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Good night sleep is essential for the quality of your life. It is just as important as a healthy diet and exercise. But getting a good night sleep becomes a headache when you are suffering from insomnia sleep apnea or any other sleep disorders. Poor sleep affects your concentration at work and causes health issues like depression, high blood pressure, weight gain and cardiovascular diseases.
What is Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a medical condition in which our body stops breathing for long intervals while sleeping. If you are sleeping all night but still feel tired and irritable then you might be suffering from sleep apnea. When we breathe, every muscle of our body and brain receive oxygen. People suffering from sleep apnea stop repeatedly breathing in the night and thus their muscles and brain may not get enough oxygen. There are two types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
It is a more common form of sleep apnea. It occurs when our throat muscles are relaxed when we are sleeping and get in the way of airflow. Air struck those tissues causing them to vibrate producing loud snoring sound.
2. Central Sleep Apnea
Air is not blocked in the throat in central sleep apnea, but our brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe because of the instability of the respiratory control centre.
The signs of sleep apnea are often:
• loud snoring
• feeling tired even after a night sleep
• gasping for air while sleeping
• difficulty staying asleep
• excessive day sleepiness
• difficulty in paying attention when awake
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition and getting treatment can restore the quality of your life and also save you from further complications like heart issues, excessive sleeping in the day, and even can lead to heart failure and premature death. Patients with sleep apnea are often prescribed a treatment CPAP, Continuous Positive Airways Pressure. In CPAP therapy patients are given masks with machines that splint open the airway so that upper airways can’t collapse during sleep. According to a survey, patients on CPAP, who use humidifiers are more likely to stick with the treatment.
How can a humidifier help with sleep apnea
Humidifiers can make your life easy especially if you are on a sleep apnea therapy. Dry air can make the breathing difficult. Less moisture in the air can dry your nasal passage and throat which can further lead to the feeling of obstruction when you breathe while sleeping. It can also make your body more prone to inhaling many bacteria, allergens and dust particles in the air which can cause troubles like congestion, stuffy nose, and allergies.
So What does a humidifier do?
Humidifier adds the moisture into the air. It helps maintain the humidity level of the air which prevents the nasal passage from drying up. When the atmosphere of the room has the right humidity level our respiratory tract remains unobstructed ensuring a more comfortable sleep. So a humidifier may not cure sleep apnea but it can certainly make the conditions of your room more comfortable for you to breathe properly.
While using a humidifier you should take care of the following tips:
Keep a check on Tank
Before sleeping makes sure the tank has an adequate quantity of water for the night. You can also use a humidifier that shuts down automatically at night when the water gets too low.
Use clean and fresh water
Keep changing the water of humidifier as it can be contaminated with bacteria and other allergens. Stale water in the humidifier can cause health issues so it is advised to empty the tank, get it dry and add fresh water on a regular basis.
Clean the tank
Despite being such a useful device, the humidifier can cause serious health conditions if not cleaned properly. The moist ground of tank can develop mold and other bacteria. To clean the tank follow the manufacturer’s instruction and keep it well-maintained.
Maintain the humidity level of room
Just like dry air, too much humidity in a room like above 60 % is also harmful as too much moisture in the atmosphere is good for the growth of mold, viruses and bacteria leading to allergies and other health hazards. The appropriate humidity level should be between 30 to 50 percent. You can use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level of the room.
Types of Humidifiers for Sleep Apnea
Two types of humidifiers are used to maintain the moisture level of air.
• Warm-mist Humidifiers
Warm-mist humidifiers use steam to spread the moisture in the air. Water is heated by electricity and the steam from boiling water maintain the humidity level of the room. These types of humidifiers help to eliminate the bacteria and viruses from the air and also weighed down the dust particles and other allergens helping you to breathe properly in the well-moist air. These humidifiers are quieter as they don’t need a fan.
• Cool-mist Humidifier
Cool-mist humidifiers use wicks that absorb the water from the tank and a fan is used to spread the air through these wicks spreading cool moist air into the room. It can have an added benefit of maintaining a cool atmosphere of the room in summers. However the sound of the fan can be a drawback of these humidifiers.
Humidifiers can help you in more than one way. Besides helping the patients of sleep apnea, it has additional benefits like saving you from flu-like symptoms and stuffy nose in winters, and also keeping your skin well hydrated and fresh even in dry weather.
People suffering from sleep apnea can experience comfort at night with a humidifier. A humidifier may not cure this medical condition but it can help to get a good night’s sleep and improve the quality of your life. Thus humidifiers are key parts of sleep apnea therapy. Many types of humidifiers are available in the market and we will soon be updating you with some of the best available options.
Best Humidifier for Sleep Apnea
Basically, all humidifiers do the same thing humidify a room, what needs to be taken into consideration when you choose the best one to help you with the sleep apnea problem is:
- The budget, if you are on a budget then you can’t afford by the most expensive one. There is no need to have an expensive humidifier to have the job done. A special article with the best humidifier under $50 can help you choose the best one for you.
- Quiet humidifier – giving the fact that the humidifier needs to stay in your bedroom to help you with the sleep apnea you need one which is quiet. Here is an article with the quietest humidifiers
- Portability – in case you are mostly on the road then you need a portable humidifier that you can take it with you and have it mounted fast. This is an article with the best portable humidifiers
- Be sure that the humidifier assures the optimal level of humidity. In case you have a large bedroom then you need a powerful one, as for the optimal level of humidity you can check: What is the Optimal Humidity Level for a Bedroom?
For the ones that don’t have time to go throw all of the articles to choose the best humidifier for them to help with the sleep apnea, I will put below the top one from every category.
URPOWER New Version: The URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser is an upgraded version. The 2nd generation produces more mist than the old version. An ideal way to add moist, comfortable air to small bedrooms, hotel rooms, tabletops and even workplace cubicles
- Ultrasonic cool mist technology safely moisturizes the air 16 hours of continuous operation
- 1.5-liter tank capacity provides ideal coverage for bedrooms, offices, and other medium-sized rooms
- 360-degree mist nozzle and dual-speed
- Automatic shut-off when the water level is low or the water tank is removed
- Optional night light
This little humidifier is really cute and incredibly useful since it provides the necessary humidity, working continuously up to 4 hours per fill. It also has a USB cable which is great if you want to use it in the car.