Air Conditioner- Safe for A Good Night's Sleep?
In this article, we discuss the safety of sleeping with the air conditioner on at night. An air conditioner is our best friend when it comes to defeating heat. For most of hot sleepers, sleeping without an AC in the summer is almost impossible due to sweat.
However, have you ever thought about the effects that the AC has on your health? It is probably not because the feeling of relief when the cool air hits our hot bodies is much too pleasant to let us reflect on the difference it makes in our internal temperature and sleeping habits.
Sleeping in a cooler environment is better for your sleep quality but keeping an air conditioner on all night can cause some health problems if you do not take the necessary precautions to prevent the side effects.
When Does Cold Become Too Much for Our Bodies?
The simple answer to the question, "is it safe to use AC at night?" is yes, it is pretty safe. Some doctors and specialists even recommend it, as it enables our bodies to lower its temperature and let us fall and remain asleep.
It is essential to know that cooling down our bodies is a much more complicated and difficult process than warming it up, so a thermostat comes in handy when we need to get rid of the burning sensation a hot summer night burden us with.
Safe is, however, a limited term, which can drastically change along with incorrect or exaggerated usage.
It can be safe to climb a mountain, it can be safe to ride a roller coaster, and it can only be safe to use the AC overnight. Like in any other domain, not respecting some basic rules can transform a great and helpful experience into a harmful, damaging one.
What are the Side Effects of Sleeping in Air Conditioner Overnight?
There can be several side effects of sleeping with the air conditioner running at night in our bedroom. Some of these disadvantages are:
- Body temperature changes: after using the thermostat for a while at a low temperature, your body might adapt to that level, which can potentially affect your immunity. On top of that, getting used to a specific temperature at night can make it harder to adjust to others when the season changes and the weather is already cold.
- Fewer hormones: low temperatures can affect your body's ability to produce essential hormones that help us live a healthy and balanced life.
- Sleep cycle: while the temperature created in your room by a thermostat can help you fall asleep a lot easier, other aspects can disturb your sleep. An old AC, with several issues and a cleaning problem, might be too loud for you at night, and it will keep you awake for longer, without you realizing it.
- Dryness: The air conditioner does more than just cooling the air. It also dehumidifies it, which can lead to dehydration. Therefore, your throat, skin, eyes, and other parts of the body will become dry. Lack of moisturization can fasten aging by decreasing the skin's elasticity and creating wrinkles. (2)
- No fresh air: by closing all the possible sources of fresh air to keep the cold air in the room, we can develop a medical condition, the "sick building syndrome," which refers to a permanent and building state of fatigue and exhaustion.
- Breathing difficulties: if the air conditioner is not cleaned as often as it should be (and probably not), it will become the perfect home of molds, fungi, and bacteria.
How Do I Prevent the Negative Impacts of AC While Sleeping?
You can prevent the majority of these issues if you are using the air conditioning unit wisely. If you feel like the only method to cool yourself down at night is by using an air conditioner, there are a few ways to avoid fatigue, diseases, and excessive cold.
- Remember that the right temperature for sleeping is around 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The filters must remain clean, so there won't be any unwanted particles or germs floating through the room.
- The cold air should not be hitting you directly but should be orientated somewhere up or the opposite direction from where you are sleeping.
- Use the AC right before going to bed, set a timer or or use a programmable thermostat during the night. This method will help you avoid the pain produced by too much cold air, improve your comfort level and it will also save you money on the electricity bill.
- Use a ceiling fan to distribute the air around the bedroom.
AC Alternatives for Cooling Your Bed
If the previous methods don't work for you, and the thermostat still causes you trouble, there are other ways to cool down your bed during nighttime.
- The first option is using a cooling bed fan, such as bFan or Beddit. These coolers can offer you great control over the temperature, and they will also save you money on utility bills.
- Water-based bed cooling products (for example, chiliPAD or OOLER) are also a great alternative to the big and expensive AC.
You can also try simple things such as:
- Taking a cold shower before bed;
- Use cotton bedding;
- Use cotton pajamas;
- Keep hydrated;
- Exercise early in the day;
- Keep the distance between you and your sleeping partner;
Thus, is it safe to use an air conditioning system at night? It can be. Choosing to use the thermostat setting correctly will positively impact your sleep while cooling the room without any measures will create several issues that will affect your daily life.
As good as it is to sleep in a room that doesn't feel on fire, the dryness, the heavy breathing, the illnesses, and exhaustion aren't reasonable prices to pay for a resting night's sleep that can be induced in some other ways, too.
Remember that there are other mattress cooling devices that focus specifically on your bed. If you have a tight budget or are not an extreme hot sleeper, simple actions like choosing the right fabric for your bedding or taking a cool shower before bed are cheaper or even free to lower your body temperature on the hot nights.