Allergies and Sleep
If your allergies are keeping you up at night and interfering with sleep, you’re not alone. Millions of people with allergies deal with sleep problems. Below, we’ll be focusing on how allergies affect your sleep and what you can do to sleep better. If you’re curious about other sleep disorders, visit the Baptist Health Sleep Center.
Can Allergies Cause Sleep Problems?
Allergies can cause sleep problems because symptoms like sneezing, itching, runny nose, and mucus formation can cause breathing problems, which can result in sleep deprivation. In a recent study, only 17% of patients with allergies rated their sleep as optimal. About half of the people in the study said that allergies and nasal congestion woke them up at night and made it difficult to fall asleep.
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Tips on How to Sleep with Allergies
If your sleep is getting interrupted because of allergies, don’t despair. There are things you can do to help you get a full night’s sleep, including:
- Getting treatment. The best way to get a good night’s sleep with allergies is to get treated by an allergist. They’ll be able to find exactly what’s causing your allergies and offer treatments that can reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
- Keeping your house closed up. Outside air is filled with pollen and other allergens that can make your allergy symptoms worse, so keep your doors and windows shut.
- Taking your allergy medication at night. Allergy symptoms generally peak early in the morning, around 4 a.m. By taking your allergy medications at night, you can avoid the symptoms that wake you up.
- Taking a shower. Showering before you go to bed helps wash pollen from your hair and body and keeps allergens out of your bed.
- Washing out your sinuses. Use a Neti Pot or another sinus rinse solution every night to help keep allergy-causing particles out of your nasal passages. This will also help clear out excess mucus.
- Keeping your pets in another room. In addition to dander, your pets also carry dust mites, pollen, and other allergens that can keep you up at night.
- Raising your head. Propping your head up on a pillow can help keep mucus from collecting and can make a difference in some respiratory allergy symptoms at night.
- Changing your pillow and mattress. Your pillow and mattress may be very comfortable, but they can also harbor allergy triggers, including dust mites, pollen, and pet dander. Replacing your pillows or covering them with an anti-allergen pillowcase can help. You can also use an anti-allergen mattress cover, which can help relieve nighttime allergy symptoms.
Visit a Sleep Care Provider with Baptist Health
If you’re having problems with sleep and allergies, please contact a Baptist Health sleep care provider near you. If this is a medical emergency, please dial 911.