Want to sleep well despite hay fever? Kick your pet out of bed

Spring has finally arrived but not everyone is excited about climate change. Hay fever sufferers have already started to experience symptoms. The Met Office warned this week that the weather will create the perfect storm for pollen production.

A high pollen level can trigger symptoms, including sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and itchy eyes, mouth, and throat—all of which don’t sound right.

With up to 1 in 5 people affected by hay fever at some point in their lives, Dr. Lindsay Browning, psychologist, neuroscientist and sleep expert for And So To Bed has shared some ways to promote sleep when it comes to dealing with hay fever symptoms.

“Congestion caused by allergies can greatly affect the quality of our sleep, which in turn affects our physical and mental health,” explains Browning.

Symptoms associated with an allergy usually worsen at night. “That’s because when it settles, mucus can’t drain in the same way it would when gravity helps, leading to disturbed breathing or a cough caused by a post-nasal drip,” he adds.

Struggling to fall asleep while dealing with hay fever? Here are five tips to help you sleep well at night.

1. Raise your head

Try to keep your head up as much as possible when trying to sleep with seasonal allergies. Also, you may want to add an extra pillow and shift your sleeping position to a slightly more seated position and stay on your back.

This will bring gravity back into the mixture allowing excess mucus to drain and not build up, reducing irritation. It is important to note though that if your breathing is affected by sleep apnea and not congestion then sleeping on your back is not recommended, in these cases it is better to sleep on your side.

2. Invest in an air purifier

Investing in an air purifier is especially beneficial for those suffering from hay fever or asthma as it will help remove the pollen and dust particles that trigger symptoms from the air. If your congestion is the result of a virus, you can use a humidifier to help loosen mucus on your lungs and help clear your sinuses.

3. Wash your bedroom and bedding regularly

Another way to make sure you sleep better when you’re dealing with seasonal allergy symptoms is to clean your bedroom and bedding regularly. Humans shed 200 million skin cells every hour, which is what makes up dust, along with other things.

Making sure you regularly vacuum carpet, dust surfaces, and wash bedding will prevent dust buildup and make it easier to sleep.

Be cautious about drying freshly cleaned bedding on the line outside, as you will get a lot of pollen in the bedding from the outside air.

4. Keep pets out of the bedroom

If you enjoy sleeping with your pet, you may want to avoid doing so.

This is because they can increase the allergens in the bed. Pet dander and dander are two of the most common allergens that will improve and further worsen your hay fever symptoms at night.

5. Take a shower before going to bed

Showering before bed will help wash off any pollen that may have stuck to your skin and hair while you’re outdoors. Instead of transferring it to your bedding, get into the habit of washing before bed. This is also great advice for those really hot summer evenings, as a cool, not cold, shower will help lower your body temperature making it easier to fall.

During the day, you should also keep your windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from entering your home.


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