To Fan or Not to Fan

Are you forever engaged in the great debate of whether to sleep with the ceiling fan on or not? Does sleep elude you without the sound of a fan running?  Can sleeping with a fan blowing on you make you sick?  Or is it good for you?  Here are just a few pros and cons to sleeping with that air-moving mechanical wonder.

PROS:

Cost. Fans are low-cost options to cooling.  They are far less expensive than blasting your air conditioner or central air unit. Side note: During the hotter months, you want a ceiling fan to blow air straight down so the fan should turn counterclockwise as you look up at it.  In cooler months, your ceiling fan should run in a clockwise direction and on low speed.

White Noise.  The noise of a running fan generates a hum that can help people fall asleep.  It can also help drown out the sounds of a busy street or loud neighbor.  It also helps break up the “ringing” silence that some people experience.

Temperature Control.  Nothing is worse than trying to sleep in a closed up, hot, stuffy room.  A fan won’t keep you as cool as an air conditioner, but it will move the air around.  This also combats odors aneeper, sometimes a little too much which can make the sleeper hot and sweaty.

CONS:

Allergies/ Illness.  Moving fans mean moving air which means moving particles.  People who are prone to allergies, hay fever or asthma should not use a fan. Those moving particles also include germs which can spread to others in the room. Those allergic to dust should also use caution if using a fan and make sure to clean the dust from fan blades regularly

Dryness/ Irritation.  Moving air is a drying agent. Constant air flowing across your body while you sleep may cause dry skin, dry eyes, or dry mouth and throat.  People who wear contacts should be particularly careful of irritation.  Those susceptible to sinus blockage and headaches should also exercise caution when using a fan because the air tends to dry out nasal passages.

Soreness.  Direct constant breezes can cause a sleeper to awaken with sore muscles.  This is particularly true of those who sleep with the fan blasting their face and neck.  The concentrated air can cause muscles to tense up and cramp, causing them to feel stiff.

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