Seasonal allergies or allergic rhinitis, occur when the allergens in the air are inhaled by the patients who are allergic to them. This leads to irritation and inflammation of the nasal passages. The allergens include dust mites, pollens, molds, and pet dander. If the allergy comes over with the change of season, it could be related to the trees, grass, pollen, or ragweed, and if it is persistent throughout the year then the allergy might be related to dust mites, mold, or pet dander. The allergens trigger the release of chemicals in the body which can lead to nasal congestion, watery eyes, sneezing, and runny nose.
The allergy symptoms can lead to difficulty in sleeping at night, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue. A study conducted depicts the people who suffer from allergic rhinitis say their allergies interfere with the sleep.(5)
How Can Allergies Affect Your Sleep?
Allergy symptoms can disturb you whether you are awake or asleep. They can keep you awake due to incessant coughing and sneezing, troubled breathing, and fatigue. This disturbance in sleep can make you feel tired and sleepy all through the day which leads to decreased productivity at work, school, and impaired learning. All this leads to depression and reduces the quality of life. The degree of sleep impairment depends on the severity of the symptoms of allergy.(1)
Extreme allergies can lead to snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, both of which can prove to be harmful to health and are linked with poor performance in school, low IQ and even brain damage.(4)
Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the breathing is interrupted during sleep. It occurs when the muscles in the throat relax and fail to hold the airway open during sleep. Nasal congestion can lead to narrowing of the upper airway, which can cause snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in patients with allergic rhinitis. Treating nasal inflammation or allergic rhinitis can reduce the symptoms of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, it plays the role of a major risk factor in their occurrence(2, 3).
How To Sleep Well Even During Allergy Season?
- There are a few ways the sneezing and coughing can be controlled, which can help avoid the recurrent sleep disturbance.
- Nasal rinse can help lessen the aggravation which happens mostly at night, which prevent the good night sleep.
- Close the windows while sleeping, as a lot of pollen might enter with the cool breeze.
- Clean or change the air conditioner units, as unclean filter can have dust accumulated which can trigger allergies.
- Change the clothes you wear all through the day, don’t wear them to bed. Pollen and dust can cling to the clothes and get transferred to the bed sheet and can trigger the allergy.
- Turn off the humidifier as too much humid air can lead to allergy and can also worsen asthma.
Warm months can be a challenge to the people who are prone to allergic rhinitis due to the pollens in the air. These tips can make it easy for such people and help them get a good sleep.