6 Tips for Getting a Good Night's Sleep When Spring Allergies Hit
Allergies cause far more trouble than occasional sore eyes and sniffles. Indeed, 50 million Americans suffer from one allergy or another, making them the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the United States! And they’re often at their worst as the winter months recede and springtime rolls around.
With bucket loads of pollen in the air, spring allergies and their evil implications are notorious! They irritate eyes, exacerbate respiratory problems, cause nasty skin rashes to occur, and create general itchiness and irritation. Among the many ways they impact our wellbeing, though, sleep issues can be some of the most challenging.
After all, stuffy noses, sinus pressure, difficulty breathing, and watery eyes are hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep! Know the struggle and want some pro advice on how to handle the situation? Check out these 6 tips for sleeping well in spite of spring allergies.
1. Buy Some Anti-Allergy Bedding
Not all bedding’s made equal when it comes to sleeping with spring allergies! For example, some natural materials (such as feathers and wool) might be lovely and warm. But they also have a nasty habit of harboring things like dust and pollen, which can make a bad sleep situation ten times worse.
By contrast, anti-allergy bedding is made from clever synthetic fabrics that are designed to do the exact opposite. These sheets, duvets, and pillows will keep that allergy-inducing dust, dirt, and pollen off the bed, helping you sleep better as a result. They’re also much easier to wash than traditional bedding, making it simpler to eliminate any spores that do settle.
2. Keep Your Pets Out
As much as you love your pets, it’s generally best to keep them off the bed throughout the day (and definitely at night). After all, they may be cute, cuddly, and lovable rogues, but they’re also fantastic allergy-exacerbators.
It’s worth remembering that pets tend to be a package deal. You don’t just get the pet- you get the hair, dust mites, dirt, and pollen they bring with them as well! Unless your animals are hypoallergenic and stay indoors all day, that’s the last thing you need when you suffer from allergies and want to sleep.
This applies throughout the year, of course. However, it’s never more important than in springtime, when those pesky pet hairs add insult to injury. Combine your own anti-allergy bedding with an animal-free zone (or a designated pet bed) and you’re sure to feel the difference.
3. Wash Your Bedding on a Regular Basis
Don’t like the thought of buying new bedding? Can’t bear the thought of pushing your beloved cats and dogs off the bed? Well, as a happy medium, be sure to wash your bedding on a regular basis and consider vacuuming them every night.
This will get rid of anything allergenic that might have settled there during the day. Oh and, keeping your windows closed should reduce the amount of pollen that gets inside too. You could even buy an air conditioning unit to lower the temperature in your room without having to open them up at all.
4. Choose Your Sleeping Position With Care
Most people have a certain body position that they’ve grown accustomed to sleeping in at night. Some lay on their backs, for instance, others on their front, and still more on their side. Whatever the case might be, our go-to position tends to feel most comfortable and natural.
Alas, sleeping with allergies may require you to rethink your usual position! Try propping yourself up in bed and remaining upright, for instance. This should prevent congestion during the night, facilitate breathing in the process, and reduce any sinus discomfort to boot.
5. Avoid Benadryl
It’s often tempting to pop a Benadryl before bedtime when spring allergies hit. As a strong antihistamine, it keeps those allergies at bay and makes you drowsy too. It’s a win-win, right?
Not quite. Aside from some nasty side effects that may arise from long term use, many people actually become reliant on Benadryl to fall asleep. It’s ironic: what starts as an honest attempt at improving sleep turns into the only way you can fall asleep in the first place!
Pick your antihistamines wisely and use them sparingly. Aside from their possible addictiveness, some will even wake you up when you want to sleep. We recommend using newer allergy meds (such as Claritin) that shouldn’t interfere with your sleeping patterns.
6. Don’t Forget to Shower
Another effective way to get a good night’s sleep with allergies is to take a shower before bedtime. Why? Because you could have been collecting pollen on your hair, body, and clothing, throughout the day!
Stepping out of your outfit and into a warm shower can wash it all away. Better still, it may also have a relaxing, soporific effect and make it easier to fall asleep in the first place.
While you’re at it, you could take the time to wash your sinuses out as well. Now, this wouldn’t be the most glamorous way to end the day! But good over-the-counter sinus rinse solutions (otherwise known as ‘nasal irrigation systems’) will clear away any mucus, along with anything else that could make your allergies worse.
Sleep Well in Spite of Spring Allergies
Do you struggle to sleep whenever spring allergies arise? You’re not alone. Tens of millions of Americans suffer the same fate every year.
As the pollen in the air proliferates, so too do rates of congestion, irritation, puffy eyes, and general discomfort around the country! If you've been wondering how to sleep with allergies, then we hope the tips in this post will help. Keep them in mind and you should be one step closer to enjoying a good night’s sleep in no time.
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