Is it a bad idea to sleep with the air conditioning on? According to one expert, it'll make your health and your wallet suffer.

man in bed eyes opened suffering insomnia and sleep disorder
Photo Credit - OcusFocus/Thinkstock

As you heard on WIBX First News with Keeler in the Morning, it's apparently a bad idea to keep the A/C on when you sleep.

Talk about an odd time to make this information public, considering Tuesday was declared the hottest day on earth.

Why we shouldn't sleep with the A/C on

Steven Stewart, owner of Southern Comfort Mechanical A/C and Heating, warns there are more negative effects than benefits when it comes to sleeping with the air on.

On the topic of money woes, he says keeping on the A/C while you sleep increases your overall energy costs.

He says your A/C system uses a lot of energy and can even be the appliance that uses the most electricity. So, by running it constantly, you're also running up your monthly bill.

This advice might resonate with some considering New Yorkers are grappling with soaring utility bills.


As for how sleeping with the A/C on negatively impacts your health, Stewart says it can reduce your sleep quality. Setting the thermostat too low can cause interrupted sleep because people will intermittently wake up shivering.

Apparently, people will enjoy a better sleep environment when they turn off the A/C because it means they're sleeping in natural temperatures.

Not only that, sleeping when it's too cold can also contribute to increased aches and pains. Muscles could tense or even cramp up when temperatures get too low, which could explain why some people feel like they've been hit by a bus upon waking up.

If that sounds like you, it's suggested you try sleeping without your A/C for a few nights to see if you feel a difference.

Does this mean we have to sleep in sweltering temperatures?

Before you raise the torches and pitchforks, just know turning off the air doesn't mean you resign yourself to sleeping in hot, sticky temperatures.

Stewart understands A/C helps people beat the heat and cool off quickly, which is why it's such a popular summertime staple.

NV: Heat Wave Scorches Most of U.S.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

He also knows people struggle to sleep when it's too hot and muggy outside because no one enjoys tossing and turning in bed to get comfortable.

So, how can you catch a comfortable night's sleep without A/C?

Stewart says there are options. You can purchase cooling products for beds, like mattresses, pads and sheets. If that isn't the route for you, you can also invest in breathable linen sheets like cotton, since they will help circulate body heat and keep you cool.

Cotton was apparently the go-to material people wore in the summer, before air conditioning was invented. Seriously, ask anyone who participates in Revolutionary War reenactments! They will gladly tell you how their period-correct uniforms keep their bodies cool.

However, if you cannot and will not part ways with your beloved A/C but still want to cut energy costs, check out this article that lists 5 ways you can save money on your utility bills this summer.

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