Sleeping In Car With Windows Up: Is It Safe?

Naomi O'Colman

sleeping in car with windows up

sleeping in car with windows up

If you’re those who are usually on a go, then sleeping in the car is unavoidable. Sleeping in car with windows up? This sounds reasonable as you will feel secure but is it safe?

In short, you can sleep in a car with windows up for a short time with the engine off. However, keep in mind that there are some dangers related to this habit.

Sleeping in the car with windows up

With windows rolled up, the air in the car can’t move as freely as you want it to. Sleeping with windows rolled up can cause some problems for you.

Some dangers when you sleep in a car with windows up

  1. The carbon monoxide produced by cars when it’s running can actually be inhaled by drivers and passengers. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas that can cause sleeping sickness. Moreover, you can not detect it as it often enters your lungs without you knowing. If you’re in a car with closed windows, you’re prone to this toxic air.
  2. Your blood oxygen will get low and low, high enough to make you feel dizzy and nauseous. If sleeping with windows up at night, breathing problems can occur which led to swelling of your tongue and lips!
  3. The weight of the car will keep falling on your chest. It is not healthy to sleep with your arms and head flat against the seat all night. Sleeping in a car with windows up can cause neck and shoulder pain.
  4. The temperature inside the car will stay low even though the air conditioning is on. Sleeping in a car with windows up can strain your eyes, especially when you cover them with sleepy or tired eyelids for a longer time.
  5. If you are suffering from a respiratory illness such as asthma or COPD and require treatment for it, the chance of waking up with shortness of breath is bigger.
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How to sleep in car with windows up safely

If you are having a picnic, sleeping in an open car exposed to the sun can be dangerous especially if you have closed the windows and closed the top. Sleeping in an open car exposed to direct sunlight can cause burns, sunstroke, heat exhaustion, and even death.

There are many precautions that they should take while sleeping in a car with windows up. These precautions include:

  1. Do not sleep while intoxicated or sleepy. If you are sleepy and fall asleep, you may feel uncomfortable when you wake up the next morning.
  2. Wear long clothing which can cover your legs, arms, and head to avoid non-existent cold air in the car.
  3. Wear a hat or cap in the car. If you are sleepy, wear a hat so your head will not feel cold and prevent the development of heatstroke.
  4. Do not sleep close to heavy objects in the car as it can cause injury. If you are tired, get into bed near to heavy objects and you could fall over them and injure yourself as well as get bruises or fractures on your neck or chest.
  5. Buy a pillow so that you can sleep comfortably. Don’t drive while you are asleep, the results could be fatal.
  6. Avoid sleeping in the car too long because it can make your body weak. the body also needs to stay warm during the night. Sleeping in a car with windows up at night can cause different medical problems and possibly death.

If you do decide to sleep in your car with windows rolled up, one should be conscious about his or her health condition. In other words, have a healthy body and healthy lungs for safety reasons.

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Are vehicles airtight?

If something is airtight, it means that it is completely closed, air cannot go in or out. Cars are not airtight even though car producers tried to make them so. When we are driving our cars, the air inside of it will circulate with the fresh air entering and the old air going out. Now this movement of air will help cool our car.

All vehicles have ventilation systems, you can see the 2 buttons on the dashboard. One is for the air to circulate within the car and one is to get the air outside in. This helps to move air in and out of a vehicle, allowing for even distribution for circulation in a vehicle.

How much air can a sedan car hold? Well, it can hold up to 4,000L of air inside the car, so literally, you won’t run out of oxygen for a while when all windows are closed.

Final Words – Can you sleep in a car with the windows up?

As I have mentioned above, sleeping with windows rolled up is more dangerous as you are not able to get fresh air as your body releases carbon dioxide.

In general, you should not sleep in a hot environment with the windows closed. Doing so can lead to a number of health dangers including overheating and other medical conditions that may result from being exposed to high temperatures. This is especially true if one has underlying medical conditions such as heart disease or lung problems.