How humid weather can affect sleep

And how to get your rest during the warmer months.

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 typically make it difficult to sleep for two reasons: comfort and nasal 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 nasal congestion.³

Sleeping comfortably isn᾿t the only issue. Allergies and nasal congestion can occur due to mold and dust mites that 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 feeling 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 nose so you can breathe and sleep better.

References:

  1. Mayo Clinic. Humidifiers: Air moisture eases skin, breathing symptoms. (2013, May 8), http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/in-depth/humidifiers/art-20048021. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  2. National Sleep Foundation. How Humidity Impacts Your Sleep. (n.d.), 2015, https://sleep.org/articles/humidity-and-sleep/. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  3. Monell Chemical Senses Center. (2011, October 17). Nasal congestion: More than physical obstruction. ScienceDaily, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184803.htm. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  4. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. (2008, March 27). Troublesome Allergens Thrive In Humid Weather. ScienceDaily, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080326194314.htm. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  5. Mayo Clinic. Allergy-proof your home. (2014, April 13), http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/in-depth/allergy/art-20049365. Retrieved June 20, 2018.