I never knew all this was happening to your body when you fall asleep with the fan on. I may need to re-evaluate my sleeping arrangement now.
There are many people who run a fan at night to make their sleeping conditions more bearable. For some, they need relief from the heat and do not have air conditioning. For others, the noise of the blades spinning round and round actually helps them sleep more soundly, creating a “white noise” effect.
But did you know that sleeping with the fan on can potentially cause a cornucopia of health problems? This new information about the consequences of sleeping this way just might change your mind about it.
For starters, there’s the “Drying Effect,” which leaves many people waking up feeling a bit worse for the wear. You might wake with a dry mouth or throat. And if you sleep with your mouth open, matters can get even worse. Similarly, people also experience dry eyes and nose in the morning, leaving their eyes red and nose clogged or irritated. In more severe cases, individuals have experienced nosebleeds because of the dry air caused by their fan. If you already suffer from nosebleeds when the air is dry, you should definitely reconsider using one.
Then there’s the issue of allergies and asthma. Anyone who suffers from allergies and/or asthma may find that running a fan at night exacerbates their symptoms. It is blowing air around, which may contain allergens such as dust, cat dander, mold, or pollen if a window is open. Suddenly, you’re caught up in a literal whirlwind of allergic matter that may cause an increase in sneezing, itchiness, or difficulty breathing.
Sleep Advisor recommends that if you do use a fan at night, do not aim it too close to your face. Also, you should use an air purifier to counteract all of the allergens that get stirred up when a fan is blowing. If you use a ceiling fan, it’s a good practice to wipe down the blades periodically with a damp cloth to eliminate dust. Similarly, you can usually take apart a conventional fan to clean the blades.
Folks debated the issue on social media, with some diehard users weighing in with their personal experiences. One person stated, “I had a fan blowing on me almost every night for the past 20 years, and only time I have a real hard time sleeping is without a fan.”
Another person shared, “I am not giving my fan up! It’s good for me. It helps me sleep 365 days out of a year. Without it, I am wide awake and I hate hearing the sounds of night. I love the sound of the fan blowing.” One commenter wrote, “Well, as long as you keep your room and the fan clean, and the rotation setting so it’s not directly on you, it shouldn’t be too bad. Use moisturizer, keep water by your bed.”
Whether you’re trying to keep cool or fall asleep, a fan is probably the cheapest piece of equipment that you can use to improve your sleep quality. The only reason to completely avoid one is if it’s causing a health concern. So, does any of this information make you want to stop sleeping with the fan on? Or are you like others who just can’t get a good night’s sleep without it?