Although the sight of blooming azaleas and rose bushes in gardens might be a welcome sight, they can also signal the beginning of allergy season. About 20 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Allergies to plants aren’t the only kind; there are a slew of others.
Sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, a stuffy or runny nose, and other symptoms are all possible side effects of seasonal allergies. It might be difficult to deal with allergy symptoms while you’re up, and allergies can make it difficult to sleep at night. An inability to sleep due to allergy problems is a very common occurrence. Sleep deprivation can contribute to a lack of energy during the day. But there is still hope for allergy patients everywhere. We’ll discuss the specifics of allergies, how allergens affect sleep quality, and how to manage the symptoms so you can sleep, live, and feel better.
Here are some ways to help you get the sleep you need to deal with allergies:
- Consider purchasing an air purifier. Allergy sufferers and non-allergy sufferers can benefit from using an air purifier at night.
- During the pollen season, keep all doors and windows closed. When pollen counts are high, keeping windows closed and turning on the air conditioner in the house or car can help allergy sufferers.
- Talk to your doctor about drug choices. If you suspect you have allergies, make an appointment with your doctor to determine the severity of your symptoms and the best course of action.
Types of Allergies
People with allergies are affected differently by allergies depending on a range of circumstances, such as the allergen, where you reside, and the season. Seasonal allergies are frequent for some people. Seasonal allergies are most common in the spring, summer, and early fall in the United States, due to pollen or mold spores. Dust mite allergies, on the other hand, may be the cause of year-round allergies. It is possible that you have an allergy to dust mites or pet dander if your allergies are not seasonal. As a result, these can cause difficulty falling or staying asleep as well.
Allergies and Sleep Issues
When you’re awake or asleep, your life might be ruined by allergy symptoms. Allergy sufferers typically have trouble falling asleep at night because of their symptoms. In addition to allergies interfering with breathing, the irritation of the nasal passages caused by allergens also has a negative impact on sleep quality. Allergy symptoms, such as a stuffy nose and itchy eyes, tend to get worse at night. The quality and quantity of sleep you get might affect your quality of life, including your ability to participate in daily activities or be productive at work or school.
Allergies can make it difficult to function on a daily basis. Sneezing, coughing, or having difficulties breathing as you sleep can make the exhaustion even more debilitating. These signs can keep you up at night and make you feel weary all day, as well as make you feel generally ill. People with allergic rhinitis took longer to fall asleep, slept for fewer hours at night, and felt sleepier throughout the day, according to a study on the subject. In addition, they were more likely to drink alcohol or use sedatives, as well. As a result of the poorer sleep they were getting, they felt more lethargic during the day.
As a result, what can you do to get rid of those irritating allergies?
What are the Most Common Allergies That Affect Sleep?
Seasonal or year-round allergens may be present at night, depending on where you live, and the severity of these allergies can vary. Toxic substances such as pollen and cockroaches are the most typical offenders.
House dust mites are a significant source of allergy symptoms in children and one of the most common household allergens6. Mattresses, pillows, and box springs are the most common places to find these critters. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is; dust mite allergies8 can be triggered by a buildup of dust.
The first step in dealing with dust mite allergies is to get rid of any items in your bedroom that collect dust. Feather pillows, as well as synthetic counterparts, can accumulate dust, contrary to popular assumption. The hottest water possible should be used while washing bedding, as well as a sealable cover for your new pillow and mattress to keep dust mites at bay.
Stuffed animals, heavy drapes, and carpets may all collect dust. They should be thoroughly cleaned or replaced with sterile solutions like laminate or hardwood floors and blinds.
Dust mites can build up over time if you don’t clean your house on a regular basis. Vacuum, air conditioning, and heating unit filters should be checked and cleaned or replaced as needed. Many allergens can be reduced in the air by using a dehumidifier or a HEPA filter.
Pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds like ragweed can trigger another common allergy, known as hay fever11. Allergy symptoms and sleep quality may be worse in spring, summer, and fall, depending on the plant in question.
Warm, dry weather tends to exacerbate the symptoms of hay fever. Avoid stepping outside in the morning on days with a high pollen count. Your local pollen count can be found online, on television, or through local radio.
Closing windows and doors, changing clothing when you enter the house, drying things inside rather than outside, and taking a shower before going to bed will all help reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your home.
Allergies to mold spores are often seasonal since mold thrives in cold, moist conditions. Keeping your home dry is the greatest approach to prevent mold from forming in the first place.
After a bath or shower, the bathroom should be properly ventilated. Even without a fan or window, you may assist prevent mold formation by wiping down damp surfaces and allowing the shower curtain to air dry completely before closing it. Turning up the heat or putting in a dehumidifier may also help.
As soon as you notice mold, you should get it taken care of as quickly as possible. Ensure that taps, sinks, shower curtains, refrigerator trays, dish racks, rugs, plush animals, and books are all free of mold. Towels and clothing that haven’t been properly dried can also have an unpleasant odor.
