Is It Bad To Sleep With A Fan Blowing On You? That Depends…

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Sleep?

First things first, what is a good temperature for sleeping?

Most scientists agree that around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) is the best temperature to sleep in.

I would say to you that you should experiment for yourself.

Everyone is different, we have different bodies, are used to growing up in different temperatures, and some of us just run hotter than others.

Don’t blindly do what others do.

I bet if you grew up in the tropics, you will find 65 too cold. 

And for someone who grew up in Siberia, that’s probably a nice spring afternoon sort of temperature.

Experiment until you find your sweet spot.

Personally if I am sleeping alone, I tend not to bother with a fan, but if my partner is staying over, there’s too much body heat between us, we HAVE to cool the room down just to fall asleep.

Is It Bad To Sleep With A Fan Blowing On You? That Depends...

How To Stay Cool While Sleeping

There are many ways to stay cool while sleeping.

The obvious methods that come to mind are air conditioners and fans.

Using a fan to stay cool while sleeping is the most cost effective way.

Running an air conditioner will use more electricity and increase your monthly bills. 

Not to mention that a fan is cheaper to purchase than an air conditioning unit.

Is It Bad To Sleep With A Fan Blowing On You?

The only reason it might be bad to sleep with a fan blowing on you is because a fan stirs up dust, pollen and other allergens into the air.

When you breathe that in, it can cause you to have an allergic reaction, which in turn can cause your nose to become congested and your throat to become sore.

A congested nose can also lead to a sinus headache (where the pain is concentrated between your eyes at the top of your nasal passages).

Why Sleep with a Fan On All Night?

White Noise

I love sleeping with a fan not only for the cool breeze flowing over my hot body, but also for the low hum that drowns out other noise.

I’m a light sleeper by nature. I’m always waking up in the middle of the night wondering what that noise was.

The low hum from my fan drowns out those little noises that would otherwise wake me up and I find I tend to sleep like the dead all the way through without waking until the morning.

So in my opinion, sleeping with a fan for noise, with the goal of drowning out more disruptive noises, is a good thing.

Temperature Control 

This one is obvious.

The fan creates cool air as it moves air around the room. 

Perfect for hot nights.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to fall asleep or just stay asleep when it’s too hot.  Besides, who likes waking up drenched in sweat the next morning?

And a fan is simply the cheapest option to cool down your room compared to an air conditioning unit.

Bedding That Holds Onto Heat

Certain types of bedding will make you hot, VERY HOT!

I recently slept on a very luxury mattress at a nice hotel while visiting Cambridge in the United Kingdom. It was soft and pillowy yet firm and supportive.

Boy, was I hot.

I turned the air conditioning down to probably 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees celsius), so getting out of bed made me feel like I was freezing.

But my back (of sides) where it made contact with the mattress was hot and sweaty. 

However, if I stuck my legs or arms outside the blankets, I was immediately too cold thanks to the air conditioning.

I suspect the problem was that the mattress had a real duck or goose down mattress topper.

Real bird down feathers are known to hold on to heat, that’s why geese or ducks don’t have a problem swimming around on a snowy lake in the middle of winter. Or why Canada Goose makes all their coats and jackets with goose down feathers.

My own mattress topper at home is made from a synthetic material so it’s not quite as hot.

Either way, a fan to cool the room down that night would have been preferable to the super cold air conditioning. 

Stuffy Rooms

If you haven’t opened a window in a while, a room can become very stuffy. Pay attention next time you come back from a 2 week holiday how the rooms in your house feel.

A fan can help refresh the air in the room.

My advice is to open a window for a short amount of time, if possible, while also running the fan.

Smells and Odours

A fan moves air around so any smell or odour lingering in a specific spot is distributed across the rest of the room, and possibly out the door, thereby diluting the air molecules by mixing them with other “fresh” molecules.

Think about it like mixing sugar in your coffee. If you don’t stir it properly, you get all the concentrated sugar when you get to the bottom of your cup, while the rest of the cup barely tastes sweet.

Is Sleeping With A Fan Bad For You?

There are some negative side effects of sleeping with a fan on all night long.

Allergies, Hayfever and Asthma

A fan will stir up the air and all the dust in the room. 

When you breathe that in, it can make your asthma, allergies or hayfever worse.  

As someone who suffers very badly from hayfever, I recommend you get an Air Purifier. 

