If you’re like most people and suffer from allergies, you’re well aware of what a challenge it can be to get a good night’s sleep. Itchy eyes, stuffy nose, scratchy throat, headaches and other issues can leave you lying wide awake as dawn approaches. While your allergies probably won’t magically disappear, here are five tips for reducing the effects of spring and summer weather and finally getting some much-needed shuteye.
#1. Treat Your Symptoms
Do you have trouble finding time for a doctor’s appointment? Make some room in your schedule! An over-the-counter cocktail may not be the best bet for curing your symptoms. A visit to your doctor’s office will get you on the road to recovery quickly. They can pinpoint the right treatments for your specific situation. WebMD notes that typical treatments include:
- Steroid nasal sprays. Use these consistently! They help put a stop to your immune reaction to allergens and can help keep symptoms at bay.
- Nasal decongestant medicines. Whether you get pills or liquids, these are sure to ease the annoyance of a runny nose.
- Nasal decongestant sprays. They’re the real deal when it comes to getting rid of stopped-up sinuses, but these shouldn’t be used for over three days in a row.
- Antihistamines. Think of them as a one-stop-shop for your allergy needs. These can help with your runny or itchy eyes, nose, throat and even skin! But beware: they’re known to make you drowsy during the day.
#2. Use Hypoallergenic Bedding
Are your symptoms worse when you wake up in the morning? You may need to change up your bedding! All sorts of things can cause allergies, and fabrics are a major culprit. Hypoallergenic bedding can help protect you from dust mites that live in your pillows, mattress, blankets and comforters. Those dust mites irritate your allergies and make it hard for you to breathe at night, keeping you up instead of letting you get the rest you need. If you want to breathe easier, think about investing in allergy-proof bedding.
#3. No Pets in the Bedroom
It’s true: your beloved furbaby could be making your allergies worse. Your pets act as adorable little dust mops, bringing in pollen and other nasties on their fur each time they jump in your bed. If they sleep in your bedroom, and especially if they share your bed, your pets can significantly increase the amount of allergens you’re breathing in all night long.
Find another spot in the house for a comfy pet bed, and your little angel will get used to the new routine in no time. You’ll rest easier, and your pet probably will too.
#4. Vacuum Regularly
This could be common sense, but it’s worth mentioning: vacuuming regularly when you suffer from allergies is a great idea. However, don’t fall prey to marketing from vacuum manufacturers! They may try to convince you that their particular model has some special power over allergens. In reality, Consumer Reports found that while some brands tout special allergen-stopping capabilities, vacuuming regularly with any vacuum cleaner is an effective part of an allergy-reduction plan for your healthy home.
#5. Change Those Air Filters
Is the air in your house feeling stuffy? Dr. John Villacis, an allergist and immunologist with the Austin Diagnostic Clinic, notes that changing central air filters regularly can make a difference for allergy sufferers. He advises that if you have allergy symptoms, you should change your filters at the beginning of the allergy season and then again approximately every two months to limit allergens in your healthy home. Also, try minimizing your exposure to spring and summer allergens by keeping windows closed.
Breathe, and Sleep, Easy
For allergy sufferers, staying ahead of the pollen and other spring and summer allergens is a constant battle. But by taking these simple steps, you can get your much-needed restorative sleep, maintain a healthy home and keep your allergies under control.