Sleeping with a fan on is bad for your health - this is why

Friday, 28th June 2019, 2:54 pm
Updated Friday, 28th June 2019, 3:55 pm
High temperatures can make it difficult to sleep, but a fan may not be the best solution (Photo: Shutterstock)

With temperatures set to soar this summer, using a fan is the go-to solution for many Brits.

But while higher temperatures can make it too hot to sleep, leaving a fan on all night is not a good solution according to health experts.

What’s so bad about using a fan?

Some experts have revealed that sleeping with a fan on could cause health problems.

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The rapid air movement caused by a fan can dry out your mouth and nasal passages, your eyes and can even cause dry skin conditions, according to Mark Reddick from Sleep Advisor.

Reddick says: “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.”

Summer is already a difficult time for hayfever sufferers but by adding a fan into the equation, you could be inadvertently making things worse.

“The constant stream of air also has a tendency to dry out your nasal passages, which could affect your sinuses,” Reddick explains.

He continued: “If the dryness is particularly extreme, it can result in your body producing excess mucus to try to compensate. Then, you’re more susceptible to blockage, stuffiness, and sinus headaches.”

Concentrated cool air can cause muscles to tense up and cramp, which means those who sleep with a breeze directly on them may wake up with stiff or sore muscles.

“If you’ve been waking up with a stiff neck in the morning, it might be because of the constant breeze,” says Reddick.

Do I have to give up my fan?

If you can’t imagine letting go of your fan, there are steps you can take to reduce any harmful impact it can have on you.

Firstly, don’t have it pointed directly at you while you sleep - this minimises its potential to dry you out and seize up your muscles.

Secondly, make sure it’s clean. If your fan has been sitting around collecting dust on its blades, it’s pushing that dust all around the room each time you switch it on.

Dr Len Horovitz also recommended to Live Science that fan users should keep an air filter in the same room to guard against dust and other allergens.

He also suggested performing daily sinus irrigation with saline - whereby you pour a salt solution into your nostrils - which can help conditions like dry nasal passages, congestion and other nasal problems.

Ways to keep cool

For those looking for more ways to beat the heat in the summer, the NHS has compiled a list of tips to help you cope in the hot weather:

While it may be going against your instincts, the NHS says to shut the windows and pull down the shades when it’s hotter outside. Using light-coloured curtains is best as dark curtains can make the room hotter.Have cool baths and showersDrink plenty of fluids and avoid alcoholWear loose, cool clothingThin cotton sheets rather than nylon bedding is recommended for keeping cool whilst you sleep

This article originally appeared on our sister site Edinburgh Evening News