Sleeping with Fall Allergies
Fall is officially in full force. Most us can tell it’s fall by the leaves changing colors, but for some of us, stuffy noses and congestion might be a better indication of the autumn air. From October to mid-November, fall allergies can peak with everything from mold to ragweed being at the highest levels of the year. If fall allergies are keeping you up at night, try a few of these tips for a better night’s rest.
Keep It Clean
Since nighttime temperatures are dropping, it might be time to take out your flannel sheets, but don’t forget to wash them first. Since dust can be a major trigger for fall allergy sufferers, it’s best to keep your bedding fresh and clean. Make sure to wash pillowcases, sheets and pajamas in warm water to remove any allergens. It may seem obvious, but once your laundry is washed, be sure to keep it in the dryer until it is completely dry. Damp bedding or pajamas can lead to mold or mildew, which can make allergies worse.
Once you’ve made sure your bedroom is clean, you have to make sure you are too! Even if you usually take showers in the morning, it might be a good idea to rinse off before bed. This can help remove allergens from your hair and skin, allowing you to rest easy. If you have congestion, a steamy shower can help with your stuffy nose too.
If you’re used to sleeping with pets in the bed, now might be the time to reconsider. Even though you might not be allergic to Fido himself, you could potentially be allergic to the pollen and ragweed from the yard that he collects on his fur. When pets bring allergens inside, it can make symptoms worse.
Another place allergens can hide is in your furnace. Since you might be turning on the heat for the first time in months, it’s common for dust and other allergens to have settled in vents, which will blow into your living space. Be sure to change your furnace filter frequently and try to purchase allergy-friendly filters.
Despite your best efforts, you still might have allergy symptoms before bed. If you’re taking allergy medication, try to avoid taking decongestants close to bedtime. Often, decongestants can have a stimulant effect that makes it hard to sleep. Other allergy medications like antihistamines can help with sleep, but can make you feel groggy in the morning. It’s best to work closely with your doctor to determine what medication will work best all day and night.