Y'all. Y'ALL. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to get a humidifier (which is basically an electronic device that helps to put humidity into the air). The main reason why is because I read an article that said that COVID thrives in low humidity. I'll get into that in a second, though. Anyway, what I thought was going to be a quick trip up the street ended up being a day-long endeavor because I had to go to four different stores and all of them had inventory issues. Most said it was because of the labor shortage that's been happening all over the country.
So, before I get into the reasons why investing in a humidifier is quite possibly one of the smartest things that you can do this fall season, let me first say that there are plenty of articles out in cyberspace (like this one, this one and this one) that are warning that between labor issues, supply chain drama and yes, inventory nightmares, it would be best to purchase as much as you can as soon as you can. That way, once the holiday season does roll around, you can be cozied up in your house rather than frantically out in stores. Feel me?
That said, here are 10 reasons why I am sleeping better than ever (and I typically sleep pretty well), now that I have a humidifier running every night.
1. Moisturizes Your Skin
Something that I make sure I do before turning in every night is I put some rosemary oil on my face (and neck) and some shea butter on my lips. However, it never fails that while my skin ends up fairing pretty well, oftentimes my lips will be slightly chapped come morning. This hasn't been the case since I've been using my humidifier, though.
One reason why getting a humidifier for this time of year is such a good idea is, the colder it gets, the more we tend to rely on central heat. And the more central heat blows, the more the humidity level drops within the rooms of our house (oftentimes around 20-30 percent). That produces dry air that can wreak total havoc on our skin.
So, if you know that you naturally battle with dry skin anyway, first read "If Your Skin Stays Dry, No Matter What, Check This Out". Next, strongly consider purchasing a humidifier. Trust me, your skin (and lips) will totally thank you for it!
2. Conditions Your Hair
If your skin can get zapped of the moisture that it needs, you definitely know that your hair can be too, right? And here's the thing — when it's cold outside, that can cause your hair cuticles to lift and that can result in your hair becoming brittle which can ultimately lead to breakage. So, if you want to gain as many inches as possible between now and the spring season, having a humidifier can certainly help; especially if you're prone to not tying up your hair with a silk scarf or satin bonnet and/or you don't sleep on a satin pillowcase (hopefully, you do, though).
3. Soothes Headaches
Are you someone who suffers from headaches or even migraines? This is just one more reason why a humidifier could totally change your life for the better. Oftentimes, what causes this kind of discomfort is, when you're taking in dry air, that can dry out your mucus membranes. When that happens, they can end up becoming irritated and inflamed which can lead to painful head pressure. This reminds me — when you're looking at all of the humidifier options that are available, you might wonder if a cool mist or warm mist one is best.
While I personally prefer cool mist ones (they're more energy efficient, plus I like sleeping in a cooler space), you might wanna go the warm route, simply because it heats up the water, is able to kill more bacteria, can ease head pressure quicker and can help to warm up your room during the fall and winter seasons. If you do go with "B", just make sure to keep it away from young children or pets. Some humidifiers boil the water which could end up harming little ones and animals that don't know to stay away.
4. Clears Sinuses
It's not uncommon for people to have more bloody noses and/or sinus headaches around this time of year, especially if that's something that they experience from time to time anyway. A humidifier can assist with this as well because not only does extra humidity help to soothe your sinuses passages and reduce bloody noses (which typically happens as the result of overexposure to dry air), it can also help to clear up congestion. And the less pressure you feel, the easier it will be to breathe in the day and sleep at night.
5. Protects Your Throat
If your nasal passages and sinuses require moisture, it would make sense that your throat would too, right? Plus, if there's bacteria that's in your bedroom, a humidifier could help to keep it under control, so that your sore throat doesn't get worse over time.
A cool hack as far as this is concerned is to get a humidifier that also works as an essential oil diffuser. That way, you can put some oils into the humidifier that help to ease a sore throat. Some of those include the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of lavender; the antibacterial compounds of peppermint; the antioxidant properties of bitter orange; the antimicrobial of lemon and the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger.
6. Eases Cold and Flu Symptoms
It does need to go on record that if you happen to have asthma or really bad allergies, you should probably speak with your doctor before getting a humidifier. The reason why is because sometimes higher humidity levels can trigger symptoms associated with either issue. Still, if you're trying to get a leg up on the cold and flu season, a humidifier can certainly help you out. I actually checked out a study that said low humidity levels can actually help the viruses that cause colds and the flu to not only thrive but last longer.
This means that, say you share your bed with someone and they've got a cold or they're coming down with the flu. Keeping a humidifier close by can actually reduce your chances of getting sick because in high humidity, viruses have a harder chance to survive. This actually brings me to another super valid point.
7. Fights Against the COVID Virus
Since so many folks out here don't wanna wear masks (lawd), one of the main reasons why I thought it was essential to get a humidifier this year is because I read several articles about how COVID also really enjoys low humidity. So, when you factor in central heat and then add to it stuff like lots of cooking and maybe even a fireplace — whew! It's like a customized party for COVID. So, whether you're vaccinated or not, out of all of the reasons on here to have a humidifier in your home, please take this one to heart. If you're wondering which humidifiers would be best for achieving this particular goal, there's a pretty thorough list that you can check out here.
8. Lubricates Your Vocal Cords
If you or someone who you know happens to sing, host a podcast or do something else that requires a constant use of vocal cords, you might want to gift yourself or them with a humidifier this year.
9. Helps to Prevent Snoring
So, here's the thing about snoring. Being overweight (because it leads to extra tissue in the back of the throat), consuming alcohol (because it relaxes throat muscles), nasal congestion and even sleeping on your back (because it narrows your airways) are all things that can trigger a snore fest. And while dry air isn't another cause, there is no way around the fact that it can certainly make the sound of snoring a heck of a lot worse.
Not only that but since dry air usually has allergens floating around, the extra humidity in your bedroom that comes from a humidifier can keep allergens on the floor, so that they don't irritate your nose which could cause you to open your mouth to breathe easier which could also lead to more or louder snoring (funny how all of that works, huh?).
10. Improves Your Quality of Sleep
It's been reported that a whopping 50-70 million Americans have some sort of sleep issue. And y'all, that ain't good. If you happen to be one of them, a humidifier can assist with this too. Less snoring aside, sleeping with a higher level of humidity oftentimes makes your bedroom feel more comfortable which makes your body feel more comfortable which makes it easier for you to fall and stay asleep.
The Potential Disadvantages of Using a Humidifier
So, with all of the praise that I've just given these bad boys, do humidifiers come with any challenges? Good question. All a humidifier does is turn the water inside of it into mist; this means that if the water is dirty, you're taking that in. That's why you need to clean your humidifier, just the way the manufacturer recommends and, if it comes with a filter, you should change it regularly.
Another point to consider is too much of a good thing could backfire, humidity included. When you've got too much humidity around you, that can lead to mold or mildew (which is why they shouldn't be blowing directly on your walls or sitting on the carpet without something underneath).
Also, unfiltered water tends to have minerals that might be too much for your system if you're constantly breathing them in. So, filling up your humidifier with a faucet that has a filter on it, boiling the water first or using distilled water is probably best. But if you keep all of this in mind, I don't know how you could regret investing in a humidifier. I know I don't. Not one freakin' bit.
For more wellness, self-care, and healing tips, check out xoNecole's Wellness section here.
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