Benefits And Hidden Dangers Of Sleeping With A Fan On All Night

Different people will have different sleeping habits, and one of the most common ones is sleeping with the fan running. For those that live in hot parts of the world, sleeping on the floor must be the cheapest solution but it could make you catch a cold instead of keeping the fan on. While leaving the fan on as you sleep might keep you cool is it safe for sleep?

There have always been conflicting answers to this question, and different people including experts tend to have varying opinions about it. But, understanding why some people always prefer to sleep with a fan on and the likely side effects should help you decide whether to do it or not.

Why Do Some People Prefer To Sleep With The Fan On?​

For some people sleeping with the fan on is a habit that they develop as a result of their environment while for many others it is because of the following and other reasons.

sleeping with fan on

Soothing Sound/ White Noise​

There are more than enough expert studies to prove that white noise can help you fall asleep fast and remains so for long enough. This fact is one of the reasons why many people will prefer to sleep with a fan running.

The gentle whir that the fan produces as it spins will soothe you and calm both the body/mind so that you can drift into a passive state.​

People that leave in noisy neighborhoods will also use the sound that a fan makes to counter their noisy environment or as a distraction to help them fall asleep. However, a fan works best as a sleep aid when you keep it at a low setting and combine it with a high-quality earplug set.​

Proper Ventilation​

healthy sleep

One of the primary roles of a fan is to circulate air around the room to ensure perfect ventilation. People snooze with the fan on to make sure that the chamber remains well ventilated because research shows that proper ventilation is essential for proper breathing and also for sleep.

In fact, one study back in 2008 by a leading healthcare management group found the adequate ventilation that a fan produces can reduce the risk of SIDS in infants by up to 70%.​

Adults will also use fans to dissipate odors and unpleasant smells which can keep you awake. And so individuals that live in neighborhoods that are not very clean, or those that stay next to factories will always rely on fans to keep the air clean and fresh so that they can get some quality sleep.​

Temperature Regulation​

According to sleep experts, the optimal temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. In some places, this is not always easy to achieve without an air conditioner, and this is more so during the hot summer months. And since air conditioning units can be very expensive a fan is the second best thing.

In fact, temperature control is the main reason why most people will have a fan in the house. And so to ensure that the temperature is cold enough or optimal for sleep most individuals will always leave the fan running as they go to bed.​

A fan can not only circulate air around the room but also over the body which in turn encourages the body core temperature to drop fast so that you can snooze with ease.

Side Effects Of Sleeping With A Fan On​

Even with the many benefits that you can get from leaving the fan on as you slumber, it can still come with some adverse effects which include the following.

sleeping with a fan on

Drying Of The Throat/ Mouth​

Leaving the fan running will lead to drying of the mouth and throat because it dries out the air in the room. Breathing the dry air will dry the mouth for mouth breather and the nose for the nose breathers and hence disturbing your sleep since you might need to wake up to drink some water.

Although drying of the mouth or nose might not have any severe consequences as long as you rehydrate, it can lead to gum and teeth problems in the long run.​

Sinus Irritations​

drolling while sleeping

Sinus irritations are one of the main shortcomings of sleeping with the fan running. And this is also because it dries the air in the room as you sleep. This dry air irritates the mucous membrane line the nasal passages.

When these membranes become too dry, they will try to resolve this problem by producing mucus which in turn causes blockage, build-ups and intense pressure on the sinus.​

Stiff Neck​

stiff neck

That annoying stiff neck that you always get every other morning when you wake up might be due to leaving the fan running as you sleep. And this is because the cool breeze that the fan produces can cause the muscles to tense up as it blows on your skin.

Most people will prefer to direct the breeze to their body so that it can cool them fast which is not the right idea since it can cause the muscles around the neck to tense up or even cramp. The continued muscle tightening is what causes you to wake up with a sore or stiff neck or even a shoulder pain in the morning.​ 

Asthma/ Allergy Issues​

sleep with fan on

If you are one of the many asthmatic individuals or are prone to getting allergies, sleeping with a fan on is not good because it can make the symptoms worse. And this is more so if you do not clean your fan regularly.

Fans will collect a lot of dust and allergens when not in operations and when you switch them on they will blow all that dust and all the other harmful things in it directly into your sinuses and lungs.

For allergy and asthma sufferers, this is a nightmare that they never want to experience as it not only makes it hard to sleep but will also make their conditions worse.​


While sleep with a fan can help you snooze fast and for long, it can also come with some adverse effects. And so before you decide to slumber with a running fan the right idea is to weigh between the possible gains and demerits. Also, it is imperative to make sure that you buy a high-quality fan with a timer that can switch it off once you fall asleep.

Keeping it free of dust is also an effective way of making sure that you get the benefits of sleeping with a fan without any side effects.​

Understanding why some people always prefer to sleep with a fan on and the likely side effects should help you decide whether to do it or not.
  • Jane
  • Updated July 21, 2018

I am Jane Collins, a Founder and a Main Editor of I decided to create this site to share my knowledge, guides and tips to help you to have a good night's sleep.

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