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5 Reasons Why Allergies Are Worse at Night
If you're like me, you might have noticed that your allergies seem to be worse at night. For years, I would lie in bed struggling to breathe through my stuffy nose and itchy eyes. I tried every allergy medication on the market, but nothing seemed to help. Why are allergies worse at night?
After doing some research, I discovered a few possible explanations for why are allergies worse at night. And armed with this knowledge, I was able to take steps to reduce my symptoms and get a good night's sleep.
5 Reasons Why Are Allergies Worse at Night
Seasonal allergies are the worst. As if a stuffy nose, watery eyes, and constant sneezes weren't enough, your allergic reaction may also make it difficult to fall asleep.
Here are five reasons why your allergies are worse at bedtime.
1. Lying Down Worsens Congestion
Gravity is not your friend when it comes to allergies. When you lay down, gravity makes everything in your sinuses drip down the back of your throat.
Due to the anatomy of the nose and throat, lying down can lead to worse coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing than when you’re standing upright.
The best remedy is to prop yourself up with some pillows or cushions to ease nasal drainage and congestion while you sleep.
2. Your Bed Is Full of Dust Mites and Mold
You're probably experiencing worse allergies at night because of indoor triggers like pets, dust, and mold.
Dust mites, which are common in beddings, can cause allergic reactions in many people. Additionally, molds can grow in old homes and after flooding.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, your bedroom may be the most allergenic part of your home. This is because of a combination of outdoor and indoor air particles that can trigger allergy and asthma attacks.
The allergens you encounter outdoors combined with indoor irritants can exacerbate allergy and asthma conditions.
According to experts, there are several things you can do to revamp your room to make it allergy-free.
First, get rid of any carpet or rugs and replace them with hardwood or tile. Vacuum frequently.
Next, invest in some allergen-proof mattresses and pillow protectors.
Finally, consider investing in an air filter.
Keep the windows closed when you sleep to reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your sleep area.
3. Your Pet Sleeps in Your Bed
Another allergy trigger in bedrooms is pet dander that collects on carpets and bedding.
If you're allergic, it's best to not let your pets sleep in the bed with you. While they're great cuddlers, it's not worth the potential health risk.
It's an unpopular suggestion that pet owners stop letting their animals sleep in their beds, but it's one that allergists advise their patients.
4. You Carried Pollen Inside
If you're noticing that your allergies are acting up more when you're at home, it could be because you brought pollen with you in your hair, clothing, and skin.
If you're struggling with allergies at night, take a shower before going to bed and put on clean pajamas. This will help remove any pollen that you may have accidentally brought into your home.
If your cat or dog is allowed to roam outside, they also pick up a lot of allergens on their coats. These can irritate your sinuses, so it’s best to keep your furry friends out of the bedrooms.
5. You're Alone With Your Thoughts... And Sniffles
When people are busy during the day, they tend to forget about their symptoms and feel better. However, when they are lying alone in bed, they are not distracted and their symptoms feel worse.
Nighttime is a good moment to try over-the-counter allergy medication. According to experts, an oral antihistamine or corticosteroid nasal spray can help to reduce congestion and inflammation.
Types of Allergies that Become Worse at Night
If you suffer from an allergy, it can be difficult to get a good night's sleep.
Rashes, runny nose, sneezing, and upset stomach can ruin your sleep time. Here are five of the most common allergens that interfere with sleep.
1. Dust Mites
If you suffer from asthma or allergies, you may be allergic to dust mites. Dust mites are tiny creatures that thrive in carpeting, furniture, and bedding. To reduce your exposure to dust mites, vacuum regularly and wash your bedding in hot water.
The tiny, almost invisible, dust mite thrives in warm and humid conditions, which is why it’s commonly found in bedrooms and bedding.
Symptoms of dust mite allergies include itchy skin, a feeling of being short of breath, a tightening of the throat, a cough, a wheeze, red and watery eyes, a stuffy or runny nose, and sneezing.
2. Pet Dander
Even if you're nowhere near a pet, you can still experience allergic reactions to animal dander.
Pet hair, saliva, and urine can linger on furniture, clothing, and bedding, so you might bring allergens into your home and suffer for days after.
Pollen allergy affects millions of people in the United States. It travels everywhere with animals and insects and can even be carried by the wind.
Pollen can stick to you, so when you step outside, it can end up on your body, clothes, and shoes. If you don't leave this outside, then they can end up in your bedroom.
If you keep your windows open at night, pollen can come into your room and bother you while you sleep. Try to keep your windows closed, especially when the pollen count is high.
4. Indoor Mold
While you never want to encounter mold and mildew, it’s common for it to pop up in damp areas. If you suffer from severe allergic reactions to molds, then it could be a problem for you.
This is especially true if your bathroom is next to your sleeping area.
To clean up indoor mold growth, use a mixture of water and 5% of household bleach. You can also substitute bleach with laundry detergent.
The ACAAI states that up to 98% of US urban homes can have roach allergens, with 63% of all other houses possibly having roach allergy symptoms.
If you have a roach allergy, you are more likely to suffer from a sinus infection. You may also have skin rashes, nasal congestion, and coughing as symptoms.
How to Sleep Well with Allergies
If you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, there are some steps you can take to sleep better.
Keep Pollen Out
If you're allergic to pollen, you may want to keep your window shut and your air conditioner running during the night. This is because levels of the allergen are higher during nighttime hours, and tend to peak at sunrise.
Change Your Pillow and Mattress
Anti-allergen pillow covers and mattress protectors are a great investment for your bedroom. They keep allergens like dust, mold, and mildew from collecting on your bedding.
If you're struggling with nighttime allergies, consider investing in an anti-allergen mattress cover. These covers are designed to help reduce allergy symptoms and can make a big difference in your quality of sleep.
Keep Your Pets Out of The Bed
Pets can carry a variety of allergens in their fur, including dust mites, pollen, and dander. If you suffer from allergies, it's best to keep your pets off of your bed to avoid exacerbating your symptoms. Allergens can easily transfer from your pet's fur to your bedding and clothing, making it difficult to get a good night's sleep.
Keep Your Sleep Space Allergen-Free
Keeping your bedroom clean can help ensure a more pleasant sleep. One way to keep your room dust-free is by vacuuming under your bed.
Another remedy for keeping allergens out of bedrooms is wiping down hard surfaces, such as floors, molding, and the walls near the bed with vinegar. This can help kill mold, which is an allergy trigger.
Keeping your room’s relative humidity between 30-50% and keeping it at 70 degrees Fahrenheit or below will help reduce the growth of mites and molds. Hardwood floors are the best flooring to have in your bedroom.
Wash Before Sleeping
Throughout your day, your hair and skin collect dust, dirt, and bacteria.
If you want to keep allergies at bay, take a shower in the evening.
There are a few possible explanations for why are allergies worse at night. If you're struggling with nighttime allergies, there are a few things you can do to ease your symptoms. Be sure to wash before going to bed so that any allergens on your skin or clothing don't have a chance to aggravate your condition overnight. You may also want to invest in an air purifier for your bedroom so that you can sleep in cleaner air. With some trial and error, you should be able to find a combination of strategies that work for you and help reduce your allergy symptoms at night!