Protect Your Health and Sleep Better with a Humidifier
It is a small change, but using a humidifier at night can make a big difference. It can help you to sleep better and help your body stay healthy. During both the winter and summer, in particular, maintaining a relative humidity level between 40 and 60% indoors has a number of surprising benefits.
Can Sleeping with a Humidifier Help Me Stay Healthy?
Using a humidifier while you sleep has some health benefits that are apparent. For example, you will notice that you struggle less with dry skin, sinus problems, bloody noses, and cracked lips. You may also feel some relief from congestion if you have a cold.
There are less obvious benefits as well. When air dries out nasal passages makes it more difficult for the cilia to filter bacteria, germs, dust, and pathogens and prevent them from entering your respiratory system. In this way, using a humidifier helps your body’s defences against viruses and other illnesses.
Watch this video to learn more about the benefits of humidifiers.
Can Increasing the Humidity Level Decrease the Risk of Catching Covid-19?
A recent study showed that just a 10% decrease in humidity could double the transmission rate of the coronavirus. This is because viruses are able to survive longer and infectious particles can stay suspended longer in dry air. When humidity is higher, aerosol droplets expand faster, fall to the floor, and have less opportunity to be inhaled by healthy people.
In addition to boosting the body’s natural barriers to contracting illnesses, humid air makes it more difficult for viruses to survive and travel. Keeping the indoor relative humidity levels in that 40-60% range helps prevent aerosol particles from floating long distances and facilitate transmission between people.
Related article: Coronavirus Concerns for Patients with Sleep Apnea.
When Should I Sleep with a Humidifier?
Dry air can be dangerous any time of year.
During the winter people spend more time indoors and homes are heated which makes indoor air drier. As described above regarding the coronavirus, cold and influenza viruses survive and are transmitted more widely in dry wintertime conditions. For this reason, increasing the humidity levels indoors, when the heat is running, helps prevent the airborne spread of common seasonal viruses.
In addition, a humidifier moisturizes the nasal and upper respiratory passages when the air is dry. This can help you breathe easier when you have a runny nose, chest congestion, cough, or sore throat.
Winter is not the only time when indoor air is unnaturally dry. During the summer, air conditioning removes moisture from the air. This causes the air inside the home to become dry and cause many of the same health problems. Air-conditioned air can dry out your sinuses, nasal passages, and throat when you sleep, leading to inflammation and swelling in these sensitive tissues.
Using a humidifier while you sleep in the summer helps alleviate these symptoms of dry air, as well as seasonal allergies. The cool mist can counteract pollen and mold when they are at their peak.
Why Do I Sleep Better with a Humidifier?
Apart from the health benefits in the summer and winter, some people find that they simply sleep better with a humidifier running at night. Why is this?
First, because maintaining the optimal humidity level increases your overall comfort when trying to fall asleep. It can help ease an itchy, irritated throat. Second, a humidifier creates a ‘white noise’ effect while it runs overnight. The soft hum of a fan or humidifier has been shown to help people calm down and nod off.
Related article: 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Fall Asleep Faster.
How Does Sleeping with a Humidifier Decrease Snoring?
When the mouth, nasal cavities, pallet, and airway get dried out it tends to make snoring worse. The vibrations of these dry tissues caused by each breath in and out can intensify the sound of snoring. Turning on a humidifier before you go to bed can help alleviate loud snoring by providing more moisture to these tissues.
How Can I Improve Indoor Air Quality for My Entire House?
If you want the same benefits provided by a small humidifier in the bedroom throughout your home, consider adding a whole-house humidifier. This equipment works with your regular furnace and central heating system to deliver more humid air to every room.
Sleep Disorder Diagnosis & Treatment – Sleep Health Solutions
If you are having trouble sleeping, there may be an underlying problem. Sleep Health Solutions provides support for diagnosing and treating a wide range of sleep disorders. Contact our office for more information.