Is It Good to Sleep With a Humidifier?

Medically Reviewed on 11/30/2021
humidifier benefits
Running a clean humidifier while sleeping is safe and useful because it moisturizes the skin, mouth, and throat.

Since a humidifier increases moisture in the dry air around you, its use improves sleep and reduces the symptoms associated with dryness in the sinuses, nasal passages, and throat, which results in inflammation and swelling of the tissues.

Running a clean humidifier while sleeping is quite useful and safe because it moisturizes the skin, mouth, and throat. However, it is critical to keep humidity levels in the air below 30 percent.

Humidifiers require cleaning at least one time a week. Additionally, you must empty, rinse, and dry the base and tank daily.

What are the benefits of using a humidifier during sleep?

A humidifier increases moisture in the air, which keeps the nasal passage and throat from drying out. It improves breathing and creates a comfortable atmosphere, which helps people sleep better at night.

A humidifier prevents and reduces the intensity of the following conditions:

5 types of humidifiers

Several varieties of humidifiers are available in the market. They come in different sizes. You can choose one according to your needs.

  1. Steam vaporizers
    • Steam vaporizers are portable and the cheapest humidifiers that are easily available in stores.
    • These release moist vapor into the air by boiling water.
    • If handled improperly, steam vaporizers may cause serious burns, so keep these away from children.
  2. Evaporators
    • They are a single-unit system that uses fans to run the device. The fan blows air through a moistened filter, which discharges humidity into the air.
    • These are less expensive than other humidifiers, but they only function in one room at a time.
    • They can be troublesome because they discharge an excessive amount of moisture into the air.
    • Excessive humidity can promote mold development and increase dust mite issues, which can worsen allergy and asthma symptoms.
  3. Impeller humidifiers
    • Impeller humidifiers have high-speed rotating discs that eject moisture into the air in the form of cool mist.
    • These are economical and considered children-friendly because they emit cool mist and do not produce burns.
    • Like evaporators, overuse of impeller humidifiers may cause asthma and allergy symptoms.
  4. Ultrasonic humidifiers
    • Ultrasonic humidifiers produce mist with the use of ultrasonic vibrations. These humidifiers can produce both cool and warm mist.
    • Using a cool-mist, an ultrasonic humidifier is a good option if you have children around.
  5. Central humidifiers
    • A central humidifier can be integrated into the central heating or cooling systems at homes. This helps maintain humidity levels throughout your home and is the most economical option.

Other things to know about humidifiers

  • The use of a humidifier has several benefits, but it is important to keep it clean. Air from dirty humidifiers gets contaminated with microorganisms and breathing such air increases the risk of infections.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests that humidity levels should be maintained between 30 and 50 percent within the home. Anything beyond that increases moisture in the air and makes it hard to breathe. Air with high moisture levels increases the thriving capacity of allergens, such as dust mites, molds, and germs, leading to allergies and asthma attacks.
  • Always use clean filtered water or distilled water in the humidifier. If hard water is used, the minerals in the water deposit in the filter and damages the humidifier.
  • You should always track humidity levels and clean all the filters in the humidifier regularly and change filters if needed.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/30/2021
References
Image Source: iStock Images

Sleep.org. Best Humidifiers. https://www.sleep.org/best-humidifiers/

Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Humidifiers for Respiratory Infections: Are They Helpful or Harmful? https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2018/01/humidifiers-for-respiratory-infections-are-they-helpful-or-harmful

Reid Health. The benefits of a humidifier as cold arrives. https://www.reidhealth.org/blog/the-benefits-of-a-humidifier-as-cold-arrives