Allergies to domestic pets, or more specifically to the dander and saliva from their skin and salivary glands, are a major source of misery for many individuals. In the United States, this allergy is one of the most common all year round.
You may want to try purchasing a separate pet bed for your dog or cat to help alleviate your own allergy symptoms at night. In order to avoid allergic responses, avoid having your pet lick your face or wipe your eyes after they’ve been petted. You should also always wash your hands after stroking them.
People with pollen allergies should be aware that pets might bring in additional allergens, especially in the spring, even if they are not allergic to pets. A non-allergenic shampoo can help reduce the amount of allergens in your home by bathing your pet on a regular basis.
Allergies aren’t the same for everyone’s dogs. A hairless cat or a hypoallergenic dog may work better for certain people, but even hypoallergenic breeds might shed allergies, according to experts. Before bringing a new pet into your home, it may be a good idea to conduct a trial run.
Cockroach proteins have been linked to hay fever-like symptoms in certain persons. Even after the cockroach has died, the proteins are still present in the body, saliva, and even feces, and can cause allergies.
These pests can be kept out of your home by adhering to strict hygiene standards. Cleanliness is the key here, as is aeration of moist areas, the closing of garbage cans, and the never-ending removal of food and dirty dishes from the home’s surfaces.
Household Products and Cigarette Smoke
Tobacco smoke and some common home goods (such as strong-smelling cleaning products) have been associated to the development of allergic rhinitis symptoms, however unlike the previously mentioned allergens, this process may not be due to allergic sensitization.
Reduce your exposure to these odors by using unscented soap and cleaning products and asking smokers to smoke outside or next to a window.
Talk Your Doctor
What kind of allergies do you currently have, and what kind of treatment plan is best for you? If you haven’t recently discussed your allergies with your doctor, it’s a good idea to set up an appointment. Antihistamines and other over-the-counter drugs can sometimes help. Be aware that not all medications are safe for children, so if your child has an allergy, you should seek the advice of a medical professional.
Reduce Pollen and Dander Exposure
Allergy sufferers benefit greatly from making a few alterations to their way of life. For example, some allergy sufferers find that closing windows and turning on air conditioning when pollen counts are high helps their symptoms. For some pet owners, having their animals sleep in a separate room helps alleviate their allergy symptoms. If this is a problem for you, you could choose to create a separate sleeping area for your pet away from your bedroom. In addition, keeping pets out of your bedroom during the daytime can lessen the amount of pet hair and allergens in the air. After stroking your furry friends, be sure to wash your hands to avoid transferring allergens and dander into your nose or eyes. Taking a shower before going to sleep will also help to remove any pollen and dander that you may have picked up during the day. A good air purifier can also help reduce pet allergens in the home.
Clean the Air for Better Sleep
Allergy sufferers and non-allergy sufferers can benefit from using an air purifier at night. Allergies might be worsened by air pollutants, according to research. Dust mites, mold, and pet dander are all common allergens. Pillows, linens, and mattresses can all contain these allergies. The nighttime pollen count is larger than the daytime pollen count for some forms of pollen, which can be found both indoors and outside. Using air purifiers in the bedroom can help to reduce allergies while you sleep by removing harmful particles from the air.
When used in conjunction with air filtration, products like the Alen BreatheSmart range of air purifiers create a sound called pink noise, which some people find helps them sleep better. Two separate SleepScore Labs studies found that the Alen BreatheSmart 45i improved sleep quality, especially in research participants who reported lower sleep quality. Research participants in the first study claimed that utilizing an Alen air purifier reduced their allergy symptoms by 96 percent, while 93% said it enhanced their sleep. A statistically significant difference was seen in the quality of participants’ sleep when they used an air purifier in their bedroom, compared to the nights when they didn’t use an air purifier.
Allergy cases are unique and require a variety of treatments and approaches. As a result, finding out what works best for you may necessitate some experimentation. While allergies can definitely affect your sleep, you can begin taking actions immediately to regulate your allergies and obtain the sleep that your body needs if you stay proactive and contact your health care professional for assistance.
Why Are My Allergies Worse at Night?
If you’re allergic to “trigger” items like pet dander or dust mites, you’ll have a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing and irritation around your mouth or other sensitive areas if you’re exposed to them. Bedbugs and other typical household irritants can be located in the bedroom and on our pillows as well as sheets. Toxic dust mites and pet dander can be found in pillows and bedspreads, causing allergy symptoms to worsen. Bedding, including pillows, should be washed periodically to avoid this.
In addition to nasal congestion getting worse at night, some allergy medications can also make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. Allergy sufferers are more likely to suffer from insomnia, overnight awakenings, and daytime lethargy as a result of their condition. Sleep-related respiratory issues, such as snoring or apnea, are also a problem for them.