During these hot summer nights, sometimes the only thing that comforts us at night is a fan that circulates the air and keep our bodies cool enough that we can actually get some sleep. For some of us, it’s the difference between needing one cup of coffee in the morning and an entire pot.
But new research says that there are some downsides to sleeping with the fan on. Here are four ways sleeping with an electric fan in your room can be bad for your health, according to the sleep experts over at Sleep Advisor.
Have problems breathing? Perhaps a little asthma? A fan may make your night more of a living hell than necessary. Says SleepAdvisor.com:
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.
They also advise taking inventory on your fan’s dust build-up. If the blades are coated with grossness, it’s probably not a good idea to turn it on before it’s cleaned.
It’s kind of a given that having constant air blowing on your body can cause dry skin. But it can also interfere with things you thought were protected from circulating air, like your mouth and eyes. According to the SleepAdvisor.com, there are some people who actually sleep with their eyes open, which, of course, becomes a magnet for dryness. It’s especially problematic for those who wear contacts to bed.
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Also, according to the site, “Some people also sleep with their mouth open, and the excess airflow will potentially dry out their mouths and throats. Keeping a glass of water nearby can help, but do you really want to be woken up because of a dry mouth?”
SleepAdvisor.com says the same air that can irritate your eyes and mouth can irritate your sinuses:
If the dryness is particularly extreme, it can result in your body producing excess mucous to try to compensate. Then, you’re more susceptible to blockage, stuffiness, and sinus headaches.
Be you never saw this one coming. Constant air blowing on you can cause you to wake up with…a stiff neck. Say, what? Says the site:
People who sleep with a breeze directly on them may wake up with stiff or sore muscles. This is because the concentrated cool air can make muscles tense up and cramp. This problem is especially common for people who sleep with it near their face and neck. If you’ve been waking up with a stiff neck in the morning, it might be because of the constant breeze.
Now, for those of us who need a fan to create white noise and block out all the nighttime sounds, especially in the city, the hum of a fan can actually improve our sleep. It’s also helpful if your partner snores.
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Using a fan has also been shown to benefit newborns. Says SleepAdvisor.com:
According to some studies, they can even help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The reason is that high temperatures and increased CO2 levels put babies at risk. Running a fan lowers the temperature and decreases the air’s concentration of carbon dioxide.