How to Sleep with Allergies

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Whether you have seasonal allergies or a more chronic case, learn how you can improve your sleep

Mega Doctor News

By Megan Griffith

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The sniffling, sneezing misery of allergies can affect nearly every aspect of our lives, from getting our work done to simply going for a walk. So it makes sense that allergies affect our sleep as well. 

Did you know that one-third of allergy sufferers say that their sleep is compromised due to their allergy symptoms?

It’s true; thanks to allergy symptoms, millions of people struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, and sleep soundly. If you have seasonal allergies, it might not seem like such a big deal to lose some sleep for a few weeks once per year, but many people actually have year-round allergies that get worse in the spring. 

Household allergens like dust, pet dander, and mold can negatively affect your sleep all year long. If you aren’t getting the high-quality sleep you want (and that your body needs), take some time to consider whether your allergies could be to blame. 

Why Do Allergies Make it Hard to Sleep?

Studies show that people with allergies report higher levels of insomnia, more difficulty falling asleep, and higher instances of feeling like they aren’t getting enough sleep in general than those without allergies. But why is that?

Basically, it’s hard to sleep when you don’t feel well. And allergies have a nasty habit of making us feel pretty miserable. 

When you are exposed to an allergen, it enters your airways and causes irritation. This can lead to congestion, watering eyes, coughing, sneezing, headache, sore throat, and more. All of these things can make us very uncomfortable, making it hard to relax enough to fall asleep. 

Plus, when we lie flat, all that congestion rushes to our heads, making things even worse. It’s really no wonder allergies have such an effect on our sleep.

Allergens that Affect Sleep

The most common culprits for allergens that disrupt our sleep include: 

·         Dust mites

·         Pollen 

·         Pet Dander

·         Mold

Dust mites

Dust is largely made up of dead skin cells, and dust mites are the tiny creatures who feed on those dead skin cells. These mites cause an allergic reaction, and since they’re around all year, they can cause allergy symptoms in every season.

Pollen

Pollen is one of the most well-known seasonal allergens, since more pollen is typically released in the spring when plants are flowering.

Pet dander

Another year-round allergen that may affect your sleep is pet dander. Pet dander is basically dead skin cells from your pets, and just like dust, they can enter our airways and cause irritation and allergic reactions.

Mold

Mold is a particularly harmful allergen that typically grows in damp environments. It can grow in soft furnishings, under the carpet, or even in the walls.