Unfortunately, allergies can keep you up at night. Here are some of the biggest culprits in irritants that will cause you to lose sleep, and how you can cope with them.
Mites: Dust mites tend to live in fabrics like mattresses, pillows and bed box springs, and as they build up can significantly impact you in the very places you rest your head at night, according to the Sleep Foundation. Make sure to wash your pillows and bedding regularly, and throw your curtains in the wash for good measure. Hopefully this means when you rest you head, you can count sheep instead microscopic irritants for your allergies.
Pets: If you share your bed with an animal, you invite dander into your linens along with any allergens clinging to their fur when they come in from outside. If this is impacting your ability to sleep through the night, there’s ways to better use your waking hours. Regularly bathe your fur babies using hypoallergenic shampoos. And just avoid petting your animal while in bed or letting it sleep in your sheets. The more time they spend in the sheets, the more skin, saliva and fur will cling to the cloth as well.
Pollens: That seasonal enemy of asthma and allergy patients everywhere, studies have found high pollen counts in areas can lead to higher rates of disruption in sleep schedules. You can look up daily pollen counts and averages in your area on Pollen.com and check forecasts, or you can consult with a local allergist about when to expect the greatest levels of exposure. Then plan your day accordingly. Avoid heading outside during heavy pollen times, especially if you expect hot or dry weather conditions.
Molds: If you like to take a shower before climbing into bed at night (a recommended way of making sure pollens don’t plague you into the evening), be mindful of any molds growing on your bathroom tiles or clinging to your shower curtain. Otherwise, irritating molecules could be rushing your system just as you want to give yourself a rest. This can be especially troublesome during cold and humid times of the year. Make sure to wipe down clean surfaces and possibly utilizing a dehumidifier to keep your bathing spaces clean of allergens.
Dust: Anything disrupting the dirt and grime in your homes can cause a release of allergens into the air that you breathe. This doesn’t mean you need to leave that building on top of the fridge; it’s better for those living with allergies to keep as clean an environment as possible. But invest in an air purifier to make sure the irritants get sucked into a filter instead of your lungs.
Foods: A Centers for Disease Control study found a significant increase between 1997 and 2011 in the number of adults with food allergies who suffer insomnia as a results, according to Sound Sleep Health. The good news is that if you have identified the food causing strife for your allergies, removing it from your diet should eliminate the cause of insomnia as well. But don’t cheat; any relapse in eating that food means the disruption in your sleep patterns will likely return as well.
Roaches: These bugs love to come out in the dark of night, and often stir up allergens with them. In fact, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimates 63% of American homes contain cockroaches that cause allergies. If the saliva or feces spread in homes by these shedding bugs triggers asthma attacks or other problems for your system, can consult with a medical professional and receive shots that neutralize the symptoms. Or you can just try and clean your house a little better, making sure dishes don’t pile up in the sink and that all discarded food containers quickly find themselves in sealed garbage cans.