Free U.S. Shipping For Orders $150+
We’ve talked plenty of times about the effect of temperature on sleep. Hot weather can be particularly brutal on your ability to sleep. But it’s not just temperature you need to worry about; the humidity level in your bedroom matters a great deal too for your sleep quality.
Air that is too dry or too humid causes discomfort and disrupts sleep. You know that feeling when it’s hot and muggy in the summer that your bedroom feels like a sauna or when the winter air is so dry your nose hurts?
Well, we have some great solutions to help you deal with changes in seasonal humidity.
How Does Humidity Change With Seasons?
Humidity is the amount of water in the air. The amount of water air can hold is determined primarily by temperature. So it makes perfect sense that we get varying amounts of humidity in different seasons.
Warm air has a higher capacity to hold water, so summers tend to be pretty humid. On the other hand, lower temperatures reduce the capacity of air to hold water, so that’s why winters are dry.
In between these two extremes, humidity is closer to average during the months of spring and fall. However, depending on where you live, you may still experience too high or too low humidity during these seasons.
Note: While summer is associated with high humidity and winter with low humidity, it can be different in some regions. In places like Texas, Arizona and Nevada, summers are often hot and dry while some places like Boston can get cold and humid in winter. So it’s important to understand your local climate situation and prepare for when low and high humidity strikes.
How Seasonal Humidity Affects Sleep
Dry Air Affects Your Breathing, Skin and Eyes
The ideal humidity level for comfortable sleep is between 40% and 60%. If the air is too dry or too humid, it affects your respiratory system as well as your skin.
Dry air during fall and winter mostly causes irritation and dryness. Your nostrils become inflamed and can get painful, which can in turn cause nasal congestion. Your skin can also get dry and flaky, your hair becomes dry and frizzy and your lips get chapped and easily crack.
Low humidity doesn't directly affect your sleep. It’s the discomfort it causes that can make going to sleep and enjoying deep sleep difficult. If you already suffer from insomnia, the dry winter air can make it worse as you suffer from headaches, itchy skin, eye irritations and other issues.
If you suffer from asthma or some other respiratory health problem, dry air can make it worse and trigger attacks.
Very Humid Air is Worse
High humidity can also cause lots of discomfort, which is made worse by the fact that it is usually accompanied by high temperatures. So at the same time you are dealing with a hot sweltering bedroom, you also have to tackle the humidity.
Similar to dry air, very humid air affects our respiratory system. You may get a stuffy nose, start sneezing, and experience a runny nose. But the effects of high humidity go far beyond interfering with your respiratory system.
- High humidity keeps sweat from evaporating from your skin, which prevents cooling and keeps you feeling uncomfortably hot.
- As your core body temperature rises, you sweat even more, which can lead to dehydration.
- High humidity causes worse air quality since the moisture traps airborne pollutants close to the ground.
- Too much moisture in the air can also cause mold and mildew to grow. If you are sensitive to mold spores, you may experience allergy symptoms.
- Excessive humidity can also cause feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
- High humidity can worsen certain health conditions like asthma, COPD, heart disease and even diabetes.
Having a humid bedroom involves fighting off enemies of sleep on multiple fronts. There’s the clammy skin from excessive sweating, heat that feels worse than it actually is, mold and air pollutants and allergy-like symptoms.
Combined, all these can make sleep during summer and part of spring really difficult.
How to Tackle High Humidity
- Get a dehumidifier for your bedroom or home. It is the most effective way to reduce humidity and make it easier to sleep. If you are also struggling with the heat, consider getting a 2-in-1 portable AC and dehumidifier. It cools the room while also removing excess moisture from the air.
- Using a fan can make the bedroom more comfortable. The moving air allows sweat to evaporate from your skin, which cools you down. If you can get an air-cooled bed system like BedJet, it’s even better since it blows air right under the sheets to quickly cool you.
- Make sure your bedding doesn't make you any hotter than you already are. Use lightweight and highly breathable sheets and comforters. They also need to be moisture-wicking to ensure sweat doesn't collect on your skin. Wool, silk, linen, bamboo and cotton make for great bedding materials during hot and humid summers.
- Remember to stay hydrated. You may not feel thirsty, but your body is losing lots of water from all the sweating.
How to Deal With Low Humidity
- If the air is too dry, a humidifier can add more moisture into the air and make it easier to breathe. You can get a large humidifier for your home or just a small one for your bedroom.
- If you live in a place that gets hot and dry summers, get an evaporative cooler. It cools the air by blowing out moisture-rich air. So it humidifies the air while also making the room cooler. The best part is that evaporative coolers (also called swamp coolers) are much cheaper to run compared to traditional ACs. But they only work in hot and dry climates.
- Shore up your home insulation to prevent cold and dry air from outside from seeping in. It will also keep your home warmer and reduce your energy bill.
- As with high humidity situations, it’s also important to hydrate when the air is dry. It reduces irritation on your skin, lips, mouth and throat.
- Moisturize your skin to keep it from getting dry and flaky, especially if you already struggle with dry skin.