While I was talking to a co-worker about sleeping with fans on, he started telling me about the benefits of a humidifier while sleeping with the fans on. I stared at him for about 5 seconds of silence while I processed his conversation and realized, yeah, this would make an excellent article for ThatSleepGuy.com!
The top five benefits I’ve found are here:
- Improved Respiratory Health
- Reduced Snoring
- Enhanced Sleep Quality
- Allergy and Cold Prevention
- Dry Skin Relief
Using a humidifier while sleeping can provide numerous benefits to your sleep hygiene. Not only will it help with indoor humidity levels, but it can improve your indoor air quality as well. This can positively affect many health issues like snoring, bloody nose, sleep apnea, and sore throat!
After proofreading this article, I am discussing the uses of a PERSONAL or PORTABLE humidifier. To clarify.
The Top 5 Benefits of a Humidifier While Sleeping
Let’s get down to each of the five significant benefits next. I want to point out that several different types of humidifiers are on the market. Ultrasonic humidifiers, Evaporative humidifiers, steam humidifiers, cool mist humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers, etc. To learn more about the different types of personal humidifiers, check out this article on HVAC.com, which does an excellent write-up about this subject.
Improved Respiratory Health
A humidifier can have numerous health benefits, like helping with sleep apnea, snoring, stuffy nose, dry throat, and other respiratory issues that make sleepless nights comfortable. Especially in the winter, when the cold winter temperatures can create dry nasal cavities, a humidifier can help keep your nasal passages moist.
Turning on a humidifier at night will help to add moisture to the air that can help keep your airway moist to prevent snoring for a more restful sleep. Dry air can also make breathing difficult and worsen sleep apnea symptoms. A dry nose can also lead to nose bleeds and an itchy throat.
Enhanced Sleep Quality
Humidifier benefits can help you sleep better by adding extra air moisture to create a better sleep environment. Humidifiers can also act like a white noise machine, creating a light humming noise to help drown out sounds to help you sleep better.
Allergy and Cold Prevention
The quality of air in your sleep environment can have some surprising benefits. Seasonal allergies and sinus issues can be prevented by keeping acceptable moisture levels in the air. Low humidity can worsen allergy symptoms when air quality is low in your sleep environment.
Dry Skin Relief
Dry air in your bedroom can cause dry and itchy skin, especially in winter. Adding more humidity to the air can help with sensitive skin too. Proper humidity levels can also help prevent flaky skin symptoms.
Is It Good To Sleep With a Humidifier Every Night?
If you live in a dry environment, like the ones usually found on the west coast of the US, then a humidifier can be very beneficial. Keeping the moisture levels in the bedroom around 30% to 50% can help with allergy symptoms by maintaining optimal humidity levels while you sleep.
Lack of moisture in the air can lead to an irritated throat, nasal congestion, irritated skin, itchy skin, and several other factors that can ruin your sleep and overall health. Excessive humidity can lead to bacterial growth and damp environments, so finding balance is the name of the game.
Some humidifiers offer a “white noise” effect that some people use to help block out extra sounds when they sleep. I wrote a whole page on How to Drown Out Snoring.
Just be sure you are not using a dirty humidifier. The benefits of humidifiers are excellent, but a dirty one can cause problems like mold growth and dust mites. Keeping your humidifier clean and sanitary will help you reap the benefits of a humidifier while sleeping.
How Often Do You Clean a Humidifier?
As a general piece of advice, it is recommended that you clean it at least once a week, regardless of if you see any mold or not. Cleaning it should be done by the manufacturer’s recommendations in the owner’s manual. You kept that, right?
I’m not going to sugarcoat this. Your humidifier will start to build up mineral deposits, mold, and bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Regular cleaning will prevent this buildup.
For general instructions on how to clean a humidifier, here is a fantastic video on how to do it below. I need to find out how important this step is. A dirty humidifier will take away almost every health benefit it offers.
How Long Should You Run a Humidifier in a Bedroom?
Using a humidifier is like an air conditioner. You should not leave your air conditioner running all night; it is set at a temperature to maintain. The same is said for most humidifiers that can maintain a specific humidity level in your bedroom. These types of humidifiers can be safely set between 30% and 50% for an optimal humid environment.
It is always best to check with the specific model’s instructions how long you should let it run. Most resources recommend 8 to 10 hours, usually during sleep, to maintain optimal humidity levels. If you live in Georgia as I do, my humidifier might cut off as soon as I cut it on since our humidity is usually high.
If you have a basement area or a room without good air movement and sealed up pretty well, that humidifier may need to run longer to maintain optimal air quality.
How Far Should a Humidifier Be From You When Sleeping?
The rule of thumb is that you want to keep your humidifier about 3 feet away from you or any other furniture you would not want moisture to build upon. This 3-foot distance also helps spread the humidity and not focus on one area.
Maintaining optimal humidity levels is what we want to accomplish. To prevent mold growth, it is advisable to avoid placing it too close to yourself or other furniture.
Excessive levels of moisture on your mattress can foster mold and bacteria growth in your mattress, and we do not want that.
Can You Use a Humidifier Too Much?
Yep. Too much humidity can cause moisture damage on walls and furniture and even help mold growth in things like your mattress, pillows, and clothes. Even wood floors are not safe from moisture.
The safe option for most household humidifiers is one with a built-in feature that will shut off when the humidity falls outside the range you set or recommended by the manufacturer.
Maintaining a 30-50% humidity level is the general rule of thumb for most sleeping environments.
What Are the Different Types of Humidifiers?
According to Healthline.com, your room has five different types of humidifiers. Just be sure to choose a “Personal” humidifier, not a “Console” humidifier. The console humidifier is meant to add moisture to the entire home. A personal or portable humidifier is meant for a smaller space. For this article, I am recommending a personal humidifier.
Steam vaporizers, like this one on Amazon, are the most popular due to being one of the most inexpensive options. These humidifiers are electric and heat the water in the tank, then cool it down before it sends it into the room. This humidifier can cause burns, so these are not the ones you want to put in a kid’s bedroom.
If you have kids, an Ultrasonic humidifier, like this one on Amazon, might be the better option for you. They can vary in price, so pick the one you need for your room size. You can pick these up in a warm mist or a cool mist. The cool mist is recommended for children.
What Kind of Humidifier Should I Use in My Bedroom?
This is a personal preference. Some humidifiers, like steam humidifiers, can get dirty quickly, and cleaning every 2 to 3 days is recommended.
The best bet is to find one that fits your budget and room size. Get one today and change your sleep life!
As always, Happy Sleeping!