Here's why using a fan during a heatwave could actually be very bad for you
If you're anything like me, then the summer heatwave has gone from being an awesome novelty to a living nightmare that's seriously outstayed its welcome. At first, I was as surprised as anyone to see a gigantic ball of fire up in the sky one day, which was toasting my pale skin a golden brown. Gradually, me and the other vitamin-D deprived citizens of the UK realised that it was something called 'The Sun'. We usually only see it while vacationing in foreign climes, but this year it's evidently decided to come home for a change (unlike the football).
But as the days stretched into weeks, we all realised that we were totally unprepared for the hot climate, and with no end in sight, people are going to extremes to stay cool. As a Scottish person, (whose wardrobe is 98 per cent wool and who is typically used to about three hours of summer a year), coping with the weather has been an ordeal. Nights are worst of all. I'm finding it impossible to sleep in the oven that is my bedroom, and to make sure I'm not actually frying myself alive I have to sleep right next to my oscillating fan.
However, maybe I should be a bit more worried, because according to one health expert, sleeping next to a fan could actually be causing me worse problems. According to Sleep Advisor's Mark Reddick, fans are all capable of causing allergies and asthma to worsen, as well as giving users dry and irritated eyes by their blowing dust and pollen particles about - something which will be a real cause for concern for hay fever sufferers like me.
Reddick stated: "For some people, having a ceiling or floor fan in the room helps them fall asleep and stay cool during the night. For others, it can keep them awake, trigger asthma attacks or dry out their eyes . If you’re prone to allergies, asthma, and hay fever, this could stir up a whole lot of trouble ... Also, take a close look at your fan. If it’s been collecting dust on the blades, those particles are flying through the air every time you turn it on ... There’s no inherent danger in sleeping with something like this in your bedroom. It’s a matter of preference and of finding the right one for your needs."
So what are the alternatives to people who are feeling boiled alive right now? Well Reddick recommends taking a tepid (but not freezing cold) shower before bed, and staying hydrated with plenty of water all through the night to avoid serious dehydration. If you must use a fan then make sure the blades are clean and dust-free before you switch it on, and Reddick also recommends freezing bottles of water and placing them in front of your fan while it's in use, to get an extra cool breeze from it. Hmm, I'll have to try that tactic!