Dealing with allergy symptoms is never fun no matter what time of day. But at night or when trying to sleep, the sneezing, coughing, and runny nose associated with allergies can be especially troubling. While allergy triggers vary from person to person, there are several reasons why you may be experiencing worse allergy symptoms in the evening.
Reasons Why Allergies Worsen at Night
To start, lying down flat in bed causes everything that may have been making your nose run to now drip down your throat — a phenomenon known as post-nasal drip. The result is more coughing and trouble breathing. Sometimes sleeping on an extra pillow to elevate your head can help alleviate this issue.
Allergies may also worsen around bedtime because you have picked up pollen and other allergens throughout the day on your hair and clothes. Many healthcare providers recommend that people with allergies shower before bed to help with this allergen build-up.
Finally, your bedroom can be a haven for dust mites, thanks to all the soft surfaces like your mattress and bedding. To handle this issue, you can cover your mattress with a dust mite cover and use an air purifier in the room. Getting rid of carpet in the bedroom can also help, as can vacuuming more frequently.
Other Tips for Reducing Nighttime Allergy Symptoms
If you have noticed that you seem to suffer more from your allergies once you get ready for bed, there are some additional steps you can take. For instance, try sleeping on your side instead of your back. Also, wash all your sheets weekly to eliminate any dust mites and pet dander that bedding can accumulate. A deep cleaning of the bedroom can also help get rid of those two allergens, as well as mold.
Look into sheets and other bedding that have been specifically made to help with allergies. Be sure to use high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters in your HVAC system and invest in a vacuum that has allergen filters, too. Both can help take more allergens out of the air of your home. Other ways to allergy-proof your home include:
- Keep the home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F)
- Maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50 percent)
- Make certain there is good ventilation in your bedroom
How Sleep Can Affect Allergies
Trying to ignore an increase in allergy symptoms at night can have a negative impact on your sleep. Not only will disrupted sleep leave you feeling tired and irritable, but a lack of sleep can make your allergies worse. When you get a good night’s rest, your body can repair damaged tissue and make you feel more revitalized and ready to face the day. Sleep also helps to restore your immune system. When that process is interrupted, you’re more likely to feel allergy symptoms even more intensely.
If symptoms persist even after following the recommendations above, it may be time to seek out care from an allergist. An allergist can help to identify what allergens are causing your nighttime allergy symptoms, and can create a customized treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms.
If you are seeking treatment for asthma or allergies, contact Columbia Allergy, with convenient locations in California, Oregon, Idaho, or Washington. We take a patient-focused approach that views every person as an individual with unique challenges and goals.