Strategies for Sleeping with Allergies that You Need to Implement
Whether you have year-long or seasonal allergies, you need to try these simple steps to better your sleep. As a bonus, many of these tips will also make your home life more comfortable. It’s a win-win.
Before we get into these tips, there is one preliminary step all allergy sufferers should do and that’s seeing a doctor. If allergies are an ever-present part of your life and you haven’t discussed this with a physician, then this is the first course of action.
Now, onto the actionable tips.
Summary of Tips:
- Shower before Bed to remove allergens from your body
- Use a hypoallergenic pillow that’s mold and dust mite resistant
- Keep your head slightly propped up to help reduce sinus congestion
- Wash all bedding once a week at 60 degrees Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) to eradicate dust mites and clean carpets regularly with a steam cleaner instead of dry vacuuming.
- Try taking an antihistamine at night (speak to your doctor first before starting new medication)
- Try and keep pets out of your room (sad, we know!)
Tip #1: Take a Shower Before Bed
We are busy people and pollen feels like it’s everywhere. Even though we are spending more of our life indoors due the pandemic, it is possible that you or your family are tracking in pollen from your daily walks or from pets.
One simple step is to shower before bed. If you switch your routine to shower at night, especially during pollen season, it will wash away the microscopic pollen sitting on your skin and face before you jump into bed.
While you are updating your routine to include nighttime showers, also take a look at your hygiene products. Your soap, shampoo or conditioner could contain chemicals that cause skin irritation. Try switching to a gentle washing product or a soap substitute.
Tip #2: Use a Hypoallergenic Pillow
When we talk about hypoallergenic pillows, we are referring to pillows that are resistant to dust mites. Fillings themselves (such as down or feather) rarely cause irritation. Rather, it’s the dust mites that accumulate on the surface of these pillows that make you sniffle, sneeze and itch.
A quick Google search will reveal that are plenty of hypoallergenic pillows on the market to choose from. Most of these pillows are inhospitable to dust mites which is a real plus when it comes to allergies.
Organic latex pillows are antibacterial and dust mite resistant. This is because natural latex doesn’t retain moisture and inhibits mould growth. This makes the latex inhospitable to dust mites. You can give it a try with our purchase guarantee.
Tip #3: Keep Your Head Raised
Another tip is to keep your head slightly raised while sleeping. Congestion gets worse at night when you are lying on your stomach or back. Without gravity pulling any mucus and debris down from your sinuses, it stays pooled all night. Propping your head up with a pillow will help with this.
Take a look at the pillow on your bed, is it lying flat after years of use? Consider a more durable pillow that’s made of solid components like latex or memory foam and make sure it’s not too soft so your head won’t sink too deeply.
A contour pillow might be a good fit because it will help you get that head lift while still supporting your neck.
Tip #4: Don’t Ignore Dust Mites on other bedding
Dust mites are so important to get rid of that we’ve included them here again! There are many areas that dust mites can lurk besides your pillow. Washing your sheets and other fabric in your room once a week is key. However, not all laundry strategies are equal.
While you may wash your clothes in cold water to maintain shape and keep your bills low (hot water = more energy and a higher electricity bill), cold water may not help with your dust mite problem. Wash your linens at 130 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) to kill dust mites and remove other allergens. This includes the curtains over your window.
Another thing to consider are your carpets. If you have a carpet then dry vacuuming won’t help pick up dust mites. We suggest steam cleaning carpets instead.
Tip #5: Take Antihistamines at Night
Many people take their antihistamines in the morning. Instead, consider taking them an hour before bed to see if that helps curb your allergy symptoms overnight. Some antihistamines have the added benefit of being mildly sedative, helping you drift off to sleep easier. Of course, any change in your medication routine should be run past your doctor first.
Allergies can also change with time, so if you haven’t been to an allergist in a few years now is a great time for a checkup. Your doctor may have additional tips or medication options that were not available during your last visit.
Tip #6: Keep Pets Out of Your Room
If you are anything like us, this is a hard piece of advice to follow. However, pets are a big allergy inducer especially in the bedroom. It’s great to keep them out of your bed while you sleep, but also out of your room in general. You will be battling to keep your bedroom free of pet hair and dander if they are allowed to rest and play where you sleep.
Instead, help your pets feel comfortable and independent with their own personal space. If you own a dog, buy them a dog bed that can be kept away from your room. For cats, try a cat tree. It will take some time to get them (and you) to break the habit, but the focus should be on progress.
Bonus Tip: Leave your shoes by the door after coming inside from your daily walks and wipe your dog’s paws when you come in from outside. This will help keep you and your pets from tracking potential allergens across the house and into your bedroom after going outside.
Get Your Allergies Under Control
We spend about ⅓ of our life asleep, shouldn’t it be sneeze, sniffle and irritation free?