Many wonder what the ideal humidity level for sleeping is. Too much moisture can promote allergies and molds, while too little leads to dry skin and throat.
If you can’t get your measurements right, I’ll guide you through the best humidity level for your bedroom. The right level will help you create the healthiest and most comfortable bedroom environment for sleep!
How Does Humidity Affect Sleep?
To understand how humidity affects sleep, you should first know the natural sleep cycle. This cycle consists of four stages. The first two are the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) stages, representing light sleep with a decrease in body temperature.
There is also a gradual decrease in breathing rate and brain wave activity during these stages. Your body experiences a slower heartbeat as it enters the slow-wave sleep or the third stage of NREM.
The third stage is crucial for sleep health because it promotes bone and muscle recovery. It’s also responsible for tissue repair in the body and immune health. Finally, REM sleep is where dreaming occurs. The breathing rate speeds up, and the brain wave activity increases.
How High Humidity Affects Sleep
A high level of humidity can disrupt these four stages by increasing your wakefulness. Poor quality sleep can increase the likelihood of certain health concerns associated with memory and physical recovery. You can easily monitor the humidity levels in your home with a hygrometer.
A damp environment for sleep can also hinder peaceful sleep because it increases respiratory infections. It can trigger asthma symptoms, bronchitis, breathing problems, and other issues that disrupt sleep.
And because your body can’t regulate your temperature in a deep sleep, it will waste energy trying to keep the body warm. As a result, you’ll have shorter deep sleep stages and will wake up in the evening.
How Low Humidity Affects Sleep
You’ll see low humidity during the winter months and in colder climates. It affects your personal health through the sore throat and dry eyes.
The lack of moisture can irritate the throat and mouth airways. In turn, this irritation causes respiratory infection, hindering a comfortable sleep.
When the level of moisture is low, the air sucks up any wetness it finds in the environment and your body. Sleep disruptions will be more frequent because you’ll have dehydrated skin. Your compromised moisture barrier makes you vulnerable to itchy skin and allergens.
Even though low humidity dries out your skin, it tends to make you oilier. It’s your body’s natural way of making up for the dryness.
What is the Ideal Temperature for Sleeping?
Unlike humidity, the optimal sleep temperature varies from person to person. Some people enjoy sleeping during a hot summer night. But others would rather drown in a thick, weighted blanket during winter times.
However, the body can only tolerate specific temperature values. These measurements can maintain and improve your bodily functions and well-being, contributing to healthy sleep. Several factors can affect this, such as our activity levels and environment.
The ideal sleeping temperature is 16-18 degrees Celsius (60.8-64.4°F). But it’s different from the general ideal home temperature, which is 18.5°C-20.5°C. The children’s room temperature must be 20-30 degrees Celsius.
Stay within this range of temperature for sleep to avoid insomnia and headache. These measurements are also crucial for kids because their immunity is not yet at its peak. They should not feel too chilly because they may experience constant colds, the flu, and diseases.
What is the Best Humidity Level for Sleeping?
Relative humidity (RH) is a standard method for calculating moisture levels. And you can obtain this information through a digital hygrometer.
The ideal humidity level is crucial to maintaining your circadian rhythm and enhancing sleep quality. However, it differs according to your location and your external temperature conditions
Research suggests favorable humidity conditions are between 40% and 60%. It’s the perfect range for sleep that prevents indoor pollutants and discomfort. However, the Environmental Protection Agency suggests keeping it between 30% and 50%.
In the cold winter season, it’s tough to maintain the ideal conditions. That’s why you need to keep it at around 40% to 50% to stay comfortable.
Do your best to create an optimum sleep environment. Otherwise, your body moisture won’t evaporate quickly in humid conditions. You’ll feel hotter, stuffier, and sick.
What Happens if a Bedroom is too Humid?
High bedroom humidity negatively impacts your space and body. The warm air can hold more moisture during hot summer days to increase the relative humidity. You’ll sweat more, and you are also more prone to overheating.
Your bedroom air’s excessive moisture also causes damp sheets, which lead to disrupted sleep. It can also lead to mold, dust mites, and bed bugs.
Mold growth can lead to allergic reactions like sneezing or itchiness. A humid environment can also make your skin itchier because these creatures thrive in mattresses.
What if Your Bedroom is Not Humid?
Dry bedroom environments also have a negative impact on sleep. Because cool air in the winter doesn’t retain enough water, your bedroom feels less humid.
You also eliminate more humidity from your indoor atmosphere when you use your heating system more often. You’re more likely to use it since you want to attain the ideal house temperature in the midst of winter.
When your bedroom is dry, your wooden floors and furniture may crack. Paint will chip, and your books become more brittle. You’ll also experience dry skin and hair, and static electricity. Other symptoms include irritated sinuses, nosebleeds, and an itchy throat.
How to Lower Humidity Levels in Your Bedroom
Maintaining proper humidity levels can create an outstanding atmosphere for sleep. If you live in humid climates, here are some ways to decrease humidity levels in your room.
Keep an Open Space
Open your small, inaccessible windows to prevent moisture from forming in your bedroom. It will allow drink spillages, sweat, and water from your shower to evaporate and escape from your bedroom. But make sure it’s safe to leave it open, especially if you’re doing it at night.
