Can humidifiers help in controlling sleep apnea and snoring?
Before we answer this question, let us know: how humidity does affect your sleep?
Unbelievable but true – excessively HIGH and LOW humidity levels in your room play an important role in controlling your sleeping patterns.
High humidity in your bedroom can be a significant cause of poor sleep quality.
As excess moisture present in the air makes it difficult for your body to evaporate the moisture, it leaves you feeling sweaty, hot, and uncomfortable all night.
Also, if you suffer from mold allergies, high humidity levels can cause significant problems while sleeping by encouraging mold growth.
Dry air or lower humidity levels inside can make you feel uncomfortable while sleeping as it dries out your nasal passages and skin.
Especially during freezing winter nights, you are more susceptible to getting a cold, flu, or other allergies if your air inside is too dry and makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
Obviously, excess humidity, as well as dryness in the air, can be a major cause of restless night sleep.
If un-controlled for long, it can lead to sleeping disorders like sleep apnea, snoring, and many others.
What are Sleep Apnea and Snoring?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder where a person’s normal breathing gets interrupted during sleep.
This can be in the form of one or more breathing pauses while sleeping.
Due to the condition, an affected person may experience repeated stops in breathing during the night.
In a chronic condition, these stops and starts can happen more than 20- 30 times in an hour which disrupts the sleep pattern greatly.
Types of sleep apnea
There are mainly three types of sleep apnea:
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Central sleep apnea
- Complex sleep apnea
Sleep apnea can lead to less restful slumber, which makes you feel fatigued the very next day.
If left untreated, it may also lead to problems such as excessive daytime sleepiness or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Causes and symptoms
Sleep Apnea is generally caused due to a blocked nasal passage that reduces the airflow to the lungs.
In a few extreme cases, the air passage gets blocked completely, which can even cause death while sleeping.
A few major sleep apnea symptoms are loud snoring, long pauses in breathing, daytime sleepiness and gasping, nighttime awakenings or insomnia, snorting or choking during sleep, and waking up with a sore throat or dry mouth, depression, irritability, moodiness, and forgetfulness.
The sad part is the disease often remains undiagnosed because the most prominent and common symptoms occur at the time when you are sleeping.
Snoring vs. Sleep Apnea: What is the Difference?
Sleep apnea and snoring, even though they are common sleep disorders, both have their own symptoms and health impacts.
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping.
In this condition, the entire body parts (including the brain) stop receiving enough oxygen supply. Chronic conditions may even lead to death while sleeping.
Snoring, on the other hand, is not as severe as sleep apnea as it’s only the harsh croaky sound (produced from the nose or mouth) during sleep.
This occurs due to partially obstructed breathing during sleep. The narrower the airways become while sleeping, the greater the vibrations will be and the louder the sound of snoring.
Does A Humidifier Help with Sleep Apnea?
Control the changing seasons; outdoor temperature and humidity are beyond your reach.
All you can do is install a good humidifier in your home that can manage optimum humidity levels in all seasons.
Studies showed that installing a good quality room humidifier proved to be highly beneficial for people suffering from disorders like sleep apnea and snoring.
As humidifier monitors and manage to keep your bedroom’s humidity level at about 30- 50%, it makes your skin and airways relaxed to enjoy the most comfortable night’s sleep without any disturbance.
Best Humidifier for Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Choosing the best humidifier for sleeping is essential to creating a healthier sleep environment in your bedroom all year round.
However, when you are in the market to choose the best humidifier for snoring, you may find various varieties and styles available, making it challenging to pick the most prominent one.
A whole-house humidifier can be most helpful for you and your family members as it can make your entire home more comfortable.
Picking a portable humidifier for sleep apnea can be a better decision as it allows you to add and control the moisture levels inside your bedroom while sleeping.
Some of the smartest humidifiers today come with features like remote control and Bluetooth along with Wi-Fi, Alexa, and Echo Dot compatibility.
This portable sized humidifier enables you to control your device even when you are sleeping at night.
Considerations while Choosing The Device for Sleep
While choosing the best humidifier for snoring and sleep apnea, ensure you do not go after the models that come with bells and whistles (like a humidifier with diffusers).
Although these are good for relieving a few allergies, they cannot do anything for sleeping disorders like snoring and sleep apnea.
When it’s time to choose between a humidifier or vaporizer, your decision should depend upon your budget and household.
In general, vaporizers are comparatively expensive and use more power to operate. Also, due to their heating element, these can be risky to operate near your pets and kids.
But the good thing is they produce the warm mist of moisturized air soothing your airways, irritated sore throat, and mouth.
Setting Up and Using The Device for Sleep Disorders
No matter which humidifier type you choose for sleeping problems, starting your device an hour before you go to bed is good.
This will help improve your bedroom’s sleeping environment so that you can breathe all night comfortably.
You can set up your unit close to your bedside on a nightstand or shelf to get the maximum benefits.
CPAP Machine With Humidifier: Does It Help?
Using a CPAP machine is one of the best-recommended treatments for reliving chronic sleep apnea and snoring conditions.
But as the air that is flowed out by CPAP is dry air, it can dry up the nasal tract of the patient. These machines are hence risky to use for patients in some instances.
By adding a humidifier to the CPAP machine, moisture is added to the air, which is flowed through the nasal passage.
The moisturized air that is breathed in acts as a soothing agent to release all the inflammation, which helps to breathe freely.
Due to the varied requirement of the users, there are different CPAP machines available in the market.
Some of them come with pre-installed humidifiers, while others need an additional humidifier to be installed.
If your doctor has prescribed you a CPAP treatment method, it is good to opt for a CPAP machine with a humidifier as it can ease all the conditions relatively faster.
Do not forget to consult your doctor and check whether it is perfect for your specific condition or not!
Overall, sleep apnea and snoring are caused due to partial or complete nasal obstruction.
It can affect a person at any age, and if left untreated, it may result in a growing number of health problems, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, and diabetes.
Fortunately, providing a better sleeping environment can easily tackle the problem. Humidifier plays an important role in managing the conditions.
So why not install one in your room to sleep better and let your partner sleep peacefully?
Meen Smith is a nurse by profession who loves writing online, spending time with her family and caring for the elderly. She has already worked as an associate editor on various moms, babies, home appliances, kitchen, and healthy living blogs. In her spare time, she also enjoys drawing, reading/writing kindle eBooks and improving her skills a bit.