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Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay, said there are “several downsides” to sleeping with a fan on during the night.
Seeley elaborated: “Electric fans circulate air in the room, but they also stir up dust mites, spores, pollen, and other allergens.
“This can lead to symptoms such as excessive sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throats, and breathing difficulties.”
Another risk of prolonged exposure to a fan is that they can “dry out the air, causing the body to produce more mucus to stay hydrated”.
Seeley said: “This can result in a stuffy nose, sinus headache, and other discomforts.”
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Dry air can also lead to dry eyes and irritation, Seeley cautioned, which can be “particularly problematic for contact lens wearers”.
And for anyone who suffers from muscle pain, sleeping with a fan on might be a big no-no.
“Directing cool air from an electric fan onto pre-existing muscle pains can cause muscles to tense and cramp, resulting in more discomfort,” said Seeley.
As the scorching heatwave can leave homes feeling far too humid at night, are there better alternatives to a fan in order to get a good night’s sleep?
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Seeley recommended filling up a hot water bottle with tap water and putting it into the freezer.
Then, before you nod off to sleep, you can take the frozen hot water bottle and place it inside your bed.
In addition to a frozen hot water bottle, another tip is to put pillowcases into the freezer so that at nighttime you can rest against a cooler surface.
Seeley added: “When you brush your teeth before bed, you should also run your wrists under cold water for a few minutes before bedtime, as this quickly cools your body down.”
While it could be tempting to open the bedroom blinds and curtains during the daytime, when it’s as hot as it is, don’t.
Seeley explained: “Naturally, the sun tends to be the hottest throughout the day, so a top tip is to keep your blinds and curtains shut throughout the day, to prevent the sun from coming in.
“This should keep your bedroom cooler at nighttime when it’s time to fall asleep.”
If you really must sleep with a fan on during the night, Seeley advised to:
- Regularly cleaning the fan blades
- Consider an air-purifying fan
- Drinking at least two litres of water throughout the day
- Consider using a rotating electric fan.
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