WITH temperatures expected to hit 30 degrees this week, many of us are turning to fans to keep cool.
And while they're fine to use during the day, a sleep expert has explained the four major reasons they shouldn't be used overnight.
According to Martin Seeley, the CEO and sleep expert at MattressNextDay, the first reason not to rely on fans while you're sleeping is that they can irritate asthma and stir up allergens.
"Electric fans circulate air in the room, but they also stir up dust mites, spores, pollen, and other allergens," Martin said.
"This can lead to symptoms such as excessive sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throats, and breathing difficulties."
It's worth cleaning the fan blades regularly, or consider buying an air-purifying fan to help.
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Secondly, "prolonged use of electric fans" can lead to congestion – it dries out the air and "causes the body to produce more mucus to stay hydrated".
"This can result in a stuffy nose, sinus headache, and other discomforts," Martin added.
"Staying well-hydrated by drinking at least two litres of water throughout the day can help combat this issue."
Likewise, fan use overnight can also lead to dry and irritated eyes "which can be particularly problematic for contact lens wearers".
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The fourth reason not to use fans overnight is that it can lead to muscle pain.
"Directing cool air from an electric fan onto pre-existing muscle pains can cause muscles to tense and cramp, resulting in more discomfort," Martin concluded.
He instead shared eight other ways to help stay cool in the heat, including putting "your pillowcase or hot water bottle in the freezer before your bedtime".
You can also minimise the heat in your room by keeping your curtains and blinds shut during the day, and can help stay cool by swapping your duvet for a lighter one – in tog and in colour.
"You should switch your duvet cover to know that it is not only lighter in colour but in a lighter material to regulate your body temperature if you tend to sweat at night," Martin said.
"It’s important to choose this type of bedding during spring and summer as night sweats can disturb your sleep and significantly impact your mood.
"Also, remember to wash your bedding once a week in spring and summer to remove any build-up of bacteria if you are prone to sweating."
It's also worth considering moving your bed to a different position, he added.
"Placing your bed against the longest wall allows you to fall asleep faster as when it’s alternatively placed near a door or window, you can be kept away from sounds and shadows, which are likely to happen during the hotter periods of the year as people make the most of the weather," Martin said.
His other suggestions included running your wrists under cold water while your brushing your teeth, and drinking at least two litres of water a day.
You should also stop drinking alcohol three hours before bed, and expose yourself to as much daylight as possible during the day.
"This is because light plays the most integral role in regulating your body’s internal clock, as it signals to your brain when to be alert and when to rest," Martin explained.
"Throughout the day, you should expose yourself to as much light as possible to bring on the feeling of alertness.
"However, as the day goes on, you should close your curtains to block out the light at night and instead use ambient lamps.
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"By the time you get to bed, your bedroom should be virtually black, so your brain knows that it’s bedtime.
"If your blind or curtain situation doesn’t allow this, keep an eye mask near your bed to block the light out."
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