I bought a small one for my bedroom from Amazon and it cleans the air of pollen and dust.

I sleep so much better now, even if I do still turn on the fan.

Also make sure you keep your fan clean, considering how much those blades move, they get surprisingly dirty and dusty!

Dry Skin, Mouth or Eyes

Fans can dry out your skin, your mouth and your eyes.

This is because the rapid air movement tends to cause moisture to evaporate, not only from the air, but also from the surface of your skin.

And since the air is drier, that can also affect your mouth, nasal passages, and eyes.

Pay attention to how you feel in the morning after sleeping with the fan on all night long.

If you often wake up dehydrated, try drinking more water during the day, or keeping a bottle of water next to your bed to sip from during the night. 

You can also change your routine to apply moisturiser before going to bed. 

I have eye drops which I keep on my night stand in case my eyes start to feel irritated.

Sore Throat

There are many things that cause a sore throat, but since we’re talking about sleeping with a fan, your sore throat is most likely either caused by dry air, or allergies.

In fact, the symptoms of allergies or hayfever can often be confused with having a cold, sore throat, headache, feeling a bit meh, tired, sinus congestion.

Sinuses and Congestion

As I mentioned earlier, a fan will stir up dust and pollen which can affect your allergies.

Of course, it also dries out the air, which causes your sinuses to produce more mucus.

This can lead to more congestion in your nasal passages, which will make you feel like your nose is swollen and “thick”, and anyone who suffers from a lot of allergies will tell you that often comes hand in hand with a sinus headache (where the pain is concentrated between your eyes at the top of your nasal passages).

Muscle & Other Pain

Colder air can aggravate pre-existing pain in your muscles or scar tissue simply because cold air can make your muscles tense up, which can lead to cramps.

How Can You Avoid The Negative Side Effects Of Sleeping With A Fan?

There are some steps you can take to negate the effects of sleeping with a fan.

I’ve already mentioned a few in earlier paragraphs, but let’s go through them quickly.

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers will clean the air of dust and pollen and all those dust bunnies (which, let’s face it, are mostly made of dead human skin cells).

I bought mine from Amazon and I leave it on all day long while in the office (it’s only a small one so it needs to run for longer than a big powerful air purifier would need).

Clean Your Fan

It never ceases to amaze me just how dirty my fan gets.

It boggles the mind, really it does!  I mean… HOW?

Most fans can be opened so you can access the blades directly for a quick wipe. Just remember to first turn off the power or unplug the device so you don’t accidentally end up losing a hand.

Timers

Some fans come with built-in timers so you can set it to turn off after a couple of hours when you know you’ll be asleep.

This makes it easier for you to fall asleep, but you aren’t exposed to the side effects of the dry air all night long.

Does Sleeping In A Cold Room Make You Sick?

Sleeping with a fan does not make you sick, however, the symptoms of allergies or hayfever can often be confused with having a cold.

For example, a sore throat, headache, feeling a bit meh, tired, sinus congestion or feeling feverish are all symptoms of your body having an autoimmune response, in other words your body is fighting off an infection.  

Whether that infection is caused by pollen or other allergens, or a virus, the symptoms can feel the same.

In short, you can feel sick the next morning if you sleep with a fan on, but if you give it a few hours, the symptoms will likely disappear.

And that sore throat from a fan might be nothing more than your throat being too dry.

Is It Bad To Sleep With A Fan Blowing On You? That Depends...

Does Sleeping With A Fan On Dehydrate You?

Yes, sleeping with a fan on can dehydrate you.

This is because the rapid air movement tends to cause moisture to evaporate, not only from the air, but also from the surface of your skin.

And since the air is drier, that can also affect your mouth, nasal passages, and eyes.

Pay attention to how you feel in the morning after sleeping with the fan on all night long.

If you often wake up dehydrated, try drinking more water during the day, or keeping a bottle of water next to your bed to sip from during the night. 

You can also change your routine to apply moisturiser before going to bed. 

I have eye drops which I keep on my night stand in case my eyes start to feel irritated.

Conclusion

Sleeping with a fan on is OK and won’t affect your health too much.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, then investing in an air purifier is definitely a good idea, even if you don’t sleep with a fan on.

But remember my golden advice, always pay attention to your body and how you feel.

Don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the best way for you.

Also read Statistics About Sleep That Will Keep You Up At Night.

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