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?
This 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).
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!
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.
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.
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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