Sleeping With a Humidifier Every Night : [ Benefits, Risks and Precautions]

What does a humidifier do?  Is it beneficial? Should humidifier  run  all  night? If so, what are the benefits and risks of sleeping with a humidifier every night?

What Does a Humidifier Do?

Sleeping with humidifier every nightThis is a machine that disperses water into the environment and consequently moisturizing dry air. The mist may be cool or warm depending on the type of humidifier. Running a humidifier while you sleep will ease problems caused by dry air.

Cool mist vs warm mist

You  can  comfortably  sleep with  a cool mist humidifier  as  it diffuses cool mist in the air. Since there is no heating risk involved in the mist production process, it is highly recommended for baby or children’s room.

It is also recommended for someone suffering from croup.

Cool mist is also great for hot environments.

The warm mist humidifier diffuses warm mist. The mist production process involves boiling the water, cooling the vapor and releasing it as warm mist. The boiling process kills off germs. However, it is important to note  that  if  you  sleep  with a  warm  humidifier  running  all  night,  you must place  it  out of child’s reach to prevent burns should  humidifier  run all  night.

Warm mist is great for cool environments and those suffering from upper respiratory tract infections.

Can  I  use  a   humidifier  in the summer?

Do  you  need  a  humidifier in summer?

Yes  you do…depending  on  the humidity  level.    If  you  reside  in an  area  where  the  air  is  dry (less  than 30% hygrometer  reading),  you  certainly  need  the  humidifier  to enjoy  the  benefits discussed  later  on  in this  article.

What do  you put in  the  humidifier tank?

Every humidifier  comes  with  instructions on  what and  to  refill the  water  tanks.  All the  same,  it is highly  recommended  that you refill  with  distilled water  to  avoid   emitting the  mist with   impurities resent  in hard  tap.   Some  humidifiers  also  have  an  essential  oil diffusion feature.  It  is  good  to ensure  that you  place  the  oils  in the  right  compartment  but never  in  the  water  tank  as  the  oils  may degrade the  tank.

 So, what are the benefits of sleeping with a humidifier every night?

Now that we know what a humidifier does, should  a  humidifier  run  all  night? Let’s delve into the benefits you get  should  you run  the  humidifier all night.

1.  Maintain  the ideal  humidity for  bedroom

For  you  to  enjoy your beautiful sleep, you  need  to be  in a n  environment  with  the  right  humidity  levels. The US natural sleep foundation recommends the best humidity level for bedroom at between 30% to 50%.   Levels  higher  than  this will  make  it  harder for  the moisture within your body  to evaporate and  you will  get  sticky  hot.

A highly  humid  environment is also  a  perfect recipe  for mold  growth which poses a risk to  your  heath  especially if  you  have  respiratory  conditions  such  as  allergy or  asthma. Get  a  hygrometer  to  measure  the  bedroom humidity  level  and  then  set  the  humidifier to hit the  level  quickly.

2. Improved sleep

As you breathe in dry air in your bedroom, your throat and sinus get dry. And that is perfect recipe for snoring menu and a disturbed sleep – for you and everyone else in close quarters. When sleeping with a humidifier every night, your respiratory tract will be moistened and thus reduce the chances of that snort!

3.      Reduce risk of infections

That dry nose and throat also exposes you to infections. Keep the humidifier running at night during winter or dry conditions and reduces the chances of infection

4.      Assist your respiratory tract perform its duties

The mucus membranes in the nose work best when moist. Dry air makes it difficult for the membranes to catch the germs and stop them from proceeding to the lungs where they cause more damage to your health. Run  the  humidifier in  bedroom  at  night  and moisten the  air.

5.      Relieve the congestion benefit of sleeping with a  humidifier

Suffering from sinusitis, cold, flu, cough or congestion? Keep the humidifier in bedroom at night and while dry air accelerates the mucus production and keeps it thick, the  moist air thins out the mucus and thus makes it easier to expel. As you expel the mucus, you also expel the disease causing germs and get on the path to quicker recovery.  Get more details on the special considerations to take into account while choosing a humidifier for sinus, allergy or asthma here.

