There is an interesting phenomenon that takes place when many people sleep but it is rarely discussed. If there’s one thing that all of us could agree on at bedtime, however, it’s the need to stay comfortable. We may enjoy some air-conditioning when the weather is warm outside and if we don’t have it available, we will likely find ourselves parked in front of the fan. We couldn’t sleep without them but when it turns colder, something interesting happens. We continue to use the fan.
I don’t know about you, but I have a difficulty falling asleep unless the fan is running by my side. It is my trusty companion and sometimes, I have it blasting on me all night long. I used to feel rather strange about this and somewhat alone but now, I have found out that many people also do the same thing. In fact, there are many who enjoy running their fan every night, 365 days a year.
As it turns out, science has something to say about having a fan on at night. More than likely, however, you can already guess the benefits.
People use fans say because they are relaxed by the cool air and it helps them fall asleep quickly. At night, our temperature drops naturally by up to 2 degrees and your body may end up running hot at night in some cases.
Some people also say that the noise the fan produces is relaxing and experts seem to agree. Some people may need the noise but other people can’t live without it. This often has to do with the difference between a heavy sleeper and a light sleeper.
Sleep experts talk about a type of brain activity called spindles that we experience at night. These bursts of activity are fairly common for some people and if you have many of them, you probably are able to block out noise while you sleep. That is because they occur the thalamus where noise processes.
When you have more spindles each night, you tend to sleep deeper and it can improve your REM quality sleep. This allows your mind and body to recharge. When a light sleeper experiences fewer spindles, however, the fan noise may help because they can ignore the sounds from the outside.
The sound of the fan can be considered to be a white noise, one that hits the frequencies of human hearing that naturally cause us to relax. In other words, if somebody in your home needs a fan, they are probably a light sleeper and feel more rested when the machine is running all night long.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the news is all positive. If you happen to share a bed with somebody who doesn’t appreciate a loud fan blowing all night long, it could cause problems. You may want to make the switch to an actual white noise machine, which provides the same benefits.
There may be other reasons why you should consider putting the fan away as well. If it blows air in your face all night long, it can dry your skin and leave you looking puffy and red. The dust blowing in your face can also stir up your allergies and cause symptoms.
Of course, you will need to decide if you should avoid those problems or get a good night sleep. For me, I’ll be sleeping right beside my trusty fan and loving it.