It’s that time of year again when the runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion that come with seasonal allergies can really make you miserable. And not just while you’re awake, those symptoms can have a negative impact on sleep as well.
“Your body mistakes allergens as a threat to the body,” explains Shelby Harris, a psychologist and director of sleep health at Sleepopolis. “So then you have a histamine that is released and that essentially can make you have the nasal swelling, the congestion and the scratchy throat. All of those things can make it harder to sleep.”
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prep your bedroom to avoid triggering allergy symptoms, which will help you sleep better as a result. Here’s what Harris suggests:
- Keep your windows closed. Even when that spring breeze feels nice, it lets the allergens in more.
- Avoid using ceiling fans in the bedroom. Harris points out that ceiling fans can circulate dust and mites more.
- Vacuum frequently to keep those floors clean and dust-free.
- Use an air purifier.
- Change your sheets often. Once a week is a good place to start, Harris says.
- Use hypoallergenic bedding, including pillows, sheets and duvets
- Don’t keep your clothes worn outside the house in your bedroom hamper. Those clothes can circulate allergens in your room more, so store them in another room until you can wash them.
- Avoid drying your clothes outside and use the dryer instead to avoid bringing more allergens inside.