Sleeping with a fan on could actually be making you feel worse, and this is why

If you live in the UK, you’ve probably noticed that it’s pretty sweltering right now. In some parts of the country, temperatures rose to 35 degrees, and even cooler areas are feeling stuffy and humid, especially when it comes to trying to sleep.

One of the most obvious solutions when it comes to cooling down your bedroom and nodding off in the sticky weather is to plug in a trusty electric fan – but now it’s been suggested that this might not be the best solution, especially if you suffer from allergies or sinus problems.

sleeping with a fan on
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The experts at Sleep Advisor have broken down the pros and cons of letting your fan run while you sleep, explaining that ‘for some people, having a ceiling or floor fan in the room helps them fall asleep and stay cool during the night. For others, it can keep them awake, trigger asthma attacks or dry out their eyes.’

While the soothing white noise, climate control and air circulation are obvious benefits, using a fan overnight can move dust and pollen around the space, inadvertently triggering symptoms in those with hay fever or asthma.

It can also have a ‘drying’ effect, both on your skin and on sensitive areas like your eyes, mouth and sinuses, which may also cause irritation or even pain. And that’s not all: if you’ve been waking up with stiff or sore muscles, this complaint could also be related to your fan.

‘This is because the concentrated cool air can make muscles tense up and cramp,’ the team at Sleep Advisor detail. ‘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.’

woman sleeping
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Of course, we’re not suggesting you ban the fan from your bedroom completely – for many, they’re the only source of respite on summer nights when you just can’t nod off. But if you’ve noticed these new symptoms since the heatwave, it’s worth bearing in mind that your fan might be to blame.

Alternative tips when it’s too hot to sleep include chilling your sheets in the fridge or freezer, dipping your feet in iced water and using a cold flannel on your pulse points before you go to bed – so even if fans are causing you trouble, there are still plenty of ways to cool off!