If seasonal allergies are keeping you up at night, you’re certainly not alone. In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), allergy sufferers are more than twice as likely to have insomnia than those without allergies.
According to Howard Levine, MD, Director of the Cleveland Nasal Sinus and Sleep Center, and Tivic Health medical advisory board member, “Allergies can affect many parts of the body. One of these is the nose – allergies can cause nasal congestion and obstruction, and when this happens, it can be difficult to breathe through the nose. A blocked nose can disrupt sleep, leading to periods of wakefulness.”
For allergy sufferers, other sleep-related issues that can emerge include increased snoring, poor sleep efficiency, and increased risk for sleep apnea.
Dr. Levine adds, “Individuals who frequently experience sleep disruptions will wake up unrefreshed and feel fatigued during the day. Left untreated, this can result in impaired functioning and performance at school or work.”
Sleeping with allergies can be tough, but there are some natural, drug-free remedies to manage symptoms and get better sleep.
Dr. Levine suggests using nasal saline to irrigate the nose prior to bedtime – this can serve as a decongestant and flush out allergens in the nasal passages that may be triggering the congestion. It’s an effective drug-free method of managing nasal congestion.
“I also recommend adding the ClearUP bioelectronic device to your treatment regimen – it’s an FDA-approved, non-invasive device that provides rapid relief of sinus pain and congestion. Using ClearUP on a regular, consistent basis can also reduce the difficulty of falling and staying asleep, and therefore improve sleep quality for allergy sufferers. They can get a good night’s sleep and wake up less tired,” continued Dr. Levine.
Here are some other tips to sleep better with allergies:
- Know your allergy triggers and avoid them – these include dust mites, pet dander, and pollen. It’s time to keep pets out of your bedroom.
- Check your home’s heating and air system, and use an air purifier in your bedroom to clear the air of common allergens.
- Keep the humidity in your home at less than 50% with a dehumidifier or air conditioner, because dust mites can survive year-round in a warm and humid home.
- Remake your bed with hypoallergenic bedding and use dust-mite proof pillow and mattress cases to create a barrier between you and the dust mites.
- Sleep with your head propped up on a pillow to ease congestion symptoms.
- Take a steam bath to loosen up congestion. Or shower before bed to wash off any pollen and allergens that you’ve picked up on your body during the day.
- Stress can keep you awake at night and also trigger allergy flare-ups so find ways to de-stress such as meditating, or practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Take the time to do the things you enjoy.
If your allergy symptoms continue to keep you up at night, speak with your doctor or allergist to get a full evaluation and discuss treatment options.