I have never slept with my door closed. From day one, my husband and I decided that we would leave the door open so we could hear the baby if he so much as whimpered.
That baby now plays varsity football, but the bedroom door remains open.
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Should Parents Sleep With Their Door Closed?
Experts recommend sleeping with doors closed to protect against fires. On the other hand, an open bedroom door may help you save money by better regulating temperature. An open door will also make it easier to hear kids if they’re awake or getting into trouble.
Benefits of Sleeping With the Door Closed
Many parents believe it’s safer to sleep with the door open. They can quickly reach their children in case of an emergency. They can hear noises throughout the house with ease.
It could also be a habit that stems from their own childhood or something they conscientiously choose. Still, there are reasons to sleep with the door closed. Consider each of the following when making your decision.
1. Fire Safety and Closed Doors
Believe it or not, it’s safer to sleep with a closed-door if you have a house fire. A wooden door won’t stop flames, but it can slow them down long enough to get help.
Perhaps more importantly, a tightly closed door keeps smoke from drifting into your bedroom while you sleep. Most fire-related deaths are not due to the flames but to smoke inhalation.
Even though it’s safer to sleep with the door closed, this does NOT replace the need for a good working smoke detector.
Having a smoke alarm is a crucial part of keeping everyone in your family safe. Make sure you check and replace the battery of your smoke detector regularly.
2. The Psychology of a Closed Door
I have always felt that a closed-door sends a bad sign. It shows a sense of secrecy. I worry that closing my door will make my children feel they can’t come to me if they need me.
Some psychologists say the opposite. A closed-door can make some people feel more secure. They feel like they are enveloped in a warm, safe space.
3. The Art of Feng Shui
Feng Shui is a way of living that promotes a healthy flow of energy, called chi. With roots in Taoism, Feng Shui is thought to provide balance in one’s life if properly practiced.
This ancient Chinese practice has been embraced by cultures around the globe. According to Feng Shui practitioners, doors should never be blocked. They should be opened during the day and closed at night.
4. Lower Utility Bills
There are arguments over whether a closed-door lowers or raises HVAC efficiency. Most heating and cooling experts agree that a closed-door blocks airflow, which can raise a utility bill by as much as 30 percent. Based on that, it’s kinder to both the planet and the pocketbook to have open doors.
5. Family Pets
If your pets are anything like my pets, you may not have an option to keep your door closed. My cat never met a closed-door she didn’t need opened with extreme urgency.
My kids can sleep through her incessant banging and crying at their closed doors. My husband and I cannot. We have realized that it’s not us but the cat who makes the final decisions about which doors can remain closed and which cannot.
What Works for My Family
My husband and I have chosen to keep our doors open. Our kids feel as though they can always come to us, and we feel a sense of calm knowing that we can hear them if we’re needed.
Likewise, our cat can come and go as she pleases, which is important for a good night’s sleep for all of us.
Conversely, our children are welcome to keep their doors closed at night. Both prefer having their privacy while they sleep, which is also a safer option for them.
While this solution may not work for everyone, it has been a great one for my family for 15 years and counting.
One last important point that should be made. Make sure to run regular fire drills, so everyone knows what to do in a fire emergency.
Pick the Option for Your Family
Your final choice is one that only you can make. Is fire safety your biggest concern? What about airflow? Let us know if you sleep with your door open or closed by leaving us a note in the comments!