Why Do You Get a Sore Throat from Sleeping with a Fan On?


fan in the bedroom

If you’re like a majority of people, chances are you enjoy a slight breeze while sleeping. That said, you probably sleep with your fan on. However, despite the temporary comfort of the fresh air, dust mites and dry air caused by the fan can leave you with a sore throat, dry eyes, and much worse.

Why Do We Sleep With a Fan On?

As human beings, we are often fickle creatures. Our sleeping habits are reflective of this statement. For example, many of us sleep in the nude, whereas a large portion of us wouldn’t dream of ever hitting the sheets without a full set of PJs donned. Likewise, some of us sleep with socks on, while others couldn’t catch a minute of shut-eye without peeling off their socks first. It is the same with sleeping with or without a fan on.

There are as many reasons to sleep with a fan on as there are adverse reactions to sleeping with a fan on. Here are just a few of the most common:

Noise: Once we begin to sleep with a fan on, the sound created by our fans (whether a box, oscillating or ceiling models) quickly becomes a part of our sleeping habits. As creatures of habit, we eventually come to rely on this noise to calm us down and put us to sleep more easily.

Breeze: Aside from the noise factor, the simulated breeze we receive from our fans while sleeping, and perhaps even more importantly, while we are attempting to reach a sleep state, is more than likely the most significant reason we sleep with fans on.

Drowns out scary night sounds: For those of us who are a bit more sensitive to the sounds of our environments, the sound of a fan running is an excellent way to drown out the sounds of the night. Whether we’re spooked easily, or just annoyed by our noisy family, roommates, or neighbors, the noise of the fan is a real life-saver.

Comfort zone: Our comfort zones are incredibly crucial to most of us. That said, for whatever reason, we began sleeping with a fan on, and it more than quickly became a vital factor of our sleep-time comfort zone. Whether it’s due to the fresh air, the sound of it running, or a combination of things, there is no denying the comfort zone created by sleeping with a fan on.

Why Does Sleeping With the Fan On Give Us a Sore Throat?  

So, if sleeping with a fan on is loved by so many, how can it be so bad for us? The answer is quite simple: the rapid movement of air caused by our fans evaporates our body’s moisture and leaves us dried out.

Furthermore, the airflow of the fan kicks up dust which is hiding in every nook and cranny as well as clinging to the very blades of the fan itself. The combination of stirring up dust and the evaporation of moisture caused by sleeping with a fan on results in a sore throat and dried out nasal passages.

Moreover, for those with asthma, or other serious allergies, sleeping with a fan has an even more severe effect. However, many choose to ignore the facts and continue their habitual nocturnal rite of turning on their fans each night before bed. And that is, after all, their right to do so.

Other Adverse Reactions

For those of you just now learning about the harmful effects of sleeping with your fans on, here are a few more considerations for you to ponder over before plugging in old trusty tonight:

  • Dehydration
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry and blessing nose
  • Sinus pressure
  • Excess sweating
  • Tense muscles
  • Teeth and gum issues

Sleeping with a Fan On: Allergies and Asthma

If you suffer from asthma or other severe sinus-based allergies, you have even more at stake by sleeping with a fan on than others. Asthma, for those unfamiliar with the condition, is an inflammation of the body’s airways.

As you can imagine, this issue, combined with the dry, dusty air being stirred up by the fan, is not a healthy combination at all. Here are but a few of the main symptoms those with allergies and asthma may experience while sleeping with a fan on:

  • Itchy nose, eyes, and throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sinus infection
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Severe headaches

Remedies for Avoiding a Sore Throat

Sleeping with a fan on is a powerful sleeping aid despite the risk of adverse reactions your body may suffer because of it. That said, if you happen to be one of the many who absolutely refuses to go to bed without it, all hope is not lost. Several simple remedies will allow you to reduce negative symptoms and continue to enjoy in the sound sleep allowed you by your fan.

Direct Fan Away From Your Face

One of the most natural remedies to preventing a sore throat from sleeping with a fan on is merely directing the airflow of the fan blades away from your face. This will lower the amount of dehydration your mouth, nose, and body in general, will suffer during the night.

