How to Sleep Better With Hay Fever

Martin Reed | May 31, 2017

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Hay fever symptoms can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep, since airborne pollen tends to drop out of the sky at night. Some plants also release their pollen in the evening and early morning. Here are some tips to improve your sleep during hay fever season.

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Wash away the pollen

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Take a shower in the evening to wash away pollen that has stuck to your body over the course of the day. Pollen is especially good at sticking to hair, so don’t forget to lather up with some shampoo, too!

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Keep pets clean and out of the bedroom

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Pets can disrupt sleep. Just as pollen sticks to our bodies, it sticks to the bodies of our furry friends. Wash pets regularly and thoroughly and don’t let them sleep in the same room as you do.

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Keep used clothes away

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Make sure you remove any clothes you’ve worn during the day before going to bed. You may find it helpful to keep pollen-contaminated clothing out of the bedroom entirely.

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Don’t dry clothes or bedding outside

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Although it’s cheaper (and better for the environment) to avoid using your dryer, hanging clothes and bedding outdoors exposes them to pollen. If you can’t dry your clothes indoors, make sure you hang them outside only on days with a low pollen count.

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Reduce air flow

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Seek relief from the heat with a fan rather than an open window. Keeping vents and windows closed during the day and at night will reduce the amount of airborne pollen that can enter your bedroom. (But be aware that air conditioners can make sleep more difficult, too.)

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Change your landscaping

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Opt for plants that are pollinated by birds or insects rather than those that release pollen and seeds into the air. You may also want to consider replacing a grass lawn with synthetic turf or paving.

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Clean, clean, clean!

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A clean, comfortable bedroom can improve sleep. Try to vacuum, mop, and dust as often as you can — especially in the spring when pollen levels are at their highest.

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Over-the-counter options

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There are a number of different types of antihistamine on the market. Talk to your pharmacist to find the one that works for you. Rubbing petroleum jelly around each nostril before bed can help trap pollen before it enters your nose. Nasal sprays and eye drops may also help.

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Be aware of other allergens

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Exposure to other contaminants such as mold and dust can lead to allergic reactions similar to hay fever. Inspect your home for mold contamination and consider changing your mattress if it’s more than 10 years old.

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Seek a long-term solution

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If you’re sick and tired of hay fever symptoms harming your sleep, look into immunotherapy. Although several months of treatment are required, it could help reduce your body’s reaction to pollen over the long-term.