Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Open or Closed? That Is The Question

Do you sleep with the window open or closed?  A simple enough question.  But, I wonder, are the answers we all have quite so simple and straightforward.  I ask this because of Francis Garrood's extremely funny story about.....well you can find out C is For Cockchafer.

For my part at home in the Hebrides or in New Zealand I sleep with the windows closed.  But why?  Well in the Hebrides in the winter it would be a rather foolhardy thing to do for rather obvious reasons of wind and rain but in the summer the reason is less obvious: midges!

So why close the windows in New Zealand? 

Before I answer that I should say that I have slept in the open air in a bivy bag in the Australian outback for a couple of weeks with all sorts of scorpions and snakes and so on and not had the slightest qualms.  I stayed at a friend's house last year and slept in a studio with the doors wide open all night (but the worst thing I was likely to be attached by was a mozzie).

At home (in NZ), though, when I first came to live in The Cottage I never closed the curtains (pointless as no one can even see The Cottage never mind me in bed) and sometimes if it was hot instead of putting the air-con on I just kept my bedroom ranch slider open.  I have no insect screens.  There may be few things likely to bite me but I'm still not too keen on the non-bitey things and one day in the middle of the night as I reached for my glass of water I realised that I wasn't the only creature requiring it.  The other one was, however, dead.  I realised just how close I had come to drinking a dead thingy. 

I read that we consume on average 8 spiders a year in our sleep.  I assume that's actually nonsense but it's the thought that counts.  In fact interestingly allowing more insects in our processed food might be more healthy.  Another post?

And then there are animals!

Bear in mind that for me noise is not a factor in either place I live.

So now I keep my windows closed here too.

How about you?


  1. Closed... Would love to be brave enough to leave them open, but alas I am a chicken. ;-)

  2. Oh yes, the urban legend of the spiders swallowed in our sleep! Highly unlikely, if you consider normal spider behaviour, plus the average sleeping person's susceptibility to waking up when touched (even by something as light as a spider).
    Unless it is very, very cold (well below zero, I mean), my bedroom window is kept ajar over night, with the blinds down but left at a crack so as to allow some air in, but not so much light as to wake me up too early in the summer months.
    My neighbours can be quite noisy, but I hear that noise through the house, not from outside, and keep ear plugs in the top drawer of my bedside table (I hardly ever use them, though).
    The occasional mozzie bite I can live with; while I still have the lights on, I keep the window shut in order not to attract too many of such unwelcome winged visitors.

  3. I usually keep my windows closed at night, even in summer. Sometimes, if the moreporks can be heard clearly, I will leave them open so I can listen to them in bed. But sooner or later I am disturbed by a possum chuckling and I don't know how anyone can sleep through that sound.

  4. Definitely closed - all the year round. This has been the case since our cat brought a very unwelcome and very dead visitor in one night! Spiders I can cope with but dead feathery or furry things I cannot.

  5. Most of the year I feel no need to have the window open at night but tne advantage of living on the 2nd floor is that when it's hot in summer, I can. (Also if I go out in daytime I can leave windows or balcony door sligthtly ajar.) Few mosquitoes where I live. One reason I wouldn't like to live on the ground floor in an apartment building is I wouldn't dare leave open. Noise is of course also a factor in town so on a hot night I still have to weigh one thing against another. Sometimes prefer to shut when I go to bed early (like if there are still other people sitting out on their balconies talking) and then open up when I wake up later in the night (as I ususally do at least once anyway).

  6. Open all year round but I have to close it if there is too much noise. Sadly that is more often than I would like. The only other time it gets closed is when the wind reached gale force and makes doors bang everywhere.