Sleeping With a Fan On

There’s always a question of whether sleeping with a fan on at night is actually bad for your health or just a myth. Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer for Live Science tries to clarify this subject in her recent article.

Those hot, scorching days of the summer are really difficult without air conditioning. Many sleep at night with a fan running to help keep cool, but is it healthy to do so?

Recent headlines have made sleeping with a fan going sound just downright dangerous. They report that sleeping with the fan on could seriously damage your health and pose health risks, according to LifeZette. However, experts say this is not that dire. Nothing about a fan is toxic, said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.He believes there is nothing wrong with circulating air. 

You suffer more by interrupted sleep due to heavy sweating at night. But anything that causes rapid air movement can evaporate moisture from your mouth and nasal passages to dry them out. A fan can also circulate dust that might bother some people, especially those with allergies.

It is a good idea to keep the fan at a safe distance from the bed and not blowing directly on you. Be sure to use a filter in the bedroom to guard against dust and other allergens. Anyone can also perform a daily sinus irrigation with saline that can help with those dry nasal passages, congestion and other nasal problems.

If you are exposed to cold air this can cause muscle contractions, so exposure to this air at night might lead to a stiff neck in the morning. This tends to be more of a problem with air conditioning that’s left on at night than with the use of fans. If you are one of the people that does sleep with air conditioning on at night, the air should not be blowing directly on you and do not set it lower than 69 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some people couldn’t imagine not sleeping with a fan on. If you grew up in a bedroom with a fan as a child, you’re probably going to be more inclined to sleep with a fan on throughout your adult life. In fact, if you do have to sleep in a room without a fan, it could even keep you from sleeping well once you’re used to it.

One of the major benefits of sleeping with a fan on is the sound. Some people prefer to fall asleep to some white noise, and that steady hum of a fan is an ideal sound to fall asleep to. Fan noises also help drown out the sounds of traffic or other people, depending where you are and what types of noises would be present. Some people are so used to ambient noises, that they purchase sleep machines to help lull them to sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is the most important issue!

Dr Fredda Branyon