For many hay fever sufferers, sleeping with the allergy throughout the summer is problematic and can cause sleep deprivation.
Whilst hay fever is commonly associated with daytime symptoms and worsens when you’re outdoors, it can still have an impact on your sleeping pattern.
In this guide, we’ve shared exactly why hay fever symptoms can worsen at the night time, along with some handy tips for easily drifting off to sleep:
Image credit: iStockPhoto.com littlebee80 (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)
Symptoms of hay fever
Hay fever is one of the most common allergic reactions in humans and affects around one in five people at some point in their life. It’s caused by a reaction to the proteins in pollen; fine powders released by plants and flowers throughout their reproductive cycle.
Some of the most common symptoms of hay fever include:
- Watering and/or itchy eyes
- A blocked or runny nose
- A cough
- An itchy throat
- Excessive sneezing
You may also experience headaches, fatigue and earache, depending on the severity of your body’s reaction to the pollen particles.
Why is hay fever worse at night?
According to recent research, two thirds of hay fever sufferers lose an hours’ sleep every night, on average, as a result of their symptoms.
This is because throughout the course of the day, pollen rises with high temperature. Then, throughout the evening, the pollen gradually comes back down as the temperature cools and is more prominent in your surroundings, hence the boost in your symptoms.
Image credit: iStockPhoto.com alexraths (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)
Another potential reason for worsening hay fever symptoms at night is because flowers release their pollen later in the day, meaning that there is a higher pollen count within your environment to cause an allergic reaction.
Tips for sleeping with hay fever
As frustrating as it may be to try and get to sleep whilst suffering with hay fever (particularly throughout the summer months!), the following techniques can be used to help you minimise your evening symptoms:
Keep the windows shut
As tempting as it is to open your windows in the evening to lower the temperature of your bedroom, keeping them shut can help to limit the number of pollen particles in your environment.
Change bedsheets often
Pollen particles can attach themselves to clothing. This can result in you unwillingly bringing smaller particles into your bedroom and if heading straight to bed, the pollen can build-up and react with your body.
Regularly change your bedsheets to avoid this pollen building up, which can result in your symptoms becoming worse and making it more difficult to drift off.
Image credit: iStockPhoto.com liza5450 (via Custard Online Marketing Ltd)
Avoid alcohol at night
Whilst alcohol doesn’t have a direct impact on your body’s relationship with pollen, avoiding alcohol before you head to bed will aid with how much the hay fever symptoms affect you.
Alcohol affects the immune system. This means that your symptoms may feel worse if you’re tipsy, and may result in you taking a longer amount of time to fall asleep.
Even if you’ve had the windows shut in your bedroom, there still may be a chance that pollen could’ve entered the area through your clothes or shoes.
To remove as much pollen as possible, regularly vacuum your bedroom. This will pick-up the pollen particles, reducing the count and limiting your body’s exposure.
As you can see, your sleeping pattern doesn’t have to bear the brunt of your hay fever allergies. Using these simple techniques, you should soon be able to drift off into a peaceful and relaxing night’s sleep.
If you’re looking to make your sleeping experience even more luxurious, why not consider a made-to-measure mattress that is tailor-made to your own requirements?