I don’t know about you, but I love to sleep with a fan on at night. The sound of it is so soothing, and I love to feel the gentle “breeze” blow over my skin. But you know what’s the worst? Waking up the next morning with a stuffy nose and a stiff neck! Sound familiar?
Get this. A fan creates “wind”...(obviously)…and in Chinese medicine this is called Exterior Wind because it acts on our body from an exterior source, the source of said problems I just mentioned above. When this wind penetrates the surface layer of our bodies, it causes our muscles to tense up, become stiff, and often generates feelings of cold. Hello runny, stuffy noses and scratchy throats!
Now on a cold windy day, we put a scarf on or turn our shirt collar up to make us feel warmer and more protected which may even be enough to prevent us from catching a cold. The same is true for when you are sleeping! If you sleep on your side or back, especially in positions where the back of the neck is exposed to a blowing fan, you are setting yourself up for the possibility of developing a very stiff neck or even catching a summer cold. So how can you change this?
Try opening a window. More often than not it will be enough to cool down the room for a perfect night’s sleep. Still too hot? If you need to use a fan, make it a floor fan because their position can be adjusted. Place the fan in a corner away from your bed and make sure it doesn't blow directly on your body (important!). Aim the fan at an angle that will direct the air out of the room through your open bedroom door. The fan will generate a gentle breeze that can be felt indirectly, as well as circulate air in and out of the room keeping it cooler!