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Some years ago, I had an overnight stay in Sahara. I live in a very high humidity climate, so the extremely dry desert air was quite literally choking me, and sleeping was impossible. I only managed to deal with it by wrapping damp cloth over my nose and mouth during the night. I'll soon be spending about 2 weeks in Namibia, where the average humidity is only about 11% (!) these days, so I'm worried how will my high-humidity-adapted body deal with it.

Does anyone have any helpful tips?

  • As many have suggested - buying a humidifier will help. You can purchase a small one that goes on top of a water bottle if you're worried about cost and size. – Michael Sep 19 '17 at 16:26
  • @Michael Interesting tip, I didn't know those existed. Thanks! – kaqqao Sep 19 '17 at 16:27
  • How long did the damp cloth even last? Was it damp at all when you woke up? – Mehrdad Sep 20 '17 at 7:24
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    @Mehrdad It stayed damp a couple of hours I think, but enough for me to fall asleep. I did add water once during the night too. I think it was all dry by the morning. – kaqqao Sep 20 '17 at 8:19
18

I face similar problems travelling to winter locations.

  • Stay hydrated. Keep water right where you sleep.
  • Practice good skin care, moisturizers, lip balm, nasal moisturizer (yes, that's a thing ;)
  • Bring/buy a room humidifier. Even boiling a pot of water will help.
  • Sleep with you head under a sheet

On the plus side, every day will be a great hair day!

  • +1 for skin & lip care, excellent points. – Mike Harris Sep 19 '17 at 17:19
  • My wife has a little USB-powered humidifier that is very quiet and can be placed right beside your face so you are breathing the stream of humidified air. – Jon Custer Sep 19 '17 at 23:00
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Coming from the opposite and having asked exactly the opposite question here, switching between different climates is now very familiar to me. It really depends on the individual as some people just seem to adapt better than others. With time though, most do feel a little better but I personally never got completely used to high humidity places, so perhaps you will not completely manage in very dry places either.

The damp cloth is an excellent trick. I use it even just to slow down very hot air from entering my nose in places here it is too hot for me. Keep doing that while you sleep since you need to recover well while you travel.

Now, if you are staying in a hotel, some places have humidifiers available. There are also wet fans that sprinkle the air with water. Personally these things make me feel much more uncomfortable but many people must like them for those to be popular.

During the day and as you go on with activities, use a non-medicated nasal spray. Saline solution is the most common but there are some with aloe that last longer as moisturizing agent. I recommend not to overdo it, so that you get slowly more used to the climate by progressively breathing drier air.

2

You can bring a humidifier along (or buy one at your destination). This will help at night. During the day, be sure to drink plenty of water.

Obviously, this will only work if you sleep in a place with closed windows; you can't humidify the desert...

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