Most of us aren’t willing to make any changes to our bedtime routine — even if we’re being unsafe. We all have at least one electric fan, and most of us have those fans perched next to the bed. Flipping that switch brings the familiar gust of air to send us into a restful slumber. Experts, however, are saying these fans are far more chilling than we thought…and we aren’t talking about the temperature.
Sleep — we all need it, though most of us rarely get enough. The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of z’s per night to function at their healthiest. So, when we finally rest our heads on that pillow, it’s important that we’re getting top quality winks.
A lot happens in your brain once you’ve achieved an ideal level of restfulness. Your brain’s synapses fire faster, your overall health improves, and you’re generally able to enjoy life a little easier than someone who slacks on sleep. But what about those who find turning in to be a tiresome challenge?
To drift off, all the conditions need to be just so. Some people need pitch blackness, total silence. Others require a soft level of constant noise, a night light, and a cocktail of sleep medication. Even then, there’s one variable that can throw everything off.
A hot bedroom can ruin a perfectly good night’s sleep! You don’t need to be experiencing menopause to get night sweats. Tossing and turning atop the covers on a windless night is curbed by one widely used product.
It’s common for people to lull themselves to sleep and combat the heat with the standard electric fan. Not only do fans make a gentle whirring noise — no more white noise machines for you! — but they also suck up less juice than an AC unit. A fan is every homeowner’s best friend, right?
When it comes to airflow, for the price and the power, nothing beats plugging in an electric fan. However, as soothing and affordable as they are, they might not be the healthiest thing to have plugged in every single night.
In Korea, the fear of “fan death” is not a laughing matter. Since they were first introduced on the market, there’s been the suspicion that leaving a fan unattended in an otherwise closed door and windowed room could lead to sudden death.
Obviously, a lone fan in your bedroom won’t murder you (probably). But that doesn’t mean your fan is innocent, however. As it turns out, that innocuous heat-repeller can wreck havoc on your body, and in the most unexpected ways.
It’s important to remember that the blades of the fan aren’t just whipping around the cleanest air for your lungs to absorb. In most cases, the dust particles and microscopic bits of gunk lingering in your room circle through the fan, too. And guess where they usually end up?
Yep, all the dust and dirt goes right through the wind and into your lungs. It’s a real pain in the neck for people with respiratory issues. Asthmatics and allergy sufferers should think twice before firing up their fan to full blast, and they’re not the only ones at risk for serious health problems.
Skincare buffs — or anyone who prefers a blemish-free face — heed this warning: the electric fan is not your friend. Pointing a fan on your body for hours dries out your skin something fierce. All the goops and body oils in the world would have trouble quenching it. Of course, the damage isn’t just cosmetic.
Dr. Clifford Bassett told the Independent, “If you experience sneezing or worsening nasal symptoms due to air from a fan forcefully blowing up your nasal passages, it can cause a flare-up in your nasal allergies.” At least your precious eyes are safe from harm…right?
Well, not quite. Sleep expert Mark Reddick has said that many of us don’t fully close our eyes when we sleep. Our precious eyeballs are experiencing a lot of needless trauma from electric fans, and since we’re usually fully asleep during the night, we’re not always aware of the price our eyes pay for a cool room.
As it turns out, those red eyes in the mirror could be a result of constant drying from direct contact with too much airflow. No amount of eye drops can solve the problem if you continuously expose your eyes to air gusts every night. Of course, those who sleep with their mouths open just may have it worse.
There’s a common assumption that waking to a scratchy throat stems from a fan or open window, but that might just be a result of sleeping mouth agape. Experts are actually at odds about whether or not open-mouthed sleepers suffer directly because of an electric fan.
So after you’ve glued your eyelids closed and sewn your jaw shut, you might think you’re safe from the electric fan’s tricks. Think again! You’ve got to breathe somehow. It’s down to the only facial holes you’ve got left – the nostrils.
Unfortunately for us, nasal passages don’t bode well to a steady stream of incoming air, either. They dry up, which could be the explanation behind that random nose bleed you experience from time to time. An electric fan on the highest setting could be what’s causing your most random aches and pains, too…
Mark Reddick explained, “If the dryness is particularly extreme, it can result in your body producing excess mucus to try to compensate. Then, you’re more susceptible to blockage, stuffiness, and sinus headaches.” That’s right — your simple fan may be what’s behind that nagging headache, not to mention some other common ailments.
