If you’ve ever heard that a humidifier can help with snoring, then you may be pleased to know that your information was correct. It’s true that these handy, mist-spreading devices can reduce the impact of dry air in the winter-time. But how does a humidifier help with snoring?
A humidifier administers humidifier therapy. This adds moisture to the air in the form of tiny water droplets dispersed by a fan. If you’ve ever noticed that your skin, nose, and throat tend to get dry during the winter, you’re not imagining things. Running a heater during the cold winter months can certainly remove moisture from the air.
A humidifier basically takes water and mists it back into the air, redistributing moisture and increasing the humidity level. This helps to keep your skin from drying out, and can also help to keep your nose and throat from getting irritated.
But what about snoring? Does a humidifier help with snoring?
Let’s dig in and explore it.
What Causes Snoring?
Most snoring is caused by airflow restriction in the soft palette. When the loose tissues of the upper airway relax during sleep, they tend to fall down into your breathing passages reducing the amount of space for airflow and making it harder to breathe. As air moves through the airway, it vibrates these tissues. This produces the sound that we have all come to recognize as snoring.
Snoring is generally considered more of a nuisance than anything. But it’s also possible that severe snoring can lead to an increased risk for a number of different diseases, conditions, and ailments.
If the soft tissues of the throat completely obstruct the airway, you can end up with a more severe problem called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA is more serious than regular snoring but loud snoring is one of the primary symptoms of the disorder.
Symptoms for OSA can include:
- Daytime fatigue
- Loud snoring
- Waking up gasping or choking for air
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth
- Sore throat
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
If you fear that you may be suffering from OSA, it’s important to talk to your doctor because that is a much more serious problem.
But barring a severe breathing issue during sleep, does a humidifier help with snoring?
As it turns out, it just might. Here’s how.
How a Humidifier Can Help You With Your Snoring Problem?
When your throat gets dry, it loses lubrication. This increases your snoring risk, because the dryness in your throat will result in a decrease in the amount of room for air to move through. If your throat gets too dry, the soft tissues within may grow irritated and inflamed, further reducing airspace. The tissues of your throat are also more likely to stick together when they’re really dry.
Using a humidifier during sleep is kind of like drinking a glass of water before going to bed, but a lot better. If you have snoring problems, staying hydrated is one potential remedy. Staying hydrated helps to lubricate the throat, even during the night. This helps to soothe the soft tissues of the airway, and creates more room for airflow.
A humidifier helps this process even more by increasing the humidity in the room. Constantly breathing-in dry air is going to dry out your nasal passages, throat, and airway.
Whereas, if you run a humidifier while you’re sleeping, you can breathe normally. Instead of drying out your throat, it’ll stay properly lubricated.
Humidifiers Also Help to Cut Down on Pollutants
Humidifiers also help with snoring by cutting down the number of allergens and pollutants in the air. When the environment is unusually dry, dirt, pollen, and other allergens are allowed to float through the air more freely. This is an especially important factor if you have allergies. If you’re allergic to dust, dander, pollen, or any other airborne allergens, dry air is going to be even harder on your throat than usual.
A humidifier helps to keep the air at an appropriate humidity level. This keeps more dust, dirt, pollen, and other allergens stuck to surfaces instead of floating around.
Humidifiers Do Help But They’re Not a ‘Cure-All’ For Every Snoring Problem
Humidifiers certainly help to cut down your snoring risk. But even if you use your humidifier perfectly, there’s still a chance that you’re going to snore.
Unfortunately, snoring is a very common sleep disorder. Roughly 57% of men, 40% of women, and 27% of children snore. As a common disorder, it’s usually a more complex issue than a humidifier alone can solve.
Thankfully, there are a number of measures that you can take to reduce your snoring risk, in addition to setting up a humidifier.
It’s also important to point out that a humidifier may work especially well for snoring during a respiratory infection, cold, stuffy nose, or cough. Sometimes, a stuffy head or cold causes snoring problems for people who don’t usually snore at all. And in such cases, you may find that a humidifier works quite well for cutting down the snoring risk.
But for some people, snoring is a more difficult problem to solve.
In Conclusion – Does a Humidifier Help With Snoring?
If you’ve come down with a common cold, or if you have a snoring problem and don’t want to start off with some kind of ‘invasive’ stop-snoring product, then it certainly doesn’t hurt anything to buy a humidifier and try it out.
Just make sure to follow the directions, and make sure that it’s clean and sanitized before use.
If the humidifier doesn’t do the trick, you may need to start looking at more drastic measures such as a mandibular advancement device, a tongue stabilization device, or a SMART snoring solution like the Smart Nora.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is not to take your snoring problem lying down. Your best hope for success is to take action to get rid of it, because it’s likely to keep both you and your partner from getting the rest you need. And that won’t do anyone any good.
As a general rule, most people agree that portable humidifiers are the best way to go for snoring issues. The reason for this is because portable models can be easily carried with you when you travel. They can even be moved around the room to offer the most advantageous position to help you with your snoring problems.
The methods that tend to help decrease snoring the most include:
1. MADs, or Mandibular Advancement Devices
2. TSDs, also known as Tongue Stabilization Devices
3. Sleeping on your side
4. Smart solutions like the Smart Nora
5. Nasal Strips
6. Nasal Dilators
7. Stop snoring chinstraps
8. Avoiding alcohol before going to sleep
9. Losing body fat/weight through a healthy diet and exercise
10. Quitting smoking
If you are snoring due to nasal congestion, if nasal congestion is otherwise making it difficult to sleep, or if dry air is seriously hindering your ability to sleep well, then yes – a humidifier can be a fine addition to your sleeping space to help inject some moisture into the air to soothe your breathing passages.
Humidifiers increase the humidity in the room. Dry air can aggravate and irritate the delicate, sensitive lining of the upper airways, nasal passages, and soft palate.
As long as you stick to a couple of basic rules of thumb, sleeping with a humidifier all night, every night, shouldn’t be a problem.
Number one: Make sure that the humidity in your room doesn’t exceed 30%. If it does, the negative downsides to such a high level of humidity can be worse than the benefits.
Number two: Make sure that your humidifier is cleaned and sterilized on a daily basis, and that you only put clean, demineralized, distilled, purified water into it. This keeps bacteria and mold from growing and spreading through the air aboard the water particles.
As long as you stick to these two steps, you should be good to run your humidifier as often as you want.
As a general rule, never use tap water in your humidifier. You should always use distilled, purified, demineralized water in your humidifier. This helps to eliminate the risk of spreading mold, bacteria, and other germs around the room. It also helps to cut down on the wear-and-tear experienced by your humidifier.
Some people believe that humidifiers are actually bad for you. But let’s put this rumor to rest. The truth is that humidifiers can actually be really helpful in dry air, to stave off irritation of the throat, nasal passages, and upper airway.
But humidifiers that aren’t well maintained and kept clean can be bad, in the sense that they can cause sickness due to spreading mold and/or bacteria. Why does a humidifier help with snoring? By increasing humidity with clean, non-toxic water. To avoid toxicity, make sure that your humidifier is kept clean, and that you only use distilled, purified, demineralized water in it.