It’s time to play mythbuster again — and this time, I’m going to blow away one of the dumbest urban legends about summer.
It’s the idea that it’s somehow dangerous to sleep with a fan on.
This might seem like a small myth, but who can sleep when you’re hot, sweaty, and miserable?
You end up with lousy nights and lost sleep… and you feel like garbage in the morning.
Don’t feel too bad if you’ve fallen for this one yourself. Millions have.
It’s even been repeated in the media. Just last week, about half a dozen different news websites all made the ludicrous claim that sleeping with a fan on could make you sick.
Think that’s bad? One old myth out of Asia even claims that sleeping with a fan on could KILL you.
It’s a case of “fake news!”
All it will do is keep you cool and comfortable during these late-summer heat waves, when the nights are too warm for good sleep but you don’t want to turn the A/C on.
And for my money, unless it’s absolutely sweltering out, it’s better than using the A/C… and not just because it’s cheaper. Air conditioning sucks moisture out of the room – including any bodies in the room – which is why you can wake up with a dry and scratchy throat.
A fan’s often a much better option.
That said, there are a couple of things you need to watch out for. If you have a dusty, musty room, a fan will kick up those particles and trigger allergies.
Ditto for dusty fan blades, so make sure you pop the thing open and wipe them down every now and again.
If you sleep with a fan directly on you, especially your face, it can dry out your mouth and nasal passages, leading to sore throats and other forms of irritation.
It’s not a cold, but it can feel like one – at least when you first wake up – which might be the reason for part of that persistent little myth.
One good trick is to point it up at a wall, about halfway up, allowing air to bounce off and circulate around the room.
If you have two windows on opposite sides of the room, you can also try the old “shotgunning” trick: If the air is cooler outside, open both windows and point the fan out one of them.
As cool air comes in one window, the fan will force warmer air out of the other.