April is the cruelest month… especially for your sinuses. Everything starts to bloom, and all the trees and flowers and grasses turn into a giant pollen bomb that’s set on destroying your face. The worst part is that it doesn’t just affect how you operate during the day — it can ruin your sleep at night, which in turn affects how you tackle your day.
According to one study that compared allergies and sleep disorders, and it’s pretty clear that if you’re suffering from allergies, you’re also suffering from a lack of sleep.
Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a brutal mistake. Literally, an allergy is when your immune system mistakenly thinks a harmless substance — an allergen — is an intruder. Your system responds by releasing histamine, and that unleashes the hell of things like runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, angry eyes, and everything from ears and skin and mouth. During different growing seasons, those allergens hit people will hay fever hard.
It’s not just hay fever. From pet dander to dust mites — those little buggers you can barely see that love snuggling with you in bed — can create lots of concern for allergy sufferers.
What you can do.
Here in the endless growing season of the Bay Area, the Sleep365 team knows a thing or two about battling allergies. So don’t lose hope yet… follow some of these tips, and you may be able to subdue that hay fever and enjoy better sleep.
Close those windows.
We know you love that crisp spring air drifting in the room at night. But what’s worse: the room being a bit stuffy, or your nose being a lot stuffy? Like histamine hamster, pollen can sneak through the tiniest openings, like those holes in your window screen. They sneak through, and head right to your bed. So if your windows are open, pollen is wreaking havoc on your sinuses all night long. There are some specialized window screens that claim to filter out pollen — but we can’t vouch for them. All we know for sure is: they can’t sneak through glass.
Filter your air.
Whether you have the windows open or not, installing an air filter in your bedroom could be really helpful. Some filters claim to filter out over 99% of pollutants, including pollens and dust mites.
Brush the dog in another room.
Pets are furry allergen magnets. If yours sleeps in your bed, and you’d feel bad kicking out poor Marmaduke during allergy season, then at the very least consider brushing him each night before he hops up on the bed for the night. Use a good brush, and ideally brush him in the garage or outside. It won’t get all the pollen off, but it’ll help.
36% OF PEOPLE WITH HAY FEVER REPORTED INSOMNIA, VS. JUST 16% OF THOSE WITHOUT.
Wash your stuff.
When your college roommate washed her sheets that one time in April, it was 30 weeks too late. You should wash your bedding once a week even when you aren’t dealing with allergies. When they’re at their worst, you may want to make it even a bit more frequent.
42% OF ALLERGY SUFFERERS HAD DIFFICULTY FALLING ASLEEP, VS. 18% OF THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE ALLERGIES.
A study in 2016 discovered people with perennial allergic rhinitis may be helped by Aromatherapy. The blend of essential oils they used included Ravensara, frankincense, and sandalwood. As an added benefit, the study suggests, “this intervention also has potential for improvement in sleep quality.” Pretty awesome, right?
Get hypoallergenic bedding.
Start with the mattress. If you’re in search of a new one, a fully hypoallergenic mattress option like our Natural365 Firm or Natural365 Plush may be right for you. Our Active365 and Refresh365 mattresses also include hypoallergenic materials and resist dust mites.
Beyond mattresses, be sure to look for hypoallergenic bedding. Sheets to blankets, keeping as much of what’s in your bed hypoallergenic gives you a fighting chance to fight those allergens.
See your doctor.
We don’t endorse any specific medical treatment — but if you’ve tried everything we’ve mentioned above and it’s still just not working, we recommend seeing your doctor. Allergies can be so challenging and frustrating on their own — if they’re ruining your sleep, your quality of life will always suffer. So, see what your doctor can do.
Breathe easy, rest easy.
One last thing: when you get caught in a cycle of sleeplessness, it can be hard to fight your way to better sleep. So alongside these specific techniques for reducing allergy problems at night, be sure to take extra care getting yourself ready for the best night sleep. Good luck, and good night!