Why You Feel Sick After Sleeping with a Fan

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Updated December 4, 2022

Even users with top-tier fans sometimes wake up from a deep sleep with a sore throat and other common cold symptoms. Many homeowners improve their sleep quality with their fan’s white noise and constant breeze. Unfortunately, some people report a runny nose, muscle aches, and acid reflux after hours of sleep under a fan’s air circulation. So, to avoid cold treatments, stick around to learn why you feel sick after sleeping with a fan.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Fans can dry out your sinuses and lead to a dry throat or light cough.
  • Direct airflow can cool you too much, causing your muscles to tighten and become sore.
  • Some health professionals claim that newborns who sleep with a fan are over 70% less vulnerable to SIDS.

Why Do Fans Make You Sick?

After consulting your healthcare provider, decide if activating your fan is a positive bedtime routine. Although the constant airflow stream can prevent proper sleep and leave users with a dry mouth and an itchy throat, some swear the white noise they produce helps them sleep.

Insider Tip

Keep your fan at least 2 to 3 feet away from your bed to ensure a healthy sleep without adverse fan effects.

Studies show that using fans prevents SIDS when placed in a baby’s room. They’re also useful for lowering your body temperature, so you may want to learn how to use an air circulator fan. And in the debate over what uses more electricity: an AC or a fan, the fan is the clear winner. That said, as with an AC, you will need to troubleshoot occasionally, which may lead you to ask why your fan turns on by itself.

Downsides of Sleeping with a Fan

The constant blast of air from your fan can dry out your sinuses and produce excess mucous. Additionally, the cold air can make your muscles tense, leading to sore muscles around your body. Lastly, users report increased allergy symptoms due to the fan disrupting dust and pollen around the room. If you find that a fan isn’t improving the quality of your sleep, there are other variables out there, like the best scented wax melts.

Warning

Mouth breathing will dry your throat, especially if you sleep with the fan running. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and prevent discomfort.

Benefits of Sleeping with a Fan

Sleeping with a fan on isn’t always a wrong choice and provides users with a white noise machine to block sound from the outdoors. Additionally, the airflow keeps your air from getting stale and helps keep you cool on warm nights.

STAT: A 2020 US EIA (Energy Information Agency) survey showed that 75.2% of American homes built between 2016 and 2020 have at least one ceiling fan. (source)

Why You Feel Sick After Sleeping With a Fan FAQs

How important is sleep hygiene for health?

Healthy sleep habits are essential. If your fan prevents you from sleeping, you shouldn’t use one. Health problems like sleep apnea and acid reflux lead to insufficient sleep, and fans can contribute to this problem. Lack of sleep can cause bad decision-making and brain fog.

How often should I clean my fan?

Clean your fan weekly to prevent dust and dirt buildup on the blades and motor housing. Additionally, dirt can build up on the fan's bearings, preventing the blades from rotating smoothly. Use a dry cloth or a dust wand to remove dust from the blades, and never directly spray the fan with cleaning fluid.

Do fans use less energy than an air conditioner?

Fans use a fraction of the watts per hour of a central air conditioning unit. AC units use between 1000 and 4000 watts, while the average ceiling fan only uses 70 to 100 watts.
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