Benefits Of A Humidifier For Better Sleep

Last Updated on March 30, 2023

Do you tend to feel sleepy or fall asleep just after sex?

If you do, a humidifier or facial steamer might do the trick if you’re having sleep issues. Steam…and sex? How in the world could they be connected, right?

Well, they actually have a lot more in common than you might think.

So, let’s take a look at steam and sex, and find out why they are both so effective as sleep aids. And then we’ll discuss some practical options.

a man taking a shower


What Do Steam & Sex Have In Common?

Most of us feel drowsy, right after sex. And if you close your eyes, even for just a second, you might drift off for a few minutes – or an hour. Or maybe even more.


After you have sex, your body releases a hormone called prolactin. And prolactin causes us to get drowsy. As a general rule, the better the sex, the more prolactin your body releases.

In other words, a measure of how good the sex was, is by how much prolactin is in your bloodstream immediately afterward. Which is why you feel much sleepier after a very satisfying sexual experience.

You’re not just tired from the physical activity, you’re actually feeling drowsy from the prolactin dump.

Think about your last satisfying sexual experience. Did you feel really comfortable where you were? Did you want to cuddle and nap – even if it was during the day? And did you actually fall asleep?

The answer is probably yes, right?

a man and woman sleeping together


Let’s connect the two now. When you inhale steam, it naturally triggers a release of prolactin. Yes, that same prolactin from sex. And to your body, prolactin is prolactin, regardless of how or why it was produced.

So, if you inhale steam, it has a similar effect as having sex.

(There’s actually another connection too. Prolactin is what causes the refractory period – which makes it hard for men to get aroused again after sex. This is why some men have a hard time getting aroused after a long hot shower.)

Just think about the last time you took a long hot shower.

Did you feel relaxed afterward? Maybe even a little drowsy or sleepy? If so, then a little steam should help you fall asleep if you’ve been having a few sleepless nights lately.


Types Of Steam Delivery Devices

So, if you want to take the steam route for sleep, what type of steam delivery device should you choose?

The quick answer is to just take a hot shower, obviously. But a quick shower won’t really do it. You need something in the neighborhood of 10-20 minutes.

And there are times when a long and hot shower isn’t the best option. If it’s a hot summer night, for example, going to bed hot is just a miserable experience.

And then there’s also the cost of natural gas and water. So, let’s take a look at some other options. They mostly work in the same way, it’s just a matter of how involved you want to be in the process.



If you just want a “set it and forget it” option, you’ll want a humidifier.

a smartphone-controlled humidifier

A humidifier is fairly simple, easy, and effective.

Just fill the tank with water, and turn it on. We suggest you get one that is smartphone-controlled, that way you can turn it on or off from wherever you currently are.

Place the machine somewhere near your bed – on a nightstand, on the floor, etc. – and let it run. The closer it is to you, the more steam will reach you before it condenses.


A Facial Steamer

If you’ve ever had a steam facial at a salon, then you’re familiar with the process. In this case, we’re talking about an at-home facial steamer.


a woman using a facial steamer


The process here is the same.

Fill the tank with water, and turn the steamer on. Then, sit in front of the steam for 15-20 minutes. You can also add some essential oils to the water chamber.

Most facial steamers also have other capabilities as well, like warming your towels, etc.

This option is a little more time-consuming, as you have to sit in front of the steamer while it runs. But, if you have a nighttime skincare routine, it can have its own perks.


Essential Oil Diffuser

Another great option is an essential oil diffuser.


steam bellowing out of an essential oil diffuser


Like the other two options above, the process here is the same. Fill the tank with water, add essential oils, and then turn it on.

An essential oil diffuser is primarily for use with essential oils. So, while the steam output is relatively low, compared to a humidifier or a facial steamer, it packs a punch, when you add your favorite oils.

Essential oils can be very effective, especially when you choose them correctly. Our favorites include:

  • Chamomile
  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Bergamot

You can buy them individually, or purchase them as an essential oil bundle.

an essential oil set for sleep


Frequently Asked Questions

You might have some questions at this point. Let’s get them answered.


How long does it take for steam to have an effect?

Generally speaking, it should take about 15 minutes of direct steam exposure for it to have an effect.


What type of water is best?

Any type of filtered water is best. In a pinch, tap water will work too, but avoid it if you can.


Will a humidifier work in a large bedroom?

Most humidifiers are rated for anywhere between 500 to 800 square feet. The average bedroom ranges between 100 to 200 square feet.

a humidifier steaming in a bedroom


Is it safe to run a humidifier at night while I sleep?

Yes, it is safe. But, if you want peace of mind, most machines have timers and auto-shut-off options. Set a certain time, and then go to sleep. The machine will automatically turn off on its own.


Can I add essential oils to a facial steamer? Should I?

Yes, you can add essential oils to a facial steamer. But while it certainly helps, no, you don’t have to. The steam is usually enough on its own.


Another Remedy

If steam puts you in the mood for sleep – and for most people, it should – just remember that moderation is key.

15-20 minutes is enough for the average person. If that interval doesn’t work for you, then it’s probably best to try something else. A weighted sleep mask can also be beneficial. Especially if anxiety is your main issue.

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