This season’s ‘pollen bomb’ is upon us, and according to Allergy UK, 57% of adults in the UK with hay fever have sleep problems which can lead to decreased cognitive function, stress and daytime fatigue.
To help ease symptoms at night time, the sleep specialists at Mattress Online have come together with the medical experts at Chemist Click to reveal 8 top tips to stop hay fever from ruining your sleep!
1. Dab Vaseline on your nostrils to trap pollen particles
Before bed, dab a small amount of Vaseline or petroleum jelly to the outside of each nostril. This traps any lingering pollen particles in the atmosphere which could find their way onto your face. The particles will stick to the Vaseline instead of going up your nose and should help to prevent any sneezing or itchiness in the night.
2. Throw a spare sheet over your duvet to create a pollen barrier
This quick fix takes less than a minute and all you need is a spare bed sheet. Throw your sheet over your duvet and pillows during the day – this acts as a pollen barrier and prevents allergens from sitting on your bedding. This trick also works well if you have a pet who sleeps on your bed during the day. You can take the barrier sheet off each evening and your duvet and pillow should be safe from irritating particles that can trigger allergy responses. Be sure to wash this barrier sheet once a week or switch to a different one regularly to avoid the allergens lurking in the bedroom.
3. Wash your bedding once a week on a 60°C wash to kill pollen particles
Steve Adams, sleep expert at Mattress Online says: “When it comes to washing your bedding, make sure that you do it more often to ensure invisible pollen particles aren’t sitting in the sheets. We recommend washing your bedding once a week at 60°C to ensure all germs, dust mites and pollen particles are removed.
Dry your bedding indoors and not outdoors as pollen from the trees will most likely land on the sheets and stick to them, resulting in you bringing the allergens back inside and making your symptoms worse.”
4. Rinse your eyes and nose before bed to wash off allergens
Pollen particles can easily stick to your skin and hair, so try to take a shower before bed, especially if you’ve been out all day. It’s not just the hair on your head either – pollen can even stick to your nose hairs and eyelashes, which can irritate your allergies. Make sure to rinse your face with fresh water, including your eyes and nose to remove any sitting pollen particles.
5. Tie back long hair to stop pollen from falling onto your face
If you have long hair and don’t want to wash your hair every night before bed, tie it up in a high ponytail or bun. This helps to prevent any pollen particles that have accumulated in your hair during the day getting onto your pillow or falling onto your face whilst you sleep and irritating your allergies further. Don’t forget to use a silk scrunchie to minimise damage!
6. Invest in an air purifier
Air purifiers are a great thing to invest in if you suffer from allergies. Aside from helping to filter out pollution particles, they can also help remove irritants like dust and pollen particles and help clean the air you breathe as you sleep. While they can’t guarantee to remove ALL particles, regular use will help maintain good clean air in the room.
7. Keep your windows and doors closed to keep allergens out
You might think you’re letting fresh air in and that it will be beneficial, but open windows and doors could make your allergy symptoms worse when you’re trying to sleep. Pollen particles can come in through the window and stick to your bedding and furniture, so keep your windows and doors closed during the day during high hay fever days to avoid this.
8. Take an antihistamine half an hour before bed to reduce symptoms
If hay fever symptoms are interrupting your sleep, take an antihistamine before bed. Doctors advise that antihistamines take 30 minutes to kick in, so take your medicine around half an hour to an hour before you go to bed. This should keep any allergies at bay and allow for a peaceful slumber. Steroid nasal sprays can also be used to reduce symptoms such as a blocked nose, itchiness and sneezing.