By Laura Harman
As temperatures continue to increase, many of us might be tempted to sleep with a fan on during the night, but here’s why experts suggest that it may not be the best idea.
Sleeping with a fan on is a great way to keep cool during the stifling hot nights in the summer, but although it may keep you cool, there are some negative side effects that come with keeping a fan on while you sleep.
Experts from Sleep Advisor suggest that your fan could be doing more harm than good if you are prone to allergies or suffer from hay fever or asthma. They state, “As a fan moves air around the room, it causes flurries of dust and pollen to make their way into your sinuses. If you’re prone to allergies, asthma, and hay fever, this could stir up a whole lot of trouble.”
When a fan is left to get dusty, it essentially becomes a transportation device for all of the dust, pollen, skin cells, and dirt to travel around your room and into your airways. For this key reason, fans can end up doing more harm than good. Therefore to ensure that this doesn’t happen, you need to regularly change the filters in your fan and ensure that dust isn’t blocking up the blades.
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Another key issue that arises from sleeping with a fan on, is getting stiff muscles. When fans are directed straight at your body, the cool air will keep your temperature down but may also cause your muscles to stiffen.
This can mean that you wake up with a stiff neck or your limbs feeling achy. Sleep Advisor states that this happens because, “the concentrated cool air can make muscles tense up and cramp.”
To avoid this it may be necessary to direct the fan away from your body and allow the cool air to circulate around the room, instead of only focusing on your body.
Can sleeping with a fan on damage your skin?
Yes, shockingly, sleeping with a fan on at night can actually dry out your skin. Sleep Advisor say that the dry air circulating in your room can have a negative effect on your skin and cause it to dry out.
“A constant blast of air on your body may cause dry skin. Lotions and moisturizers will help prevent this, but if your skin is excessively dry, use caution and monitor your skin to make sure you’re not over-drying it.”
The best way to combat this issue is to add more moisturizer to your nighttime regime so that your skin can retain moisture even if there is a lot of dry air circulating.
Can sleeping with a fan on give you a cold?
Sleeping with a fan on can increase your chances of getting a cold if you are sleeping in a bed with someone who is under the weather. As fans encourage air circulation, it is more likely that the germs from your sleeping partner will be transferred to you.
Fans can also cause more irritation if you are already under the weather. If you sleep with your mouth open, then a fan can cause your mouth to dry out which can cause irritation and discomfort. This also applies to your nasal passages which can dry out and cause discomfort.
Sleep advisor suggests that there is an easy way to reduce this risk. They state, “One way to minimize this risk is to use a fan that rotates rather than one that blows a steady and unrelenting flow in one concentrated area all night.” This means that your mouth and nose will be able to retain moisture during the night.
Are there benefits to sleeping with a fan on?
There are some obvious benefits to sleeping with a fan on. The most obvious is that your body temperature can be regulated and kept at a cool level. This means that you will actually be able to sleep at night rather than tossing and turning because of the heat.
Sleeping with a fan on can also be a useful source of white noise that can encourage people to fall asleep as it helps drown out the sound of any other noises that might crop up while you’re sleeping, such as car alarms or birds chirping.
Another benefit to sleeping with a fan on is that the air circulation in the room will improve. When someone goes to bed with their windows and doors closed and no fan on, the room can smell stagnant the next day as the sleeper’s breath has filled the room. A fan can help keep the air circulating and therefore smell fresher.
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