6.      Prevent those nasty nosebleeds

Have you ever woken up to find some drops of blood on your pillow? A dry nose=dry skin and a possible nosebleed.

7.      Your voice box will sing along

Imagine that the dry air clogs the vocal cords. And by the time you are waking up in the morning, you can hardly recognize your voice. Sleeping with a humidifier every night  benefits the the cords by  keeping them hydrated and you can sing along…

8.      Reduce the heating bill during winter

Humid air feels hotter than dry air at same temperature.  This means that you can lower the heater’s settings when you run your humidifier when sleeping and thus reduce the heating bill.

9.      Part of your beauty regime

The dry air also robs your skin of that much needed moisture. A dry skin will chap, flake and age faster than a moist skin. Another sleeping with  humidifier benefit is maintaining that healthy supple skin.

10.      Healthier houseplants

You have placed some plants in your bedroom to help clean out some of the toxins in the air. The dry air will also steal moisture from your plants. Another sleep with a  humidifier benefit is a ‘nice to look at’ healthy plant.

11. Your furniture loves it

The dry air won’t spare your furniture, doors, molding etc. They will develop cracks and break down much faster. Another  sleep with a humidifier  benefit is  the longer lasting furniture, furnishings etc.

So what does a humidifier do for a baby?

Is  it good to sleep  with  a  humidifier all night in the  baby  room  or  nursery? Yes ! The  baby  can enjoy the  following  benefits of  a  humidifier  while  sleeping;

1.      Assist relieve colds, cough and congestion

Well, your baby enjoys all the benefits listed  above.  However, the baby needs that humidifier more than you as their immunity is not fully developed.  At one point or other, they catch a cold, flu, cough and get a congested throat and stuffy nose.

Furthermore, they are unable to blow the nose like adults do to expel the mucus. Sleeping with humidifier every night when they are down with the cold will greatly contribute to faster healing.

This is more so given that the pediatricians say that over the counter medication is not recommended for babies below two years and they may not be effective for those below 6 years (source).

Click here for information on the best humidifiers for babies with colds, cough and congestion

2.      Sleeping with a  humidifier at night assists the  baby  to enjoy a good night of rest

Since the kids have more sensitive nasal passages, they react more to dry air and may end up tossing and turning and ultimately waking up/crying. Help them sleep better by running a humidifier in the  baby  room  all night whenever the hygrometer readings go below recommended levels.

And to set them up for a playful next day,choose a  nice humidifier in the   baby room all  night here!Sleeping with a humidifier every night...playing baby

3.      The white noise effect

The noise from the humidifier mimics the whooshing noises they experienced in the womb.  Using  a  humidifier  at  night assist babies sleep better.

Click here for information on best humidifier for baby room

What are some of the sleeping with a humidifier every night risks?

Is  it  bad  to sleep with a  humidifier  night? Is  it  safe  to sleep  with  a humidifier  on? Is  it okay to  sleep with a  humidifier  on? Can  you  use  a humidifier  every  day? Is  it  safe  to  leave  a  humidifier  on all  night? Can I use  the  humidifier  overnight?  How  long should  a  humidifier  run at  night? These  are  some  of  the frequently  asked  questions concerning  humidifiers risks. Let’s get down to the risks  associated to sleeping with a humidifier every night.

1.      The water tank can run dry

While you can observe the water levels get to dangerous level during the day, you won’t   do so while sleeping. However, you can mitigate this risk by ensuring that you choose a room humidifier whose continuous mist production is longer than the number of hours you sleep.

To  reduce  this  risk while you or  the  baby sleep  with  the  humidifier on, make sure that the humidifying unit  has an auto shut off sensor which shuts down  when the tank runs dry.

2.      You may just get an allergy flare up

A Filter-less humidifier produces white / gray dust along with the much needed mist.  This white dust is the minerals present in regular tap water. To mitigate this risk, get a humidifier that has a filter to trap those minerals. Or get a unit that accepts demineralization cartridges or simply use distilled water. Click here to learn how to easily make distilled water  at home.

