Anyone who has ever sweated through a summer night without air conditioning, or without a good air conditioner, knows the value of having a fan in the bedroom. But if you have trouble sleeping is having a fan on at night going to help you sleep, or make it harder to sleep? Experts remain divided on whether or not having a fan on when you’re trying to sleep is healthy.
Keeping a fan on at night is often recommended for people who have trouble sleeping because there are a lot of benefits to having a fan going in your bedroom like:
Fans Create White Noise
White noise is one of the most frequently recommended remedies for people that have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Light sleepers who wake up whenever there is noise like a car door closing or traffic outside may find that white noise playing softly in the bedroom at night helps them stay asleep because they won’t notice those sudden noises. And people who live with other people and are often awoken by voices or other people moving around the house find that white noise can disguise other noises to help them stay asleep. A study that was done found that white noise can in fact help people sleep better. You can buy white noise machines but a simple and inexpensive fan is a great source of white noise and will also give you the other benefits of having a fan in the bedroom.
Fans Circulate Air
Air circulation is essential for good health and for healthy sleep. In the winter a fan can help circulate warm air to make the bedroom a move inviting space. In the summer a fan will help keep the bedroom cool by moving air-conditioned air throughout the room. Better air circulation will also make the bedroom feel less stuffy and keep you from overheating when you’re sleeping.
Fans Cool You Off
Anyone who has ever suffered through a summer night in a room without a fan knows that even if you have air conditioning when the temperature climbs a fan keeps the temperature in a bedroom tolerable. The cool breeze helps promote a deep and restful sleep by making sure that your body temperature remains consistent throughout the night.
The benefits of having a fan in the bedroom when you’re trying to sleep are significant, but there are downsides to having a fan on while you’re sleeping that you should consider like:
Fans Can Spread Allergens
Even the best kept homes will have dust and other allergens, and having a fan on can really spread those allergens throughout the room. If you have asthma or respiratory issues sleeping with a fan on can make those issues worse because the fan is flinging dust and allergens around the room. One solution for this problem is to clean your fan blades often to get rid of as much dust and debris as possible.
Fans Can Dry The Air
Dry air can make sleeping difficult because it will dry out your nose and mouth while you sleep. If you have sleep apnea, allergies, or other respiratory issues keeping the air moist is important when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. You can eliminate this problem by running a cool mist humidifier filled with purified water at night. Just make sure that you check the humidity level in the room occasionally to make sure it’s not too humid or too dry.
Fans Can Make Sinus Problems Worse
If you’re prone to sinus problems or have chronic sinusitis keeping a fan on while you sleep can cause inflammation in the nasal passages that can make your sinus problems worse. Congestion, coughing, and sore throat can all be caused by sleeping with a fan on. If you know that you have sinus problems but want to continue sleeping with a fan you can try using a neti pot each morning and night to help keep your sinuses clear and reduce inflammation.
Fans Can Be Loud
If you’re sensitive to noise the fan can sound like airplane in your bedroom when you’re trying to sleep. Some fans are quieter than others so you may need to experiment with a few different fans in order to find one that isn’t too loud. You can also install a ceiling fan in your room since ceiling fans tend to be quieter than box fans or tabletop fans.
The Bottom Line
Every person that struggles to get good sleep struggles for a different reason, so it’s tough to say if a fan will help you sleep or not. There are a lot of benefits that come from using a fan when you sleep so you should give it a try and see for yourself if it works for you. There are different kinds of fans so try a few different kinds to see which type, if any, work for you.