As the warm summer nights continue and sleeping is a sitcky, uncomfortable affair, more people may be turning to fans to cool them down.
It can be difficult to sleep in the heat because, according to experts, our bodies’ comfortable sleeping range is between 16°C and 18°C.
But having a fan blowing air around the bedroom could be making you unwell, according to one sleep expert.
Allergies, asthma and dry eyes could all be irritated by the device which, as well as lowering the temperature in the room, is blowing dust and pollen around.
So for some people it might be best to avoid turning to the propellers of a desk, floor or ceiling fan to cool down.
Keeping a room shaded during the day and drinking cold water instead of caffeine or alcohol will help you keep cool instead, according to the NHS.
Sleeping with a fan in your bedroom might keep you cool but it could also have unwanted effects like provoking allergies and asthma or drying out your skin, mouth or eyes
Mark Reddick, writing for Sleep Advisor, reveals the reasons having a fan in the bedroom could make people feel unwell.
People may decide to use the spinning blades to achieve more comfortable temperature for sleeping, create a soothing white noise and freshen the air in the room.
But unwanted effects might include allergic reactions, asthma attacks, dryness, irritated sinuses, and sore muscles.
Mr Reddick writes: ‘For some people, having a ceiling or floor fan in the room helps them fall asleep and stay cool during the night.
‘For others, it can keep them awake, trigger asthma attacks or dry out their eyes.’
The fan could blow dust and pollen around the room causing hay fever, allergies or asthma to flare up – which is more likely to keep you awake.
‘If you’re prone to allergies this could stir up trouble’
‘If you’re prone to allergies, asthma, and hay fever, this could stir up a whole lot of trouble,’ Mr Reddick said.
BRITS STRUGGLING TO SLEEP IN LONGEST HEATWAVE FOR 40 YEARS
More people have complained of difficulty sleeping over the past few weeks as the thermometer in Britain has reached 32.4°C in the country’s longest heatwave since 1976.
Dr Michael Farquhar, a sleep medicine consultant at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, says there has been a spike in sleeplessness.
He explains Britain’s homes are poorly equipped to deal with hot, humid conditions at night as very few houses have air conditioning.
‘As a result bedroom temperatures rise to uncomfortable levels during sustained heatwaves,’ he told the Guardian last week.
‘I’m very aware of people reporting more difficulties sleeping as the temperature increases,’ Dr Farquhar added.
He says people’s comfortable sleeping range is between 16°C and 18°C.
Experts recommend using fans, sleeping on cotton sheets, freezing hot water bottles and cutting down on caffeine and alcohol to help us drop off on hot nights.
‘Also, take a close look at your fan. If it’s been collecting dust on the blades, those particles are flying through the air every time you turn it on.’
Constantly being blasted with dry air might also cause skin to dry out, as well as eyes and mouths – many people do not sleep with those fully closed.
Mr Reddick said: ‘A constant blast of air on your body may cause dry skin. Lotions and moisturizers will help prevent this, but if your skin is excessively dry, use caution and monitor your skin to make sure you’re not over drying it.
A stream of cold air could dry out your eyes
‘Another thing to consider is that some people sleep with their eyes partially open. Weird, but it does happen!
‘Again, a steady airstream will dry your eyes and may cause major irritation. If you wear contact lenses when you sleep, this is particularly problematic.’
He also explains the air can dry out people’s mouths, throats and noses, which can irritate the sinuses and cause the body to create extra mucous to fight back.
Cool air can also make people’s muscle tense up, which could leave them waking up feeling stiff or experiencing cramps.
Mr Reddick added: ‘There’s no inherent danger in sleeping with something like this in your bedroom. It’s a matter of preference and of finding the right one for your needs.’
NHS recommends shade, drinking water and avoiding alcohol
If a fan is too irritating for your health, consider other ways of keeping cool during the hot weather.
The NHS suggests keeping windows and curtains closed – and where possible use light-coloured curtains, or putting shades or reflective material on the outside of windows.
Cool showers and drinking cold water will help you cool down, as will avoiding drinking alcohol or caffeine.
Wear loose, cool clothing and find a cool room or shaded place to stay out of the sun, the NHS suggests, and it encourages people to check on friends and relatives.