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How I Improved My Sleep and Protected Myself from COVID for $34

Tell me why can’t this be love?

This fall, I bought what might be the strangest anti-COVID device yet…a humidifier.

Two, actually. I set them up in the living room and bed room and then went to work turning my dry apartment in the chilly New York area into a tropical paradise.

Indoor humidity tends to fall in winter. Air is drier to begin with, and then it’s brought indoors and heated, drying it further. This has a significant impact on how long viruses live and how your body responds to them. Our cilia, whose job it is to keep invaders out of our respiratory tract, don’t work as well in dry conditions.

Estimated virus half-life was more than 24 hours at 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) and 40 percent relative humidity, but only 90 minutes at 27 degrees C (80 degrees F) and 65 percent relative humidity.

Prof. Akiko Iwasaki, PhD, Yale School of Medicine

I got these to keep my wife and I safe from COVID, but I noticed a very pleasant side effect immediately: I was sleeping much better! My nasal passages would dry out overnight and my breathing would get more labored, causing me to wake. I mentioned the improved sleep to my wife, and she immediately agreed that my breathing sounded much nicer and I seemed to be waking less overnight.

My friend Jim* came over for New Year’s and happened to take the seat right next to the humidifier. He liked it so much, he immediately ordered the exact same one for himself, right there on his phone! I hope he’s enjoying it.

If you want to do the same, you can find it here. It was very easy to set up. I suggest one that warms the water, because it’s very pleasant. You want to avoid no-name manufacturers, because those humidifiers tend to leak. This one fits both criteria.

You can even put some essential oils or Vicks into the included medicine cup. I haven’t done it yet, but it’s on my list. Sounds like heaven!

You’ll also want hygrometers such as these to measure the humidity in your home. 40-60% is a good target. This way, you’ll know when you need to run the humidifiers and when you shouldn’t, to avoid mold growth.

Enjoy in good health!

*Not his real name

The Incredible New Blender I’m Loving

With cold weather and ample time at home, I’m getting a lot of use out of a wonderful Christmas gift I received: an Instant Ace Plus blender. It’s so powerful I jumped away in fear the first time I turned it on! Since then, I’ve made friends with it, and it’s rewarded me with silky soups and delicious smoothies.

I particularly like putting some broth and vegetables into it, pressing a button, and having a delicious hot soup in a few minutes. I can take a shower while it’s running and eat whenever, since it keeps the soup warm for two hours. I also use it to make a smoothie every morning with milk, frozen fruit and greens which ensures I get protein, vitamins and fiber right when I wake up.

I did a lot of research on blenders from Vitamix, BlendTec, and others, and this one seems like the best combination of features and cost. For some reason, the Instant Pot slow cooker is enormously popular but this blender seems all but forgotten. Give it a shot!