Sleeping with an electric fan on could actually be bad for your health
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Keitma / Aflo Co., Ltd. / Alamy
If you’ve been struggling to sleep in the recent heatwave that has descended over the UK, perhaps you’ve considered sleeping with an electric fan on in the room?
Outside of the fact that it makes a pretty annoying and relentless noise throughout the night, there are a couple of other reasons why it might not be the best thing to do.
Right from the outset, it’s worth saying that it probably won’t do anything serious to you health-wise, but we’ll give you the full information and you can make a decision yourself, given the night-time heat.
According to medical website Healthline, sleeping with a fan on can have a number of negative effects.
It starts with congestion, which increases as the air from the fan dries out your mouth, nose, and throat.
That can lead to ‘an overproduction of mucus, which may cause headaches, a stuffy nose, sore throat, or even snoring’, according to the website.
Oh, and if you’re already sick, that could get worse.
Healthline states: “While a fan won’t make you sick, it may worsen symptoms if you’re already under the weather.
“You might be able to improve congestion by drinking more water and using a humidifier along with the fan.”
At this time of the year, many of us are plagued by allergies.
Hay fever seems to be a particular problem this year, if the constant whinging of sufferers is anything to be believed.
Just kidding – it looks awful, really it does.
Anyway, fans can serve to further circulate pollen and allergens such as dust in the air, meaning that it might not be helping on the allergy front.
What’s more, the air being circulated can cause your eyes and skin to become dry, which would be unpleasant.
Perhaps the most unusual one – and news to most people – is that having a fan on can actually give you muscle aches.
According to Healthline: “Concentrated circulating air may cause your muscles to tense up or cramp. In this way, a fan can prompt you to wake up with sore muscles."
However, they do suggest: “You can help lessen your chances for developing muscle aches by pointing the fan away so the air doesn’t blow directly on you.”
Now, not everything about having a fan at night is bad for you.
Some people rave about the white noise sound of it, for example.
Of course, it also freshens up the room by airing it out a bit.
What’s more, it simply cools you down, which in this heat, is probably the main reason you’ve got it on.
So, there are upsides and downsides.
As ever, what you choose to do, is up to you.