Sawing logs, running a buzz saw – none of the euphemisms for snoring are ever complimentary. Not only is snoring unpleasant to hear, it is also unpleasant to do. Humidifiers can ease the painful health effects of snoring.
When you fall asleep, the tissues that make up your throat, tongue and soft palate all relax and sag. If your throat tissue sags enough, it can become loose enough to vibrate every time you breathe. These vibrations lead to the sound of snoring. About half of all adults occasionally snore. Those that snore on a regular basis can experience coughing and choking at night and might wake up with a sore throat. A humidifier won't stop you from snoring, but it can make you more comfortable.
A portable humidifier is good for snoring. A whole house humidifier can make your entire home more comfortable, but a portable unit allows you to add moisture to the air directly where you need it most. You can set it up next your bed so you receive maximum benefit. Traditional or cool-mist humidifiers contain an internal pan of water, an absorbent pad and a fan. The pad wicks moisture up from the pan. The fan blows over the moist pad, sending a humid breeze out into the room. A warm-mist humidifier, also called a vaporizer, contains a heating element that allows it to produce a warm breeze. Humidifiers with bells and whistles such as scent diffusers won't do anything for snoring.
No matter which type of portable humidifier you choose, start it running about an hour before you plan to go to bed. This gives it time to add moisture to the air before you breathe it in. Keep the humidifier within 5 feet of your bed. Run the humidifier all night. The moist air prevents the tissue in your throat and mouth from drying out as you breathe. This keeps you more comfortable at night and when you wake up. If you live in an area with times of high humidity, such as during the summer, don't run the humidifier during those months. The additional moisture in the air will just make your room feel muggy and will not help.
Choosing between a traditional humidifier and a vaporizer depends on your budget and household. Vaporizers are more expense to purchase and use more electricity to function. Because they contain a heating element, they can be a scalding risk for pets or small children who knock them over. However, the warm mist they produce is easiest for people to breathe and will be the most soothing to irritated throat and mouth tissue.
- Mayo Clinic.com: Snoring; May 25, 2010
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Kay Wagers is a copywriter in Arizona and has worked for over five years for clients in a wide variety of industries. Wagers has contributed pieces to several fiction magazines and holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and in history from the University of Arizona.