Why sleeping with a fan on might be bad for your health

·3-min read
Do you sleep with the fan on during the summer months? [Photo: Getty]
Do you sleep with the fan on during the summer months? [Photo: Getty]

The UK’s heatwave might be in full swing, but think twice before leaving your fan on all night.

According to Sleep Advisor, there are a number of health risks involved with sleeping by a fan from the spread of allergies to sore muscles.


Bad news for those who are already struggling with hay fever this season, as the website states that using a fan can actually trigger allergies.

As the fan moves air around the bedroom, it carries pollen along with it increasing the chances of it making its way into your sinuses.

If its dust which proves problematic for you, then make sure to clean the blades on a daily basis to prevent the spread of particles every time you switch it on.

READ MORE: Hay fever remedies that actually work

Dry skin

Another problem which may arise from sleeping by a fan is dry skin.

According to the website, the constant blow of air can irritate your face (especially if you attempt to cool off with a hand fan) so make sure to moisturise more often than usual.

Meanwhile, a nearby glass of water will also prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night with a parched mouth.

Sinus infections

Suffering from a headache and blocked nose? It might not be down to hay fever, as your fan can also prove a guilty party.

Experts at Sleep Advisor state that the constant circulation of air from a fan can dry out your nasal passages leading to nose blockage and sinus headaches.

Sore muscles

If you think your bad back is from tossing and turning in the heatwave then you might be wrong, as your fan could be to blame.

The website reads, “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 particularly common for people who like to sleep with a fan by their face and neck.

READ MORE: What are the signs and symptoms of heat stroke?

How to sleep in a heatwave

According to the NHS, there are a number of ways to keep cool in a heatwave without having to always resort to using a fan.

  • It’s highly recommended that you shut all windows and pull down the shades when it’s hot outside in order to keep your home cool. Once the temperatures ease off, then you can open the windows for ventilation.

  • The hottest times of day are between 11am and 3pm so try to avoid direct sunlight during this period where possible or stick to the shade.

  • Make sure to have cool showers and baths throughout the day - we’ll take that as an excuse for a good old soak in the tub.

  • Avoid excess alcohol and make sure to drink plenty of fluids including water, smoothies and soft drinks.

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