Here’s What Happens When You Sleep With the Fan on At Night

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On warm summer nights, a fan can be the perfect thing to rock you to sleep. It’s like having your own personal breeze at your bedside, bringing just the right amount of coolness or white noise.

Too bad it might not be good for your health. Go ahead and scrunch up your face at the thought of running your air conditioning all night. And do a double smirk at the thought of cutting your fan off.

Admittedly, there’s nothing terribly troubling about fan use, but there are a number of stories in the news about what that circulating air can do to you when you’re asleep. We are sharing some of those findings here but it’s up to you if you want to change your habits.

  1. Dryness

    For one, sleeping with a fan on overnight is drying. Ever wake up in the morning with a scratchy throat and dry mouth? If you’re a mouth breather when you fall into a deep sleep, the fan air can cause your mouth to dry out.

    The same thing can happen with your eyes and nose. Some sleep with their eyelids involuntarily open, leaving them prone to redness or dryness.

    Virtually drained of their natural moisture, irritated nasal passages may lead to sinus congestion, nosebleeds, or general discomfort as a result of the air wafting around you. In instances where the temperature drops during the night, it can sometimes make matters worse.

  2. Allergies & Asthma

    Additionally, indoor exposure to dust and other allergens can trigger asthma attacks or allergic reactions in some people. Just think about being in a closed room with particles of dead skin cells, dust mite debris, spider webs, and other yucky stuff floating around. Breathing problems, skin eruptions, or dry skin could all be connected to running your fan overnight.

  3. Sore Body

    What you may not have realized is that when the air hits a certain temperature, it can cause your muscles to stiffen up and contract. That weird pain in your neck you woke up with? It could be an effect of your fan’s nightly shots of cool, crisp air.

I’m in the boat of keeping my ceiling fan on, but appreciate the tips given by docs and sleep experts like Sleep Advisor. To lessen the adverse health effects of fan air, make sure you don’t have one positioned close to your face.

It is also advised to use an air purifier to clear out pet dander and excess dust from your atmosphere. Do a regular wipe-down of your fan’s blades with a damp cloth so that dust bunnies aren’t blowing around. That also goes for fans that have grills on them. If you’re unable to disassemble the fan to reach the blades, at least clean the grills.

For children or adults who are allergic to dust mites (and their feces), it is probably best to skip the fan altogether unless your’re doing rigorous daily cleaning.

We know it’s not always economically feasible to blast the air conditioner all night (if you have it), so you can check out these other tips on how to keep your home cool this summer season.

Are you a dedicated overnight fan user? Do you prefer the A/C for health reasons? Did you know fans could affect your health?