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Get a better night’s sleep despite symptoms of hay fever!

by Olivia Stonner, on 18 April 2017, Allergies
Hay fever and sleep

Is hay fever affecting your sleep?

For hay fever sufferers, the summer months are often plagued by pollen, with sunny days spent dreading heading outside or hiding indoors. So, once the sun goes down, surely suffers can finally get some peace, right?

Unfortunately for many, hay fever symptoms can actually worsen before bedtime and affect sufferers while they sleep. A recent poll of 2,080 hay fever sufferers, found that 64% had trouble sleeping due to their symptoms and an average of 72 minutes of sleep is lost each night when pollen levels are high.

So why can symptoms worsen at night?

According to researchers at the University of Greenwich, there are several factors, which can make sufferers feel like their symptoms are worse at night. The main reason for this is because pollen rises into the lower atmosphere throughout the day and begins to fall back to the ground as the temperature drops, exposing hay fever sufferers to a higher level of pollen later in the day, and high levels in the evening can also be because some flowers release pollen later in the day.

There are also many plants that release pollen in the early morning, so if you live in an area full of trees, flowers or grasses, you may find that you are affected even before you wake up, which can cause you to waken earlier or feel extra groggy when you do wake.

Enjoy a Better Night’s Sleep

There are simple things you can do to help keep your hay fever symptoms under control before you head to bed and also to make sure pollen isn’t hanging around your bedroom, so that it is more hay-fever friendly, including:

  • Shut pollen out – keep your windows shut during the day and at night.
  • Wash your hair – shower and wash your hair before bed, as pollen floating about during the day can stick to your hair – you don’t want pollen rubbing off on your pillow and then irritating you while you sleep.
  • Change your bed linen regularly – wash and change your bed linen regularly as this helps to remove traces of pollen, which can hang about – fresh bed linen is also great for helping you sleep better.
  • Invest in an air purifier – try using an air purifier in your bedroom.  Air purifiers improve the air we breathe by trapping and removing airborne pollutants in the home, such as dust mites, pollen and pet hair, so they are ideal for hay fever sufferers, as well as those with allergic rhinitis.

Did you know?

Wash your bedding in hot water once a week, and use dust mite-proof pillowcases to prevent dust mites.

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