Does Sleeping With A Fan Cause Neck Pain?

January 12, 2017

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For me, sleeping with a fan is calming and it keeps me sleeping soundly throughout the night. I don’t exactly know what it is about it, but I absolutely need my fan to sleep. I can’t use one of those white noise simulators either. I need the wind blowing in my direction and it has to be a steady sound. I have had several people tell me that I shouldn’t do this anymore because it causes neck pain. As silly as it sounded, I still wanted to find out if it was true or not.

Ceiling Fan

Why Do We Sleep With Fans?


White noise is something that a lot of people turn to when it comes time for bed. The thing with white noise is that it is a steady noise throughout the night and it blocks out all other noises. When we are awoken by a sound in the middle of the night, it isn’t the sound itself, per se, but it’s the sudden change in noise that startle you.

There are some people who would prefer to sleep with the cool air blowing right on to their faces or near them, while others prefer to have it on the other side of the room, no matter what time of year it is. Is this always good, though?

How Can It Help?

The cool air coming from the fan not only provides white noise, but it also provides a number of other benefits, especially when paired with a cooling mattress pad.

Heat Rash

Woman Heat Rash

If you are suffering from a heat rash, the cool air from the fan can help soak up some of the excess sweat that is causing the rash. The rash is caused by sweat covering the skin, resulting in the irritation.


Physiotherapy For Hyperthermia

When your body overheats, it can cause spasms or cramps because you body is losing water and sodium. This is known as hyperthermia. If you put your fan on you, you can cool down your body quickly and halt the loss of these two things.


Fatigue Old Man

If you’re working out in the heat or even indoors in and it’s hot, the heat can have an affect on your central nervous system, making it slower. As a result of this, you may feel tired and may not function properly. The fan can be used to keep you cool and give you back your energy.

Blood Pressure

Monitoring Blood Pressure

If you suffer from blood pressure problems, the heat can make it worse. If your blood pressure gets too high, it can lead to a stroke. Having a fan by your side can help keep your temperature regulated and your blood pressure at a normal rate.

Can It Cause Pain?

Although the thoughts of keeping cool all night long with a fan may seem fine and dandy, sleeping with one, even just for the white noise, can cause a series of issues with your body. Have you ever woken up in the morning with a stiff neck and blamed it on the way you slept? Unfortunately, it could be your trusty fan causing you more harm than good.

Sleeping with a fan can cause a noticeable drop in temperature, and according to the Massage Therapy and Wellness Center, neck pain is a common result of this. Why, though? Well, most of our neck pain comes from the levator scapula muscle. Stiffness of this muscle comes from them being cold. Cold muscles are more susceptible to tearing or strain.

Neck Pain

Is There An Alternative?

Apps & Machines

White Noise Machine

If you now find yourself not wanting to sleep with your fan because of this pain, you can always opt for a white noise machine or even an app on your phone. On occasion, especially when i’m traveling, I use a white noise app that has sounds of rain, thunderstorms, wind, and even a fan. It may not be exactly the same, but it may still get you through the night.

Heated Mattress Pads

Heated Mattress Pads

If you still need your fan, but don’t necessarily want to sleep cool, you could try a heated mattress pad. These will keep your body warm throughout the night and you will still have the white noise from your fan without it stiffening your neck muscles from a sudden temperature drop.


So, to sum it all up, unfortunately your fan can, in fact, cause your neck pain. This is only if you are sleeping with it in your bedroom and it’s having an effect on your room temperature. Honestly, if you are only sleeping with one of those miniature fans that you can have on your nightstand, it shouldn’t drop the room temperature too much. If you need to sleep with the big ones, like I do, the best thing for you to do in the morning is to stick a heating pad on your neck for a little bit to loosen the muscles and keep the pain away.

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