Getting a good night’s sleep can be critical in ensuring we wake up as cheerful, engaged, and productive people the next day. In America, overall sleep health is not at its optimum. In 2018 the Sleep Health Index conducted by the National Sleep Foundation measured the nation’s sleep health at 76 out of 100. But while we might focus on the obvious things in the bedroom that could affect our sleep—such as noise levels, light, and temperature—there is one additional factor we can sometimes fail to take into account.
Room humidity (or the level of moisture in the bedroom air) may also be a contributing factor if you are experiencing poor sleep and have eradicated all other obvious factors. The ideal humidity for sleeping is between 30% to 50%, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
What Happens If Your Bedroom Is Too Humid?
During the summer, the warm air retains more moisture and therefore, relative humidity increases. High humidity in a bedroom can cause you to sweat during sleep, making you feel overheated and uncomfortable. If you are waking up in the morning to damp sheets, it could be because your room humidity is too high. Too much moisture in the air can also promote the growth of dust mites and mold which could also increase your chances of allergic reactions (such as sneezing or itchiness) leading to more disrupted sleep.
How to Decrease Humidity Levels in Your Bedroom
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers can remove excess moisture from the air, therefore lowering the overall humidity level. Running an air conditioner or dehumidifier in the bedroom, even if it is just for a couple of hours before you go to sleep, can help bring down the humidity to a more comfortable and sleep-friendly level.
What Happens If Your Bedroom Is Not Humid Enough?
In the winter, our homes can experience the opposite problem—not enough moisture in the air. Cool air doesn’t retain as much moisture as warm air, so this will already ensure the environment around us is less humid. Add to that our constant use of heating systems to achieve the ideal house temperature in winter, and we are removing even more humidity from our indoor atmosphere.
Low humidity in your bedroom can affect your sleep because the lack of moisture can cause several symptoms, including dry or itchy skin, irritated sinuses, nosebleeds, and a scratchy throat. Knowing the ideal humidity for a baby is also important.
How to Add Humidity to Your Bedroom
Humidifiers work by adding moisture to the air, increasing the overall humidity in the room. Humidifiers are the best way to increase moisture to achieve the ideal humidity for your bedroom. However, it is vital to buy a large humidifier that is powerful enough to cover your whole bedroom. Otherwise, you may not see the full benefits of using one. At the same time, you need to ensure it is quiet enough not to affect your sleep. Doing your research is essential. To help you find a suitable model, read our large room humidifier reviews here.
It is important to keep your humidifier clean by regularly wiping it down with a damp cloth and changing the water before each use. Failure to maintain the cleanliness of your humidifier can cause mold and bacteria to grow within the unit and spread throughout your bedroom every time you use your humidifier. Choosing where to position a humidifier is crucial, too. If it is positioned too close to the ground or if the mist is directly hitting a wall or curtains, moisture can build-up and become a potential spot for mold to grow.
Large room essential oil diffusers can also be useful for increasing humidity in the bedroom. However, diffusers can’t humidify the air like a humidifier. Humidifiers are more effective as they can hold and release more moisture. Adding a few drops of essential oils into a diffuser, such as lavender, bergamot, sandalwood, and sage, can not only add a soothing aroma to the bedroom but may also aid in promoting a calm and peaceful sleep state.
For more ways to add humidity to your home, read our post on how to fix a dry room.
Monitor the Humidity with a Hygrometer
To measure the humidity in your bedroom, use a digital hygrometer. A hygrometer can quickly tell you exactly how much moisture there is in the air by calculating the relative humidity.
Many digital hygrometers also come with an accompanying app so you can store data about changes in your room’s humidity over time. A hygrometer with an app allows you to see if the physical changes you are making to your environment are impacting the humidity levels in your bedroom. Take a look at our guide to find the best hygrometer for your home.
What Is the Ideal Temperature for Sleeping?
The ideal temperature for good sleep is generally between 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit for most adults, according to the National Sleep Foundation. However, this can vary depending on the individual. Factors which could affect your ideal sleeping temperature include age and even gender. And your perfect temperature level can fluctuate during the night, depending on where your body is in its natural sleep cycle.
For babies and toddlers, the ideal temperature for sleeping is between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to note that the ideal humidity level for babies is the same as the recommended range for adults (30%-50%).
Don’t forget that temperature is not the same as air humidity. The amount of moisture in the air can vary even if the room temperature stays the same. So, if your bedroom is at your ideal sleeping temperature, it can still be too humid or too dry and you may need to look into using either a dehumidifier or a humidifier. A relative humidity level outside the recommended 30% to 50% range could be causing you to have a miserable night’s sleep.