Allergies – The Secret Sleep Killer

I love sleep. It’s my second favorite thing in the world to do (a close second to laughing). One feels like they can accomplish almost anything after a good night’s sleep. You have more energy, you’re thinking clearly, and you just feel good.

So if allergies are keeping you awake at night, it can be frustrating. Losing sleep is one of those pesky inconveniences that can ruin your day. You know the routine: your body wakes up at some unsightly hour, you’re uncomfortable, you worry about not getting enough sleep, worrying causes you to lose even more sleep, and on top of all that, you’re twisting and turning with uncomfortable allergy symptoms.

If this is you, I have found a few strategies that have helped me when I feel like I’m being robbed of a decent night’s slumber. Whether you cannot get to sleep in the first place, or you wake up hours before it’s time to get up, try some of these helpful tips to get back to sawing some Zs. 

Make your bedroom a sleep-only zone – You may have heard this one before, but I have to admit that this tip really helps. Bedrooms should be sleep cocoons. Keep digital entertainment in another room. Minimize all unnatural light, or wear a sleep mask if needed. When allergies act up, you don’t need to fight with artificial light or digital components as well.

Keep it clean – Dust, pollen, and particles are allergy instigators. You don’t live in a hospital, so no need to keep it sterile, but keep bedroom decor simple so dust collection is at a minimum. Also, taking a shower or bath before bedtime will wash off any pollen or dander you may have picked up during the day. You don’t want to take that stuff to bed with you.

Adjust your sleeping position – For most of us, being horizontal is essential for sleep. Unfortunately, this position is not ideal for nasal drainage. Purchase some comfortable pillows that can be stacked in order to prop your upper body up a bit. It’s not an ideal position to snooze, but it should alleviate some of your allergy symptoms to allow you to drift off. 

Crank up the AC – Using the air conditioner in the middle of the night helps in two ways. First, it allows the air to circulate so allergy instigators don’t settle around you. It also lowers your body temperature which allows our bodies to get ready to snooze. Naturally, sleep begins when our body temperature drops, so give it a hand by turning down the degrees.

Nothing beats a good night’s sleep, so do whatever you have to do to accomplish it. Just remember, if you have a night of tossing and turning, don’t focus on needing sleep. The more you fixate on your lack of sleep, the less sleep you’ll most likely get. Just remember that a sleepless night only causes a sleepy day, and that’s OK. You’ll survive. You get to start again tomorrow. 



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