The price your body pays to cool off from an electric fan is seemingly never-ending. Mark Reddick pointed out that the chilled air flow can trigger muscles aches. But other experts, like Dr. Dasha Fielder, say all these ailments can happen with or without an electric fan. So what’s a sweaty sleeper to do?
Don’t be too freaked out by your electric fan! If you absolutely need a cool room in order to sleep, then you may actually be on the right path to wellness. Believe it or not, there are actually proven health benefits to sleeping in cooler temperatures.
Sleeping in a cool room obviously doesn’t have the same effect as running a mile, but it could help you lose weight all the same. Studies have shown that exposing yourself to cooler temperatures can help raise your metabolism. But how?
Despite not moving much, your body actually burns calories while you sleep! So go ahead and snooze with the AC on and let your body do the rest. It’s the only form of exercise that you can do without being awake — and it may also be your best beauty routine.
Yep, the deeper your slumber, the more melatonin you’ll produce. Not only does melatonin help you get restful sleep, but it’s your body’s natural anti-aging compound, which means that you can stay youthful forever…or something like that. And a slightly-open window can be just as effective.
When you sleep in warmer temperatures, the hot air can dehydrate you, which wrinkles your skin and clogs your pores. Cooler temps, however, can help close pores and restore moisture to your skin. But what about those days when it’s so cold, you’re shivering?
According to some experts, staying under the covers with your head exposed is the healthiest way to sleep. While the rest of your body stays warm, your head will remain cool, ensuring that you remain at an overall consistent temperature. It can be tempting to burrow under your covers…
But you definitely shouldn’t hide your head under the blankets! If you want to try sleeping in a colder room, but you dread catching a chill while you rest, you can bundle up the rest of your body as much as you want. Keep your head exposed, and your body won’t be the only thing that benefits.
Getting a good’s night sleep — in cool air especially — is the cornerstone of keeping your body and your mind healthy and energized for the day ahead. Your brain processes so much while you sleep that it’s the only way to physically recharge! It may even help improve some seriously scary symptoms.
Sleep studies have shown that symptoms of diseases, such as sleep apnea and fibromyalgia, may decrease when sleeping in cooler temperatures. And if anyone reading this suffers from other sleep disorders, listen up: Turning down your thermostat may help you more than you think.
Your body’s temperature naturally decreases after you fall asleep. This is why it’s common to feel cold when you wake up in the middle of the night, even when it’s summertime. By lowering the temperature in your room, you’re encouraging your brain to embark on a rather interesting scientific journey.
If you’re sleeping in a cooler room, your body temperature will drop more quickly. This sends you to super-efficient REM sleep faster instead of wasting time just waiting for sleep to come to you. You can get to dreamland much faster by staying cool, though doing so isn’t as easy for some people as it sounds.
Unfortunately, sometimes sleeping in cooler temperatures isn’t always as easy as getting up and punching a couple of buttons on the air conditioner. Some folks don’t even own air conditioners! If that’s you, worry not — there are many simple ways to reap the benefits of a cool night’s sleep.
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. Removing your clothes should let your skin cool off more, right? But you don’t necessarily have to sleep completely in the nude! Swap out those flannels for light cotton PJs, or if you’re able, sleep in your underwear.
If you wear a sweatshirt to bed, change into a simple T-shirt instead. It’s all about removing layers and finding what works best for you. Sleeping in lightweight all-natural fabrics, like cotton, will enable your body to breathe as you sleep, keeping you from overheating.
Stick your feet out of the covers! Believe it or not, keeping your extremities cool can help keep your whole body cool, too. It might seem like a silly thing to try, but it can make all the difference when it comes to cooling down.
If you find yourself feeling too cold with your bare feet exposed on the bottom of your bed, you could always try keeping them beneath the sheet. Just make sure your comforter isn’t covering them, otherwise you’re missing the point entirely. Of course, it also helps to remember a very common mantra…
Balance is key! Get the temperature just right. Studies have shown that there is actually a near-perfect temperature to sleep in that will prevent you from becoming too blazing hot or freezing cold. So, what is it?
Believe it or not, the ideal temperature falls between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a thermostat in your home, make sure you check that it’s set at an optimal temperature before you hit the hay.