Use a Humidifier

The level of humidity in the room is drastically reduced by the stirring up of dust caused by the fan. That said, setting up and running a humidifier will help to alleviate sore throats and other symptoms by regulating the room’s overall humidity. If you are looking for the perfect humidifier for your stuffy room I personally recommend the Pallas Humidifier from Amazon. I have used it extensively in my dry room (with the fan on), and I never wake up with a sore throat. From experience, I’ve never realized how much having the correct amount of humidity in the room can affect how you feel waking up in general.

Clean Fan Blades Regularly

Cleaning the blades of your fan as regularly as possible is one of the easiest ways to lower the level of dust entering your throat overnight. I know what you’re thinking, “oh my gosh… when was the last time I cleaned my fan?” Believe me, plenty of us forget to clean them (or have never done so at all).

Using an Air Purifier

The use of an air purifier is a simple yet effective tactic for improving the air quality in your bedroom. Even folks who clean their room daily, and dust every week, will benefit from an air purifier. It’s incredible how many places those dirty little dust mites are lurking in, in our rooms, just waiting for our fans to blow them our way while we lie innocently in our beds sawing logs.

In addition to using a humidifier in my room, I also recommend the use of an Air Purifier as well. The first one I bought ended up breaking down in under a month, I was absolutely livid! I got a full refund from Walmart, and after doing some research I opted for the LEVOIT Air Purifier from Amazon. It’s worked wonders ever since. Even if you aren’t an allergy-suffer (like my husband), you’ll enjoy the benefit of actually breathing in dust-free air, and not have a sore throat in the morning. But if you happen to suffer from allergies (like me unfortunately), then this purchase is an absolute must.

Keeping Room Temperature Regulated

According to Sleep.org, the best temperature for sleeping soundly ranges between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. By keeping your bedroom’s temperature somewhere in this range, you will be able to lower the speed of the fan as well as direct the fan away from your body and still sleep just as well. Even more, you’ll be avoiding several of the more severe negative reactions of sleeping with the fan on.

Keeping a Glass of Water Nearby

Perhaps the most common remedy for sore throats caused by sleeping with a fan on is keeping a glass of water at the side of your bed. That way, when you wake up during the night with a dry mouth and parched throat you can wet your whistle and quickly nod back off before becoming fully awake.

Using a Sleep Mask

A sleep mask is another excellent remedy for preventing many of the negative symptoms associated with sleeping with a fan. Depending on the specific sort of mask you use, you’ll reduce sore throat, dry eyes, reduce annoying sounds that distract you from sleep and much more. Sleeping with a mask on might seem silly, but hey, all I can say is, don’t knock it till you try it!

Cleaning Your Mattress Regularly

Cleaning your fan blades, as well as keeping your room tidy and dusted, is one step towards cutting down dust mites and creating better air quality (effectively reducing the risk of sore throat overnight). However, taking it a step further you may find that regularly cleaning your mattress can help out a great deal as well.

Sleeping with a Hypoallergenic Pillow

Last but not least, sleeping with a hypoallergenic pillow is an excellent method of combating the adverse reactions your body may experience due to the dust and allergens stirred up by the fan overnight. I use the Coop Home Goods Hypoallergenic Pillow. Even though my husband doesn’t need one, he always managed to steal it from my side of the bed, so after buying this pillow twice, I can definitely say it’s worth the cost!

Final Words

So, there you have it, folks. There are obvious reasons for contracting a sore throat from sleeping with the fan on. Likewise, several remedies exist that we can take advantage of to continue our mid-night love affairs with the cool breeze of our beloved fans.

Author:

  • Tiara is an avid sleeper and fully dedicated to her work and research. Most often this includes, but is not limited to, napping, testing how many hours in one night that she can sleep, trying new sleep methods and constantly changing sleep positions. Tiara's main focuses are on dreams and how we can achieve the best natural sleep possible. As a sufferer of insomnia and other sleep-related disturbances, Tiara loves to dig deep into the subconscious to ask all the questions that can help us better understand what happens when we sleep.

Tiara Croft

Tiara is an avid sleeper and fully dedicated to her work and research. Most often this includes, but is not limited to, napping, testing how many hours in one night that she can sleep, trying new sleep methods and constantly changing sleep positions. Tiara's main focuses are on dreams and how we can achieve the best natural sleep possible. As a sufferer of insomnia and other sleep-related disturbances, Tiara loves to dig deep into the subconscious to ask all the questions that can help us better understand what happens when we sleep.

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