3.      You may just create an environment that breeds mold, dust mites etc.

As already mentioned earlier, dry air is a health hazard, but over moisturized air is no better. It is recommended that the humidity is maintained at 30-50% (source).

Too much moisture condenses on floors, furniture, bedding, and furnishings and promotes the growth of bacteria, mold, dust mites etc.

This negates all the positive effects of sleeping with a humidifier every night. Mold growing on furniture and furnishings in this kind of environment will certainly mean more cleaning and shorter lifespan.

To mitigate this risk, get a hygrometer (see user  reviews  here) to measure the humidity levels. If higher than the recommended level, do not run the humidifier. If too high, get a dehumidifier to soak up the excess moisture.

You can also get a humidifier that has a humidistat to measure and control the amount of mist dispersed given the humidity level in the environment.

What are the precautions to take when sleeping with a humidifier every night?

With the knowledge of  the  risks  mentioned  above, can  you use a  humidifier  on every  night?  The  answer  is  yes but for best performance;

1.      Keep the water and humidifier clean

Unclean water=mold and germ growth=unclean air. An unclean humidifier will also promote the mold and germs growth. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and keep enjoying clean healthy air.

Click here for information on easy to clean humidifiers

2.      Refill with demineralized and distilled water

When using a filter-less humidifier, refill with distilled water. By the  way  you can make  distilled  water at  home following  these  instructions.  While  at it, change the filters with the ones the manufacturer recommends when you are using a filter humidifier.

3.      Where  to put  humidifier. Place it right

Follow the instructions from the manufacturer. Some recommend that you place the unit on a stable,  elevated surface, others on a hard surface, etc. All the same keep it away from high traffic areas. And out of children’s reach.

Can you  put the humidifier  next  to your  bed? Should  you be  sleeping  next to  humidifier? How  close  should  the  humidifier be from  your  bed?  Several  considerations when  making  that decision;

  • A  warm  mist humidifier works by boiling the water and thus contact  the  high  temperatures  on  the  appliance  or in  case  of the  hot  water  spillage may  cause injury
  • How  heavy  is  the mist  produced  by  humidifier?  Heavy mist   may  lead  to  high  humidity  levels which is  not good  for  your  health  if  too  close to  you.
  • How  clean  is  the mist the  humidifier emitting? Is it  dust -free? If not,  it may will aggravate  certain  respiratory conditions.
  •  How  strong is  the  humidifier?  An efficient  and strong  mist   humidifier  can  be  kept  further from  bed.

Many people will choose to keep their humidifiers on a stable surface  not  so  close  to  the  bed.  A  place  you  cannot  reach  while  sleeping.

4.      Maintain the right humidity

Maintaining the  right  humidity answers the how  often  should  you  use  the humidifier question. Remember too low or too high is not good for your health. As mentioned earlier,  the  humidifier that you  run  all night or  day  should  maintain the recommended 30-50% humidity  level. Switch it  off  when  the  level is  above 60% and  on when  the  hygrometer  reading is  below 30%.

5.      Let your humidifier air during the day

Clean it, dry and air the unit to prevent mold growth.

6.      When going on vacation

Empty, thoroughly clean, dry and air the humidifier before storage

The final thoughts on sleeping with a humidifier every night (the benefits, risks and precautions).

So,  Is  it ok  to  sleep  with  a humidifier all and  every  night? From the aforementioned, you certainly are better off sleeping with a humidifier. However take note of the risks involved and take the necessary precautions.

Switch on your best humidifier and Have a good restful night!

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Vicky Geem

Hi there, I'm Vicky!- an ardent reader, researcher and writer. And I love breathing in cool, clean, healthy air. No wonder the interest in information and products that cool, heat, moisturize or purify the air in our living spaces. At, I share this information with you in a way that helps you make better and wiser decisions. When I’m not reading, researching or writing, you are most likely to find me enjoying the cleaner air outdoors. Or minding what I eat as I tend to my kitchen garden, picking some and ... meet you in the kitchen! Or contact me on email  or facebook/vickygeem

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