If the sneezing, congestion and itchy eyes due to allergies weren’t enough to deal with, you may also find that you’re not sleeping very soundly. Studies have shown that people who have allergic rhinitis due to hay fever and other allergies are much more likely to suffer from sleep disorders than those without allergies.
Pet dander, dust mites, mold and pollen are some of the most common allergens that affect people. Allergic rhinitis occurs when an allergy sufferer breathes in these types of allergens, causing the nasal passages to become irritated and inflamed.
While many people associate allergies with daytime symptoms, they can unfortunately interfere with your sleep by swelling the nasal passages and making it more difficult to breathe. Laying down can also make it more difficult to breathe as congestion is likely to shift. This can contribute to a poor night of sleep and even sleep apnea—a serious disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping.
Researchers have found that people with allergies report sleep issues that include having difficulty falling asleep, sleeping fewer hours and feeling fatigued throughout the day. Fortunately, there are ways for allergy sufferers to try to improve their rest.
As with any sleep issues, it is important to begin with good sleep habits. Sleeping in a dark, quiet and cool environment is a good place to start. Stick to a sleep schedule of the same bedtime and wake-up time. Caffeine and alcohol should be avoided in the evening. Powering down electronics about an hour before bedtime is also recommended.
If you haven’t already, you should speak with your doctor about finding an effective solution to treat your allergies. There are prescription and over-the-counter remedies such as anti-histamines, nasal sprays and saline rinses that can help decrease the nasal inflammation and swelling that is keeping you up at night.
If your allergies continue to keep you from getting those precious zzz’s, Dr. Nassar and his team at Jacksonville Sleep Center are here to help you. Give them a call today at 904.854.6899 to find your way to a restful sleep.