So why is it that my allergies are so bad in bed? It's not because you're sleepy. In fact, even people who don’t have a problem with their allergies at all will notice some congestion in their nose.
That's because your mattress (and maybe your pillow too) is probably full of allergens - dust mites, pollen, dust, mold spores and pet dander to name a few. And you spend all night inhaling them.
If you suffer from allergies, your nose is extra sensitive to the allergens that trigger your symptoms. So it's no surprise that you’re sneezing, wheezing and sniffling while you're trying to sleep.
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Your pillow can be as much of an issue for allergies as your mattress. But most people don’t even think about the condition of their pillowcases and just grab any old thing off the top of the pile and stick it on their heads at night. But used pillowcases can be a breeding ground for bacteria and dust mites alike! This is especially true if your pillows are not 100% cotton (which they should be).
Why do my allergies flare up at night?
At night, the air is cooler and less humid than during the day. This is important because it slows down your body's ability to produce allergy-inducing chemicals. That's why allergies will usually be worse at night.
But the worst thing that you can do for your allergies is to keep rearranging your pillows all night long. That’s because every time you move around on your pillow (or even just turn over and fluff it up), you’re releasing more allergens (Dust Mites) into the air than you were before.
What helps with allergies at night?
If you suffer from allergies, use 2-3 cotton pillowcases per night. And change them every few days. Some people like using a pillowcase just for their face, but this is not recommended as it can cause problems under your pillow. Instead, use a reversible pillowcase and use only one side each night.
There are a range of hypoallergenic pillows on the market now which claim to be comfortable and help with allergies. However, many people find that they make their allergy symptoms worse! That's because they contain softer materials than traditional pillows – but these soft materials may not be as breathable as cotton ones.
An Air Purifier can help to clear the air in your bedroom. But you should also clean your room regularly and look for a mattress that doesn't hold allergens in - a latex or memory foam mattress can do this well.
And make sure to wash your bedding every week (or at least once a fortnight) and use hypoallergenic dust mite covers on top of both the mattress & pillows to stop dust mites from reproducing.
Why doesn’t a fan help with allergies?
A fan is great for bumping up the temperature of your room but it can’t suck up all the allergens that are being released into the air by your mattress and pillows. When you turn on your fan, these other allergens start to float around like pollen in a breeze!
How do you stop allergies immediately?
An over the counter medication like Claritin or Zyrtec can be of great help to stop allergies from your mattress almost immediately. Put it on before bed and be able to breathe easily.
Many people find that their allergies are triggered by a pet in the house – either a dog or a cat. You can often get better results sleeping in another room or on the couch if you pet is getting in your face all night long (or vice-versa). Or try using an anti-allergic shaker that has been recommended for pets by your vet – these shakers contain medication which the animals eat that helps with allergies.
How do you get rid of allergens in a room?
If you feel like you have been exposed to a lot of allergens in your bedroom, you may be able to help yourself by:
- Washing bedding and pillowcases more often - especially if you have pets or are a smoker.
- Using a HEPA air filter in your home to remove dust and pollen from the air. This is best done in your bedroom since that’s where you sleep.
- Lose the carpet – especially if it's in your bedroom. Carpets hold onto dust, pollen, dander and even mold spores which can cause allergic reactions when inhaled all night.
- Clean your bedroom regularly - wash the walls, baseboards and floors to get rid of crumbs and dust. Use a steam mop for the floors. Vacuum your mattress and pillows regularly – this is an important step in preventing dust mites from breeding in your bedding.
- Using hypoallergenic covers on both your mattress and pillows can also help to stop dust mites from breeding in bedding. And they can help to avoid things like e3m allergic reactions to pet dander (which is made worse when you sleep).
With a little effort, you can even clean the air in your room so that it’s less dust mite-friendly. But this requires a bit of time when you first start using it - and if you don’t have time for that, a HEPA air filter is an easy way to reduce allergens in your room.
Can allergies keep you from sleeping?
Yes they can! 17% of patents suffer from Allergies that keep them up at night. Most people can’t get to sleep, which makes their allergies worse and makes it harder to get the rest they need.
Will a HEPA filter help with allergies?
Yes, but it’s not for everyone. A HEPA air filter will remove allergens from your bedroom and eliminate them outdoors. If you suffer from allergies, a good air filter like this is a great option for you. A HEPA air filter will help to clear the air in your bedroom of dust and pollen, and many people find that this helps them to get a better night’s sleep.
One thing to be aware of is that HEPA air filters are expensive. And every model has slightly different specs which can make it hard to decide which one will work for you.
But if you have allergies, a good HEPA filter is definitely worth the investment for that much-needed relief from your allergies in the bedroom.
It's important that you keep reading about the best allergy pills if you have allergies, as there is a lot of great information out there. As with anything, if you have allergies, it's important to do your research before buying any medication.
There are a lot of cheap allergy pills on the market - but be careful as they can actually make things worse for people with allergies! That's because they may contain substances that cause more headaches or stomach problems than they prevent.
Do allergy pills keep you awake at night?
Antihistamines cause drowsiness in most cases.
Some people don't experience much of an effect on their allergy symptoms from antihistamines and they can often be a little more expensive than alternatives like cetirizine. However, there are plenty of people who find that they need the extra help and waking up at night is a big problem for them.
So if you have allergies, make sure you get yourself into bed at a sensible time and try to avoid food and drink which can trigger an allergy attack.
So let me leave you with a few final words about allergies and sleeping in particular:
The allergens you inhale all night long are breeding grounds for the stuff that will make you sneeze, wheeze and sniffle. So make sure your mattresses and pillows are free of allergens (in particular dust mites). It doesn't have to be 100% cotton. But if they are not, at least consider buying some anti-allergy protection for your bed linen because it's worth it to keep your symptoms at bay.
- Take a shower before you go to bed. And consider using a face mask and clean sheets.
- If you do have allergies, try sleeping with your windows open at night whenever possible. It’s good for your health and the good vibes are what you need to sleep better in any case!
- Never, ever wear dirty clothes to bed - even if it's just your socks (the worst culprit)! If you have the slightest suspicion that they might be dirty, just lay them aside and put on fresh ones instead. It actually does make quite a difference!
- Keep pets out of the bedroom as much as possible (or at least wash their paws).
- Don't share bed linen with a person who is allergic to the same things.
- Many people will tell you to use a humidifier, but it’s not actually the best idea when it comes to allergies because it can actually enhance your symptoms as part of the “atopic shift” (see below). It's better on a regular basis than it is at night.
And finally, I want you to always remember that no matter how bad your allergies might be in bed, rest assured that your body should still be getting needed sustenance and repair after a night's sleep.
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