Use Air Conditioning
Air conditioning not only leads to cooler temperatures in the bedroom, but it also lessens your indoor humidity. Turn on your AC system to reduce the moisture at home, but don’t put it in high settings because it will increase your heart rate.
A sleeper who lives in a hot location will also have a better sleep at night with an AC. Studies reveal that they sleep better when the AC is in moderate settings.
Consider a Dehumidifier
Dehumidifiers are helpful devices that effectively reduce indoor humidity. They fit inside the furnace air handler to remove moisture that passes through the air, making your room more comfortable.
You may try portable dehumidifiers available at home improvement centers and big-box hardware stores. They are more affordable and more straightforward to use than bigger models. Make sure it has adequate capacity to work overnight and help you reach a deep sleep stage.
Small units may operate overnight but don’t bring down your humidity to optimal levels. You also want it to have automated controls and an adjustable humidistat.
Fix Leaking Pipes
Your room could be too wet because your leaking pipes and sink in your bathroom need fixing. Signs that your pipes are leaking include stained drywall, irregular water bills, and wet spots in the room.
These damages add moisture to your room. So, fix and wrap them in insulators. Exposing your pipes less will avoid condensation.
Use Breathable Fabrics When Sleeping
Moisture-wicking sheets like cotton and rayon bed sheets are more breathable than synthetic materials. They do not trap moisture and sweat on your skin’s outer layer, which is more comfortable and hygienic.
Breathable fabrics also keep the bedroom temperature cooler. It makes an excellent material for the ideal sleep because you won’t wake up to night sweats.
Replace Your Memory Foam Mattresses
Even though they offer many benefits for sleepers, the soft comfort layers easily trap heat and moisture. Replace your memory foam mattress with cooler and more breathable layers, like a latex mattress or a hybrid with an open coil system.
How to Increase Humidity Levels in the Bedroom
Increasing the humidity in drier climates can help reduce dry skin and throat. These tips are great for raising the humidity in your bedroom.
Consider a Humidifier
Humidifiers are helpful devices that increase humidity for sleeping conditions. But large humidifiers are better than small, portable humidifiers. They can work overnight to cover your whole bedroom.
It’s essential to get a humidifier that doesn’t make noises to improve your quality of sleep. Ultrasonic humidifier models like Levoit LV600HH Humidifier are the most silent devices. They create a visible mist through high frequency and vibrations.
Keep the humidifier clean at all times so that bacteria will not accumulate on the device. They circulate in the air when you turn the humidifier on, leading to sickness if you breathe them in.
Turn Down the Heat
While hotter environments hold more moisture, the moisture can cause the air to evaporate quickly. Your room will soon dry out if the temperature is too high. Turn your thermostat a few degrees lower to increase your moisture levels.
Bring Your Plants Inside
Plants not only add style to your bedroom, but they also increase the humidity. Their roots absorb moisture and spread it to the stems and leaves, releasing the rest into the air. Constantly water your plants so that it receives the moisture it needs.
Use an Essential Oil Diffuser
An essential oil diffuser like URPOWER 1000ml Large Essential Oil Diffuser will give you a calm sleep because of the aromatherapy and comfortable humidity it provides. It spreads a refreshing mist that should cover the whole room.
An essential oil diffuser is not as effective as a humidifier, but it still makes a difference. The two types of diffuser you can choose from are ultrasonic diffuser and nebulizer diffuser.
Ultrasonics work through a vibrating diaphragm, while nebulizers emit the essential oil without water. Some diffusers also allow you to control the appliance on your mobile device. Change the settings from anywhere so you can freshen up your room without standing up.
Leave the Door Open When Taking a Bath
Whether you’re showering or having a bath in the tub, leave the door open to increase the humidity. Leave it open after showering if you don’t want to compromise your privacy. Don’t drain the water right away so that the heat will cause evaporation.
Monitor the Humidity with a Hygrometer
A digital or analog hygrometer will help you track whether the humidity rises or falls. It will tell you the specific value of how much moisture is in the air through percentage. It doe this by calculating the changes in temperature and pressure.
The most obvious factors to consider when getting a hygrometer are accuracy and remote monitoring. Even if these devices are already factory-calibrated, you need to self-calibrate them for more reliable readings. Adjust it occasionally as the sensor drifts over time.
Like the SensorPush HT1, some digital hygrometers allow you to monitor through a mobile application remotely. They are great for humidity-sensitive areas like your wine cellar, music room, library, or cigar humidor.
Other smart hygrometers also allow you to monitor several rooms at once. All sensors give you real-time alerts to identify humidity issues around the house.
Setting your humidity at the right level avoids allergies, sweating, dry throat, and molds, giving you a better night’s sleep. It will ensure that you enter the crucial sleep stages without any disruptions.
Did you enjoy reading this post? Leave your humidity-related questions in the comments, and we’ll be happy to answer them!
Make sure to do the following, so your bedroom feels more comfortable to slumber in:
- Set your humidity level for sleeping between 40% and 60%.
- Monitor these levels with a digital hygrometer.
- Adjust these levels by getting a humidifier or a dehumidifier.
- Choosing the right bedding.
- Invest in a proper air conditioning system.
And check out more of our awesome tips on our website. Like this guide to the best dehumidifiers!