After moving into my new apartment, I wake up feeling dehydrated and stuffy; what's going on?
September 8, 2008 8:15 AM   Subscribe

I recently moved into a new apartment. Every morning I wake up with a nose full of dry, scratchy mucous and my mouth is blanketed in something foul. What's going on?

Initially, I thought it was the baseboard air conditioning, so I turned that off and opened the window. It has been humid outside and even rained, but no change.

The only major difference I can see between my old place and new that might effect me is that there are new carpets in the new place vs. hardwood floors in the old. The smell of fresh paint is also still intrusive.

About me: I sleep on my side with my mouth closed, but sometimes have minor apnea. I have a few very mild allergies, mostly to pet dander. I have no history of waking up with a nasty mouth.

What can I do to change this situation?
posted by steelbuddha to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Steam clean your carpets (you can rent the unit at a grocery store for <$100). Get a good air purifier. Possibly purchase a dehumidifier.
posted by charlesv at 8:26 AM on September 8, 2008

My wife is allergic to dust like the kind that collects in carpets. This means we have to live in an apartment or house with nothing but hardwood floors.

Steam-clean the carpets. If there is hardwood underneath ask the landlord/owner if you can rip them out and pay to have the floors refinished.
posted by camworld at 8:34 AM on September 8, 2008

Response by poster: I have a humidifier/dehumidifier I can use as a start, but is it too much moisture or too little, do you think?
posted by steelbuddha at 8:36 AM on September 8, 2008

It could be allergies. I know you say you have few allergies, but allergies can develop suddenly. The foul taste could be allergy-triggered mucus settling into your mouth. You might try taking some allergy medicine for a few days as an experiment.

Also make sure you are drinking enough water.
posted by skallagrim at 8:38 AM on September 8, 2008

I have a humidifier/dehumidifier I can use as a start, but is it too much moisture or too little, do you think?

Hard to say. My own sinuses go nuts when it's too dry, but humidity seems to raise allergens. And this sounds like a sinus thing -- it was explained to me that when it's dry your sinuses try to amp up to lubricate themselves, and that becomes post-nasal drip while you sleep (which could very well explain the nastiness in the mouth). It could also just be your system adjusting to the new atmosphere in the new place, or all the dust-and-whatever stirred up during the move is still settling. It could also just be as simple as a weather change -- my sinuses start going a little funky as winter changes to spring, and summer changes to fall.

I'd say try airing things out during the day -- maybe even cleaning the air filter in your AC -- and then having the dehumidifier on low at night if you think you need it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 AM on September 8, 2008

It sounds as if the room is dry and you need a humidifier. I suffer from Sjogren's Syndrome and have extremely dry nasal membranes/sinuses, and my symptoms sound similar to yours. Perhaps try using one of those nasal moisturizing sprays (Ocean or generic brand) right before you go to sleep, and give your nose another squirt or two if you get up during the night to go to the bathroom or something. See if that helps at all. If it does, then that probably means your room is too dry. Good luck!
posted by Oriole Adams at 9:35 AM on September 8, 2008

The apartment I'm in now doesn't have carpets, but it does have really old horsehair plaster walls which (I'm told) are really good at sucking humidity right out of the air, leaving you with a nasty dry mouth when you wake up in the morning. I have no allergies and hadn't had this problem in any carpeted or drywalled apartments I've lived in previously, so it seems as good a theory as any in my case. Try brushing your teeth with an anti-dry-mouth toothpaste (Biotene makes a good one) before you go to bed and see if that makes a difference.
posted by xbonesgt at 9:37 AM on September 8, 2008

Best answer: You say your new apartment has a new paint smell, is there also a smell of new carpet? You may be reacting to either the paint or carpet or both off-gassing VOC's and should probably at the very least leave your windows open till that "new" smell dissipates. This recent thread may be of interest, and this slightly older one, esp. the advice from Enroute.
posted by gudrun at 12:50 PM on September 8, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks all. I think I'll start with trying to speed up the possibility of the off-gassing, and if my symptoms persist, try some of the more medical remedies here. Much obliged, MeFites.
posted by steelbuddha at 1:23 PM on September 8, 2008

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