How To Sleep Better During Allergy Season
3 min read
Last Modified 2 June 2021 First Added 12 April 2017
Now we’re in the middle of summer, many people are spending more time outdoors. However, some are avoiding time spent in the warmer weather due to seasonal allergic rhinitis, known to most as hay fever.
Seasonal allergies occur when airborne pollen from trees, flowers, grasses and weeds enter the body through the nose, eyes or mouth.
One area that is significantly affected by hay fever is sleep. Hay fever sufferers are kept awake by breathing difficulties, sneezing and nose-blowing, which can result in significant daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
In one study, only 17% of patients with allergies rated their sleep as optimal. About half of all people in the study said their allergies woke them up at night and made it more difficult to fall asleep.
Hay fever affects one in four people in the UK, and, unfortunately, there is no real cure.
Many sufferers will notice that hay fever symptoms worsen at night. Some believe that this is because as the temperature cools in the evening there is less hot air rising, and that leaves a layer of pollen-rich air around ground level.
Fortunately, there are measures that hay fever suffers can take to enjoy a better night’s sleep during allergy season. Here are some ideas:
There have been links between stress and the severity of hay fever symptoms. Stress can keep you awake at night, yet reduced stress levels could mean that your symptoms will become milder. Focusing on this is a no-brainer.
It is important that you keep your bedroom clean to make sure dust doesn’t build upon areas such as your surfaces and skirting boards. Of course, your bedroom is where you sleep, so for allergy sufferers, it’s worth making the effort to make sure your bedroom is clean. By paying attention to the cleanliness of your home and bedroom you can minimise your hay fever symptoms dramatically.
A great way to ensure you get a better night’s sleep in allergy season is to have a hot, steamy shower before you go to bed to clear your sinuses. A shower will enable you to wash off any pollen that you might have collected on your skin and in your hair during the day.
Try a shower with eucalyptus as it is great at clearing the sinuses and soothing the throat.
When you get in, remove any clothing that you have worn outside and put it in the washing machine. Once the clothes are clean, avoid hanging them outside as they may pick up pollen, which defeats the object.
As your mattress gets older, your mattress and pillows collect dust mites, skin cells, sweat and body oils. The dust mites in your mattress can trigger your hay fever symptoms, so it’s important that you keep dust mites at bay. Clean your sheets as often as possible and regularly hoover your mattress to avoid dust mites building up.
It’s also important that you know when you should replace your mattress. It is advised that you replace your mattress every 8 years.