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Both high and low humidity are linked to snoring. That’s because air that’s too dry or too humid interferes with the respiratory system, which can trigger or worsen snoring.
Depending on what conditions you are facing, you may need a humidifier or a dehumidifier. There are also other ways of reducing humidity-related snoring if you don't want to buy a new gizmo.
Humidity and Snoring: What’s the Connection?
Snoring occurs when there is an obstruction in the throat and airways. The constriction changes the movement of air, causing soft tissue to vibrate and produce the snoring sound.
Normally, this obstruction is caused by relaxed muscles, which can happen after drinking alcohol, taking sedatives, or if you are overweight.
Humidity can also constrict the airways and trigger snoring. This can occur in several ways.
- Heat combined with high humidity increases inflammation in the body. This can cause the airways to get inflamed and swell, which constricts air movement, thus causing snoring.
- Dry air can also cause inflammation when it dries out nasal passages. As the airway swells, air gets constricted.
- Too much humidity increases the amount of mucus produced in the throat and nose. The excess mucus obstructs the airways, causing snoring as well as other symptoms like nasal congestion and sneezing.
- High humidity can trap allergens in the air for longer. Allergens are a common cause of snoring. This happens when they enter your nose and cause inflammation in your airways.
- Low humidity can also cause allergies. The dry air causes dust mites, mold spores and other allergens to flake off and go airborne.
If you are already a snorer, you are much more likely to be affected by humidity. Too dry or too moist air will make your snoring louder and more persistent.
How Snoring Impacts Sleep Quality
Snoring is not bad just because it’s noisy and disrupts your partner’s sleep. It’s also bad for your own sleep quality.
You may not realize it but snoring prevents deep and restful sleep. So while you may get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, you could still experience symptoms of sleep deprivation like daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and mood changes.
In turn, lack of quality sleep affects your health and increases your risk of various diseases like stroke, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia.
So if you think low or high humidity is making you snore, that’s a serious matter that needs an urgent solution.
How to Adjust Humidity In Your Bedroom
The ideal humidity is between 30% and 60%. In summer, the ideal range is around 40-60% while in winter, a 30%-50% range is most comfortable. But 30% and 60% are the lower and upper limits for healthy sleep.
The best and most effective way of achieving the right humidity level is using a humidifier or dehumidifier.
Use a humidifier if the air feels too dry (common in winter). It will add moisture into the air and reduce the risk of snoring. We have written a quick guide on how to pick the best humidifier for your bedroom.
Use a dehumidifier if the air feels too humid (common in spring and summer). It removes excess moisture from the air. Check out our guide on how to shop for a dehumidifier for your bedroom.
We recommend getting both a humidifier and dehumidifier to deal with seasonal changes in humidity. When buying either one, our best advice is to look for one that has a built-in humidistat. This allows the unit to automatically maintain the selected humidity. You never have to worry whether the air is too dry or too humid.
Other Ways to Stop or Reduce Humidity-Related Snoring
If you don't want to get a humidifier or dehumidifier, here are some other ways to keep low/high humidity from turning you into a snore monster.
- An ultrasonic diffuser is cheap and works great as a humidifier for small spaces. You can even add natural essential oil to it to make your bedroom smell nice.
- Be careful not to overheat your home in winter as that can dry out the air. Experts recommend setting the thermostat at 68F. If you need any additional warmth, layer up.
- Drink lots of water when seasonal humidity is low. This will prevent dehydration and keep your airways from drying out.
- Turning on a fan can sometimes be enough to deal with high humidity. The fan keeps the air moving, which reduces humidity buildup in one place. You can even install exhaust fans in places like the bathroom, kitchen and attic to expel excess moisture outside.
- Anti-snoring nasal sprays are pretty good at reducing or stopping snoring. They work by opening up your airways to make breathing easier.
Keep in mind that not all cases of snoring are caused by changes in the level of humidity. So if you try to adjust humidity but you still snore at night, there’s likely something else that’s making you snore. See a doctor for a proper diagnosis.