The ideal humidity for sleep is between 30 and 50 percent.1 Anything higher (which is common during the summer in many parts of the country) can make it difficult to sleep for two reasons: comfort and congestion. High humidity prevents moisture from evaporating off your body, which can make you hot and sweaty. This might mean hours of tossing, turning, and flipping the pillow to find the coolest spots on the bed, which is never a good way to sleep.2
Humidity can also make you feel congested. The same lack of evaporation that occurs on your body is happening in your nose. It’s this lack of evaporative cooling in your nose that can lead to a feeling of congestion.3
Comfort isn’t the only issue: mold and dust mites thrive in humid conditions. While molds prefer damp places like bathrooms and basements, dust mites reside in carpet, bedding, and stuffed toys. If you have allergies, this can make sleep especially challenging.4
To sleep better in humid conditions, make sure to use cotton sheets, which breath better than silk and polyester. Moisture wicking pajamas can also do wonders for keeping you sweat-free throughout the night. You might even consider investing in a dehumidifier for the bedroom, which can help remove moisture from the air.2
If you’re an allergy sufferer, make sure to remove clutter from the bedroom and wash your bedding at least once a week in water heated to at least 130° F (54° C). This will reduce the growth and proliferation of moisture-loving allergens like mold and dust mites.5 To directly treat your nasal congestion, try Breathe Right® nasal strips. They'll open your nasal passages so you can breathe and sleep better.