Few things are more detrimental to a precious sleep moment than an overheated bedroom. As such, you don't have to research to know that a cold room is more conducive to a good night's sleep. Bringing a bedside fan into your sleeping area is a typical way to stay cool while sleeping, as it provides the temperature control you need for a restful night.
Most sleepers find the sound generated by a fan to be relaxing, while others fancy the comforting feel of the airflow. Sleeping with a fan on is normally considered safe, but those suffering from allergies or sensitivity to ambient noise may experience some drawbacks. This guide discusses the downsides and benefits of sleeping with a fan on.
For those who would not like to use a fan, don't worry. We'll touch on alternative options for keeping cool while asleep.
Benefits of Sleeping with a Fan on
Sleeping with a fan on comes with numerous benefits, particularly for those who live in warmer climates, suffer from nighttime overheating, or enjoy the soothing sound of consistent background noise.
- Keeps You Cool and Comfortable
Hot sleepers often wake up sweating. But that should no longer be an issue once you sleep with your fan on. A fan will keep the air circulating without the high cost of running an air conditioner. So, as much as you sweat at night, the breeze dries it away, keeping you comfortable as you sleep. A fan is also helpful for those who live in cities and prefer closing their windows due to street noise.
- Provides White Noise
Sleeping with your fan on is an inexpensive way to create white noise. Many people have trouble sleeping because of unwanted traffic noise or other sources. The primary objective of white noise is to soften the impact of unusual noises so that your sleep is not disrupted.
Besides outside noises, most people occasionally experience tinnitus, a ringing sound that originates inside the ears. Tinnitus can make sleeping incredibly hard. Thankfully, a fan can help absorb the sound and make the ringing less disturbing.
- Freshens up the Air
Most people keep their windows closed to prevent pollen and other allergens from entering the room. But without an open window or other forms of ventilation, your room feels stuffy due to improper air movement. Fortunately, a fan can help make your space less stuffy as it circulates air. Turning the fan on can help create airflow precisely while preventing stagnant air in bedrooms with small windows or ventilators.
- Cuts Your Electricity Bill
While less productive than an air conditioner, a fan consumes less energy. Therefore, you can save money on electricity bills during summer by employing a fan rather than an air conditioner.
You can make the air from your fan cooler by freezing a few water bottles all day long and placing them on a tray close to the fan before going to bed. The air flowing over these icy water bottles creates a cool breeze similar to that of an air conditioner. Although you might not feel the cool breeze all night, it can last several hours.
- Helps Prevent SIDS
Recent research shows that sleeping with a fan on at night can help lower the risk of SIDS in babies. High temperatures and increased carbon dioxide levels in the sleeping area cause SIDS ( sudden infant death syndrome ). Keeping the fan on can lower the room temperature and reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide, lowering the risk of SIDS.
Drawbacks of Sleeping with a Fan on
Though some may find it uncomfortable, keeping the fan running while asleep is generally safe for most people. Read below to discover the potential downsides of sleeping with a fan on.
- Increases Allergies
Fans can disperse dust and other allergens throughout the sleeping area. Inhaling these allergens can negatively impact the quality of sleep for those with allergies.
Allergies to pollen or dust can cause unpleasant symptoms, including coughing and a runny nose. For some people, nasal congestion induced by allergies can aggravate snoring and asthma symptoms.
- Causes Congestion
A fan's circulating air can dry out your nose, mouth, and throat, leading to an overproduction of mucus which could cause snoring, sore throat, and headaches. Although a fan will not make you sick, it might aggravate symptoms if you're already ill. To help relieve congestion, drink plenty of water and use a humidifier along with the fan.
- Dries Out Your Skin and Eyes
A fan's circulating air can dry out your eyes, especially if you sleep with your eyes open. A steady blast of air might also result in dry skin and irritation. But using moisturizers before going to bed may help to alleviate the problem.
- Worsens Muscle Aches
Cold air making the rounds near you can lead to muscle contractions. If you have pre-existing muscle pain, sleeping while the fan is running may exasperate it. Muscles tense and cramp due to the concentrated flow of cool air.
How to Sleep Well with a Fan on
While sleeping with the fan on can negatively impact your health, there exist ways to minimize the side effects. Find out how below:
- Aim for a Clean Environment
Keeping your sleeping area clean means the fan's circulating air won't spread dust and allergens throughout the room. Another essential tip is to clean the fan regularly. This prevents the risk of increasing allergies and congestion.
- Keep Your Fan at a Distance
It's advisable to keep your fan 2 to 3 feet away from your bed to prevent the concentrated airflow from affecting you. This creates a light, breezy sleeping environment rather than a gust of air blowing directly to your face. If you have a ceiling fan, set it to a moderate speed to avoid excessive dryness.
- Set a Timer
Most people only use a fan to help create a conducive sleep environment. In that case, you can set a timer, so the fan automatically turns off a couple of hours after sleeping. This prevents a cold breeze from blowing all night long, which can make you feel uncomfortable. Setting a timer on your fan also helps lower electricity bills because it won't run throughout the night.
- Use a Humidifier Instead of a Fan
Leaving your fan on while sleeping can help the humidifier spread humidity throughout your room. This allows your sleeping area to achieve an appropriate humidity level quickly, enhancing sleep quality. One caution, however, is to avoid placing the fan directly towards the humidifier to prevent spreading the water mist all over the place.
Other Ways to Sleep Cool
There are other ways to stay cool at night for those who don't want to keep the fan running while sleeping.
- Focus on Mattress
The mattress you choose determines whether you'll have a great night's sleep or an unpleasant night. For this reason, you should invest in a cooling mattress designed to stimulate airflow around your body as you sleep. One such mattress is the MAXYOYO Japanese futon mattress.
We recommend this mattress because it's crafted with supportive layers of memory foam which conform to your body structure to relieve physical fatigue. It's also fitted with a breathable cover to reduce heat buildup and provide extra sleeping hours by allowing free circulation of air throughout the sleep cycle. The mattress also adopts a medium-firm design to prevent you from sinking in too deep, which in turn, eliminates back pain.
- Turn to Cotton
Using cotton materials such as cotton pillows can help stop night sweats. Such materials won't retain heat, and their breathable components will reduce overheating and other discomforts that come with sleeping hot.
- Take a Warm Bath
Though it seems counterproductive, taking a warm bath roughly 1 or 2 hours before bed can optimize circulation and help your body cool down for a good night's sleep.
- Wear Loose
Wearing loose clothing made from breathable fabrics like cotton and silk can help body heat escape instead of accumulating overnight. It would help to steer clear of fleece or rayon, which can retain heat overnight.