Sneezing, watery eyes, a runny nose, itchy throat – hay fever symptoms are anything but a walk in the park. And it’s not just during the day that hay fever sufferers have to muddle through with the symptoms, but at night too.
One in five people in the UK suffer from hay fever and a staggering 87% of people surveyed by Allergy UK, Britain’s leading allergy charity, said their sleep was badly affected in the spring and summer months.
We understand the importance of sleep so here’s our top tips to help you sleep better during times of high pollen:
Change bedding regularly
Wash and change your bedding regularly as this helps to remove traces of pollen which can hang about, plus fresh bedding is great for helping you sleep better. Remember to dry your bedding (and clothes!) indoors, even if the sun is shining because you don’t want pollen-infused bedding to disturb you at night.
Shut pollen out
It’s tempting to have your window opened during the summer months, especially at night, but if pollen is about it really isn’t worth it. Keep your windows shut during the day and night to stop pollen from getting into your bedroom and instead invest in a good quality fan instead to keep your bedroom cool.
Keep your bedroom clean
It is important that you keep your bedroom clean to make sure dust doesn’t build up on areas such as your surfaces and skirting boards. Of course, your bedroom is where you sleep, so for allergy sufferers it’s worth making the effort to make sure your bedroom is clean. By paying attention to the cleanliness of your home and bedroom you can minimise your hay fever symptoms dramatically.
Shower before bed
Shower and wash your hair before bed because pollen floating about during the day can stick to your hair which will then rub off on your pillow, irritating you whilst you sleep. As well as washing off any pollen that you might have collected on your skin and in your hair during the day, a hot, steamy shower before you go to bed will help clear your sinuses, ensuring a better night’s sleep.
Make sure you know when it’s time for a new mattress
As your mattress gets older, your mattress and pillows collect dust mites, skin cells, sweat and body oils. The dust mites in your mattress can trigger your hay fever symptoms, so it’s important that you keep dust mites at bay. The Sleep Council recommends to start thinking about replacing your mattress after seven years and to regularly hoover your mattress to avoid dust mites building up. Dunlopillo latex mattresses are a perfect choice for sufferers of hay fever and asthma due to their anti-allergenic, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties, plus they are dust mite resistant.
A dab of Vaseline
Teeth cleaned, face washed and moisturised? Don’t forget to rub a dab of Vaseline on and around the edges of your nose before you go to sleep. This will help trap pollen, avoiding you inhaling it and triggering symptoms. You can reapply again in the morning to help block pollen throughout the day.
Cut down on alcohol
Watch how much you drink during the summer because alcohol worsens hay fever. Beer, wine and spirits contain histamine – the chemical that sets off allergy symptoms in your body. As well as making you more sensitive to pollen, alcohol also dehydrates you which can make your hay fever symptoms seem worse, so be sure to drink plenty of water.