Experts say sleeping with a fan on in hot weather is a terrible idea

Experts say sleeping with a fan on in hot weather is a terrible idea
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In case you hadn't noticed, it's really, really hot in the UK at the moment and trying to get to sleep in this weather is very difficult.

Scorching temperatures are set to hit the UK this week with parts of the country forecast to experience temperatures exceeding 30C this week.

This poses a conundrum when trying to get to sleep: either you sacrifice your duvet, sleep next to a window or have a fan constantly running throughout the night to avoid waking up in a pool of sweat.

However, the latter of those options would appear to not be that beneficial to your health, for a variety of reasons.

Sleep expert Mark Reddick, of Sleep Advisorbelieves that there are both advantages and disadvantages to sleeping with a fan.

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The benefits include a controlled room temperature, constant air circulation and the sound of white noise, which does help some people sleep.

However, the cons seemingly outweigh the pros.

One of the biggest downsides to a fan is there is a tendency to provoke allergic reactions due to the amount of dust and pollen they can blast into your sinuses.

Those that suffer from allergies, asthma and hay fever could find themselves having trouble with these ailments during the night.

Reddick adds: "Also, take a close look at your fan. If it’s been collecting dust on the blades, those particles are flying through the air every time you turn it on."

The dry air that fans produce may also cause problems. This may cause your skin and throat to dry out and also cause irritation to your eyes, especially if you wear contact lenses.

Nasal passages and sinuses could also be affected by the dry air which may lead to mucus and headaches. The constant stream of air also has a tendency to dry out your nasal passages, which could affect your sinuses.

If the dryness is particularly extreme, it can result in your body producing excess mucous to try to compensate.
Then, you’re more susceptible to blockage, stuffiness, and sinus headaches.

You may also find that you are waking him with cramp and tense muscles because of the cool concentrated air.

This obviously isn't very good news for anyone hoping to get a good nights sleep in 30C+ heat.

That being said there are ways to make sure that you do stay cool at night without the assistance of a fan.

These include:

  • Keeping a bedroom shaded throughout the day.
  • Drinking cold water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
  • Sleeping on cotton sheets.
  • Taking a cold shower and wearing loose clothing.

If you do want to use a fan Reddick came up with a unique solution that would turn a fan into a makeshift air conditioning unit.

It involves freezing four to six bottles of saltwater. Then when you are ready for bed, place the bottles on a tray in front of the fan and then a cool breeze will blow over you.

Reddick also suggests that you invest in a fan that rotates rather than one that blows directly onto you or even setting a fan to a timer so it isn't going all night.

He adds: "There’s no inherent danger in sleeping with something like this in your bedroom. It’s a matter of preference and of finding the right one for your needs.

"Whether you’re trying to keep cool or fall asleep faster, a fan is probably the most cost-effective piece of equipment you can use to improve your sleep quality. There are a lot of upsides to having one in the room, and most of the downsides can be eliminated by using something quiet that rotates and has a timer."

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