Is sleeping with a fan on bad for you? Expert on 4 ways it could impact your health

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Lapp argues that while fans may provide extra comfort while sleeping that they may have their downsides.

Triggering allergic reactions

Lapps says: “Your fan can potentially blow up flurries of dust and pollen particles from around your room. So if you have asthma, allergies, or even hay fever, the dust flying around your room can worse or trigger symptoms.

“Before using your fan, take a look at its blades. When your fan is sitting around, it can collect allergens, like dust mites and dead skin cells, increasing your risk of allergic reactions.”

Dry air

This dry air “can lead to dry skin, mouth, and eyes”.

She added: “Also, if you sleep with your mouth open, the constant blast of air can cause an uncomfortable dry mouth.

“Some people tend to sleep with their eyes partially open. While this normally has minimal negative side effects, the excessive dryness can cause eye irritation, especially for people who [wear] contact lenses.”


The dry air propelled around the room also causes another issue – it causes congestion.

“Since fans dry out your nose, mouth, and throat, your body might overcompensate as a result, producing excess mucus to lubricate your body. However, the overproduction of mucus only blocks your nasal passage and leads to sinusitis, causing you to experience symptoms such as sinus headaches, a stuffy nose, and snoring,” says Lapp.

However, it is possible to minimise this by drinking more water, recommends Lapp, and running a humidifier at the same time to reduce congestion risk.

Stiff and sore muscles

The reason for this is down to the impact of the cold air: “The concentrated, cold air of a fan directly on your body can cause you to wake up with stiff and sore muscles.

“If you sleep with a fan near your face, in particular, your neck can stiffen up and ache.

“This is because the cool air unintentionally causes muscle contractions, meaning your muscles tense up and cramp.”

As a result, although using a fan may alleviate the feelings of sweatiness caused by long, hot nights, it could provide more discomfort than it relieves.

Other ways to stay cool overnight according to Lapp are:
• Using cool bedding
• Wearing appropriate clothing
• Trying light-coloured curtains
• Taking a warm bath or shower before bed
• Putting sheets in the freezer
• Placing a damp cloth on one’s head.

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