That fan that’s keeping you cool on these hot summer nights might be harming your health
About one-third of your life is spent sleeping. Kind of crazy when you think about it that way, especially if you’re having trouble sleeping these days because of the summer heat.
Common solution: An electric fan.
Seem harmless enough. And it certainly helps keep your body temperature to a healthy-feeling and sleep-able level.
Not. so. fast.
According to research, sleeping with a fan on, not to mention with one blowing in your face, can have serious consequences on your health.
Specifically, it leads to dry skin, throat, and eyes and circulates dust and pollen, which is especially bad for those with allergies, or worse still for those with asthma.
In fact, Asthma UK reported that the droppings of house dust mites—small creatures you can’t even see—that build up in carpets and couches etc, get circulated more prevalently with fans, increasing asthma and allergy symptoms.
On top of this, fans can also affect your eyes. Oddly enough, although we think we sleep with our eyes closed, sometimes our eyelids end up partly opened without us knowing it.
So essentially the fan blowing in partly-open eyes dries them out, causing irritation, redness, or even puff-looking eyes in the morning.
“But it’s so hot! I need a fan.”
Here are some solutions to alleviate the potential consequences:
- Stay hydrated: If you’re thirsty, drink. And then drink some more.
- Keep your home dusted and free from allergens.
- Dismantle your fan from time to time and wipe the blades clean to remove all dust build-up.
- Place the fans, or fans, further away from your face to avoid direct blowing into your skin, eyes and lungs.
- Install an air filter in your bedroom.
- Do a daily sinus irrigation with saline (this helps with dry nasal passages, as well as congestion problems if you’re experiencing them).
While we’re on the topic, here are 5 other mundane, unexpected things you’re doing that might be hurting your health:
- Holding your farts
Holding a fart is a hard thing, isn’t it? Your body wants to let it out, and when you do there’s a certain amount of relief.
Meanwhile, society has told you to hold it in, and there you are left feeling physically uncomfortable and not relieved at all.
That’s because you’re supposed to fart when you need to, and holding them in leads to bloating and stomach discomfort.
So, let them rip?
- Holding in sneezes
Ditto for this one.
Get this: Holding them in, in super extreme cases, can lead to fractures of your nasal cartilage, nose bleeds and even detached retinas!
That’s because our sneezes travel at 100 miles per hour, so you’re basically dead stopping all that momentum!
So get your forearms up and ready to catch those bad boys.
- Too much contact lens-wearing
Contact lenses block the tissues in your eyes from getting oxygen, which is why if you have ever left them in overnight, your eyes don’t feel so good in the morning.
Makes sense then that your eyes need a break from them during the day, as well.
Use them more sparingly to avoid damage to your lenses and corneas.
- Ground-floor living
Get this: A 2013 study from Bern University found that people who lived on or below the 8th floor of a building were 40 percent more likely to die from respiratory illnesses and 35 percent more likely to die from heart-related diseases than those who lived on the 8th floor or higher.
They believe it’s because of exposure to pollution, which is higher when you live closer to the ground. Something to think about, if nothing else.
Now that you feel like you’re probably doing everything wrong, do something right for yourself for once and come into the gym tomorrow for a workout (wink).