I hate the feeling of waking up absolutely parched, especially on mornings when my lips are particularly dry and cracked. Many of my friends prevent this by sleeping with an air humidifier. But as a person who has a very low tolerance for humidity and a very high fear of mold, I can't help but be a bit skeptical. Is it safe to sleep with a humidifier at night? According to experts, as long as you're aware of how your body and home are reacting, you're good to charge ahead with beautifully moisturized skin.
According to Dr. Benjamin Smarr, a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and Reverie sleep advisory board member, the question of whether or not you should use a humidifier in your bedroom really depends on your specific needs. If you snore a lot, for instance, you probably aren't breathing through your nose well, he says. This kind of mouth breathing, believe it or not, can actually cause a variety of dental problems. "That can lead to drying out your mouth and throat, potentially giving you a cough and dental issues associated with dry, sad gums," Dr. Smarr tells Elite Daily over email. "So in that case, a humidifier could be very helpful."
Many people use an air humidifier to prevent skin dryness, especially during the winter.
According to Berkeley Wellness, using an air humidifier can definitely help your skin stay hydrated, as the humidity not only prevents your pores from drying out, but it can also keep your eyes and nasal passages moisturized, as well. What's more, the resource notes, that extra moisture in the air might just help you reduce the amount you owe for your heating bills in the winter. Here's why: Per Berkeley Wellness, because "you feel warmer in warm humid air than in dry, you can keep your thermostat lower, which also helps prevent dry skin." Can you believe?
However, there are a few small drawbacks to using a humidifier in your bedroom. “While moisture can be a positive thing, it also poses problems,” Janice Nolen, an indoor air specialist and assistant vice president for national policy at the American Lung Association, told TIME. “Moist environments provide a wonderful breeding ground for mold and bacteria.”
To make sure this doesn't become an issue for you, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you regularly check the humidity level in your apartment to make sure it's not too moist (eek). According to the CPSC, humidity levels that run higher than 60 percent "may allow moisture to build up indoors and condense on surfaces, where bacteria and fungi can settle and grow." To measure the air moisture in your home, you can use something called a hygrometer, which the CPSC says you can find at your local hardware store.
Along with close monitoring of the air moisture, being consistently in touch with how your body is reacting to the humidifier is key, Dr. Smarr says.
"You should re-evaluate or experiment with [the humidifier] from time to time, since your health will evolve and might have new needs after a while," he tells Elite Daily.
Another thing to be careful about is the kind of water you're putting into your humidifier. The Environmental Protection Agency cautions against using regular tap water to fill your humidifier, as doing so can lead to mineral build-up and increased germs. Instead, reduce microorganism growth by using bottled or filtered water, the Mayo Clinic recommends. Additionally, make sure to clean the device regularly; the medical center suggests emptying, scrubbing, and even bleaching your humidifier every three days.
Now glow, baby, glow in all of your natural, moisturized glory.