Why Does My Bedroom Smell After Sleeping?


No one wants to have a strange smell coming from the bedroom every time they leave the room. It can be very off-putting, especially if you sleep with your windows closed tight. This is a very common phenomenon with smaller bedrooms due to limited air circulation.

If your room is smelly after sleeping, there are a number of factors that could be to blame. This article will highlight all the potential reasons and help you figure out what to do about them. In the end, you should be able to enjoy a much less stuffy, fresh-smelling bedroom.

Here are some of the reasons why your bedroom smells after you sleep in it:

1. Natural body metabolism

Often at times when you are deep asleep, your body sheds dead skin cells, secretes natural oils as well as sweat. Furthermore, everyone has naturally occurring bacteria on their bodies. Whenever the bacteria come into contact with your sweat, they break it down and in the process, body odor is formed.

2. Mattress material

It is possible that your mattress is manufactured using some artificial materials that retain a lot of moisture, especially when you sweat which consequently favors the growth of mold, causing a very unpleasant odor.

3. Poor hygiene practices

It could also be that you are not keeping up with good hygienic habits in terms of keeping your room clean and free of unnecessary waste. Leaving your room unattended to for a couple of days, especially if it serves as a place to eat amongst other uses, will allow waste to accumulate and it’s just a matter of time before your room starts giving off a bad smell. In addition, when you don’t change your sheets often enough, your nose is bound to pay the price.

4. Diet

This has probably never occurred to you but some foods influence the way we smell or the kind of odor we give off. When you eat a lot of garlic for example, and go to sleep, your body releases breath through respiration and you shouldn’t be surprised to wake up with your room stinking of garlic smell.

5. Poor Ventilation

As we mentioned earlier, your body metabolic processes taking place when your asleep release bad odors. Add to this stinky breath, sex, and even flatulence. If your room lacks the appropriate ventilation system, then you’ll undoubtedly wake up to a very irritable smell.

6. Carpeted floors

Believe it or not, carpeted floors are a major source of bad bedroom odor. Considering sex, showers, and illness all carry odors that get trapped in carpet fibers, your carpet could be the silent killer. Moreover, stinky feet, muddy shoes, and spilled nighttime treats add to the stench.

7. Attempt to mask the odor

Trying to cover up the underlying bad smell in your room using potpourri or scent products without proper cleaning and ventilation actually does the opposite. Your room may develop a lavender-tinged sweat smell which is very unpleasant to your nose.

What you can do about the smell?

So what can you do to counter this bad odor in your room​? Well, here are a number of solutions you can try implementing:

 1. Proper Ventilation

Clear the air in your room by making sure there is a reliable ventilation system. If necessary, use an air purifier with a HEPA-type filter to help contain odors. In addition, if the weather is suitable, air your room out every day by opening a window for at least half an hour.

2. Clean bedding

When you wake up, don’t make your bed right away. You need to air out the sheets every day, possibly as you handle other tasks around the house. Don’t just change your bed linens once a month! Kill the smell by washing and changing your sheets and covers as well as your pillows at least once every week.

3. Use area rugs

As mentioned earlier, a carpeted floor can contribute greatly to the bad smell in your bedroom. However, what if you cannot stand the cold floors, especially just after you wake up? Well, that’s where area rugs come in. Washed once per month, you can enjoy the warm floors without having to worry about the smell.

4. Use an odor absorber

You could use a natural odor absorber like baking soda to trap any lingering odors in your room. However, since odor absorbers are soaking up the air particles that cause the bad odor, you will need to often replace them.

5. Avoid eating in your bedroom

I understand some of us may feel the need to have a meal or two in our rooms but this should be resorted to when and only when absolutely necessary. Reduce the amount of food particles spilling all over your room and I guarantee it will significantly improve the condition of your room as well as the smell.

6. Be mindful of your diet

You need not eat foods that will in turn fill your room with a bad smell when you release breath at night in your sleep. Limit your evening diet to light meals that do not give off strong odors and also make sure you brush your teeth before you go to sleep.

Remedies for bad odor

There are also several remedies you could use to get rid of bad odors, provided you clean up your room first. Some of them are:

1. Essential oils

When cleaning and vacuuming of your bedroom are done, essential oils will be useful to you. They produce a natural whiff of fresh air that is free from toxic chemicals. Some mixtures of these essential oils can even be made in your home and will leave your home with a pleasant aroma.

Examples of essential oils include peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and so on. You just need to use water, an alcohol base, and a few drops of these oils to make your own mixtures. Then, put the mixtures in a spray bottle then spray your rooms. Bonus use of essential oils is that they also act as insect repellents.

2. Eucalyptus leaves

The leaves of this tree give forth a good scent that can be used to make an apartment smell fresh. You need to just place a few bunches of these leaves in vases that you will put in every room. If you place them in the bathroom, a spa-like atmosphere will be created.

3. Lemon basil spray

Lemon and basil have a natural scent that is warm and, at the same time, refreshing. The spray can be created by simply mixing hot water with some basil leaves, then letting the mixture steam for just a few minutes. Using a sieve, filter the mixture then add some few drops of vodka, and finally five drops of lemon essential oil. The resulting mixture needs to be placed in an easy-to-use spray bottle.

Final Thoughts

If trying out all these methods sounds like a lot of work, simply try keeping the room clean and free of moisture and with good circulation for a few days. You could also use automatic air-fresheners, which are gadgets that filter pollutants and irritants from the air. Alternatively, you can go for commercial air fresheners that are available in most stores. They are easy to use and you can spray them in all of your rooms. 

Just keep in mind that masking the smell with an air freshener in this way is just a temporary solution. You will still need to identify the actual source of the odor and take care of it.

Smell affects your sleep in a number of ways. This is why when thinking about the layout of your bedroom, you should not forget about the air conditioning. It has been evidently proved that some smells have a significant effect on your sleep. One study notably found that smells, both good and bad, influence our dreams. Surrounding yourself with scents you like could help you drift off into deep slumber. Keep your room clean and use detergents and other scented products with a pleasing smell, or no smell depending on your preference.

For a long while, baking soda has been known as a good deodorizer, mainly because of its effectiveness and cost. If you have some stenches you need to get rid of, sprinkle some of the baking soda into some small plates or dishes. Then, distribute these around the house. The baking soda works to absorb odors from a room and gets rid of unpleasant smells.

Vinegar can also absorb any kind of odors in your room, be it cigarette smoke or pet odors. To use it effectively, place bowls of the same in each of your rooms, then let them sit overnight. For the vinegar smell that may be left behind, do not worry about it, for it will dissipate quickly the moment you remove the vinegar.

Melanie Asiba

Melanie is an author. She enjoys traveling, reading and trying out new things. In addition to writing for Apartment ABC. Connect with her at [email protected]

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