For as long as I can remember I slept with a fan on. Not a ceiling but a box fan. It probably stems from my parents taking me out for a drive to make me fall asleep. Come to think of it, I can hardly ride in a car without falling asleep! My kids have this same problem, because growing up in a home with me, they learned the same behavior. And now my Grand daughter needs the fan to sleep! A small digression....I have cured myself from this because the past 10ish years I have slept with ear plugs. I can still hear the fan but it isn't as necessary for me but my husband is hooked.
Anyway, as you see at the right and toward the bottom it can get COLD in our home. We never turn the heater on at night so a fan would make it even colder. One day I was surfing the Internet and decided to put "fan noise" into the search engine. Low and behold I came up with a site called Nature's Tapestry. I found out that I am not the only one who has this problem. Apparently there is a whole industry for white noise sleep machines! I ordered this one and are very happy with it. It isn't quite as loud as a box fan (at least the old ones), but if placed right by the bed it is pretty loud. This one has two speeds. My daughter took it on her recent Montana camping trip and it worked for her daughter! It doesn't get dirty like that fan does. (at least in our area, with all the crop dust in the air) It doesn't give you allergies like a fan. (one reason I can't have ceiling fans on) It isn't to big or in the way. All in all a great substitute, on many levels!