation: Fresh air ventilation removes stale, stagnant air from your home and replaces it with fresh air from the outdoors.

2. Air filtration: Air filtration works with your home’s HVAC system to remove harmful particles like dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold spores from the air circulating in your home.

3. Humidity control: Aprilaire whole-house humidifiers and dehumidifiers keep the humidity level of your home between 40% and 60% for optimal health and comfort.

Wellness Benefits of Gratitude and Healthy Air

Here are the shared benefits of practicing gratitude and creating a Healthy Air environment in your home.

Improved Mood

– Analyzing a connection between gratitude and happiness, one researcher asked participants to write and personally deliver a letter of gratitude to someone who had “never been properly thanked for his or her kindness.” The people who wrote and delivered the letters reported a large increase in happiness scores.

– With air quality, studies have shown that even brief, temporary air pollution exposure may be linked to an increased risk for mental disorders like depression and schizophrenia.

Increased Cognitive Function

– Studies have shown that an active practice of gratitude can increase neuron density and lead to greater emotional intelligence.

– About 20% of the oxygen you breathe in is used by your brain to function, and research continues to show a link between poor air quality and reduced cognitive function.

More Restful Sleep

– In one study, a two-week “gratitude intervention” increased sleep quality and reduced blood pressure in participants.

– In a separate study on air quality and sleep, researchers found that people who lived in areas with high levels of air pollution were 60 percent more likely to sleep poorly.

Better Heart Health

– Research shows that gratitude and other positive psychological attributes can play a critical role in improving cardiovascular health outcomes.

– A decade-long study showed a direct link between air pollution and atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of plaque in the coronary artery that can affect heart health.

pet allergens

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Seasonal Allergies Can Impact Your Pets Too

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Fall allergies are on their way. You may have already started to feel the effects of mold and ragweed, like itchy eyes and a runny nose.

And while you manage your allergy symptoms with medication, fresh air ventilation, and air filtration, be aware that the humans in your home aren’t the only ones susceptible to seasonal allergies.

Pets like cats and dogs can suffer from allergy symptoms too, and each pet will react differently to the changing seasons. Let’s examine the signs and symptoms to look out for, and go over some ways you can help alleviate your pets’ allergies and keep them comfortable this fall.

Common Environmental Allergens for Pets

Most pets will begin to show signs of allergies in year one or two. They occur when the immune system produces an outsized reaction to benign foreign substances.

The most common allergens for pets include:

Pets can also have adverse reactions to fleas and insects, with flea saliva being one of the most prevalent causes of allergic reactions. Insect and flea bites can lead to localized skin irritation, also known as dermatitis.

Pet Allergy Symptoms

It’s easy to write off your pets’ allergy symptoms as little quirks or habits. But pay special attention when your pet is showing any of these behaviors, especially after they’ve been outside or in a new environment:

  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Respiratory congestion
  • Itchy flaky skin (pruritus)
  • Hair loss
  • Itchy ears
  • Smelly and/or “dirty” ears
  • Shaking their head
  • Licking of the paws and rear end
  • Patchy skin or other skin irregularities

Treating Pet Allergens

Protecting your pets from seasonal allergies can take some trial and error, but making these changes will go a long way toward making them more comfortable throughout the year.

  • Flea and tick prevention: Find special collars and medicines that will prevent fleas and ticks from bothering your pets.
  • Antihistamines: These medications are typically safe for pets, but be aware of the dosage you’re giving them. It will be different for humans and pets. Always check with your veterinarian before administering medication.
  • Shampoo baths: Soothe itchy, inflamed skin with hypoallergenic shampoo baths. The rinsing and drying will also remove allergens from their coat. You can find dog-safe shampoos at your local pet store.
  • Wipe off coat and paws: A simpler way to give pets a “bath,” a quick wipe off with a moist cloth after your pet is outdoors will remove allergens and keep your home cleaner.
  • Avoiding allergens: You want your pets to enjoy as much outdoor time as they desire, but take precautions on days with high pollen counts and keep them from exploring too far into densely wooded or grassy areas.
  • Fatty acid supplements: Omega fatty acids that are commonly found in fish oil supplements can strengthen your pet’s coat and relieve flaky, itchy skin.
  • Air filtration: Dust mites can cause sneezing and itchy skin, so it’s important for your pets and you to filter the air in your home daily to remove common allergens.

Always check with your veterinarian before treating your pet. Other strategies may be required if their allergy issues persist.

Veterinarians can also help you identify if your pet has food allergies, which can be solved by changing the brand of food they eat and limiting the “human food” your family shares with them.

American Lung Association

Aprilaire Partners Logged In Homepages | News |

Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

4 minute read

At Aprilaire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why Aprilaire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both Aprilaire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

“I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

“The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

How did Aprilaire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

“Aprilaire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

Since 2020, Aprilaire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, Aprilaire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. Aprilaire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the Aprilaire Healthy Air System™) and nine Aprilaire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, Aprilaire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

“The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

Aprilaire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

Aprilaire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

“Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, Aprilaire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

“Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

Fight for Healthy Air

At Aprilaire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both Aprilaire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

*Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

St. Vincent de Paul

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2021: Aprilaire’s Good Neighbor Values

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We take the importance of caring for others to heart at Aprilaire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

“A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

 Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.


AA Homepage Articles | News |

Experts Say Flights Can Resume, But Bring Increased Risks

2 minute read

Air quality experts say that it is safe to resume flying, but travelers must take advanced precautions before traveling like taking shorter flights when possible, wearing masks, and social distancing. 

In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, Joseph Allen, an assistant professor of exposure assessment science at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, makes the case that airplanes do not make you sick. In fact, airplanes have comparable levels of air filtration and fresh air ventilation to a health care facility

Flights May Be Less Comfortable With Recommendations

He argues that airlines should continue disinfecting high-touch areas such as armrests and tray tables, stop in-flight food service, mandate mask-wearing, and ask patrons to keep their above ventilation fan on throughout the flight. While these adjustments make flying less enjoyable, they can help reduce in-flight virus transmission. Masks are currently required on public transportation. 

Allen is not the only one saying it is safe to resume flying. 

‘Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant’

Linsey Marr, an engineering professor at Virginia Tech, in a CNN article writes, “When HEPA ventilation systems are running on a plane and everyone is masked, the risk of Covid-19 is greatly reduced and makes air travel on a big jet safer than eating at a restaurant.”

Activities Create Biggest Risks

She and Allen argue that the biggest risks in airline travel stem from activities like the pre-flight boarding process or when a flight is delayed and people are stuck on the plane. Marr, who has been wearing an air quality monitor when she travels, said CO2 levels are elevated during these aforementioned activities and are indicative of a lack of fresh air ventilation. 

Marr told CNN that “A CO2 (carbon dioxide) level of 3,000 ppm means that for every breath I take in, about 7% of the air is other people’s exhaled breath…like drinking someone else’s backwash!”

The airport also presents other problems for travelers.

Allen suggests airports create more touchless experiences, upgrade their HVAC system, and require masks. Some updates have already been implemented in some airports or will be implemented in the future. 

Other experts suggest carrying your own personal hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and sticking to shorter flights

Even though there are risks to flying, Marr and Allen say you are clear for takeoff this summer