So why can symptoms worsen at night?
A recent poll by Boots of 2,080 hayfever sufferers, found that 64% had trouble sleeping due to their symptoms and an average of 72 minutes of sleep is lost each night when pollen levels are high.
According to Dr Peter Burt, aerobiologist at the University of Greenwich, there are several factors which can make sufferers feel like their hayfever symptoms are worse at night. The main reason for this is because “pollen rises into the lower atmosphere throughout the day and begins to fall back to the ground as the temperature drops, exposing hayfever sufferers to a higher level of pollen later in the day.”
He also adds that “high levels in the evening can also be because some flowers release pollen later in the day.” There are also many plants that release pollen in the early morning, so if you live in an area full of trees, flowers or grasses, you may find that you are affected even before you wake up, which can cause you to waken earlier or feel extra groggy when you do wake.
10 ways to get a better night sleep with hayfever
So how do you avoid the struggle to get to sleep due to blocked sinuses, being wakened during the night by sneezing fits, or wakening in the morning with itchy, red, swollen eyes
There are many simple things you can do to help keep your hayfever symptoms under control before you head to bed and also to make sure pollen isn’t hanging around your bedroom, so that it is more hay-fever friendly, including:
1. Shut pollen out
A good tip is to make sure you keep your windows shut during the day and at night, to stop pollen from getting into the bedroom.
It’s tempting to have your window opened during the summer months, especially at night, but if pollen is about, it really isn’t worth it. Invest in a good quality fan instead to keep your home cool and keep windows and doors shut.
To help keep your bedroom cool, close you curtains during warm days. This will help you feel less tempted to open windows at night as it makes your room have a more comfortable temperature to sleep in.
2. Wash your hair
Shower and wash your hair before bed, as pollen floating about during the day can stick to your hair – you don’t want pollen rubbing off on your pillow and then irritating you whilst you sleep.
3. Change your bed linen regularly
Wash and change your bed linen regularly as this helps to remove traces of pollen which can hang about – fresh bed linen is also great for helping you sleep better.
When the sun is shining there is sometimes nothing more satisfying than getting a washing hung out to dry, but this is a bad idea if you suffer from hayfever.
Dry your bed linen and clothes indoors as much as possible so they don’t pick up pollen. However if this isn’t possible, then try to only hang them out on low pollen days.
4. A little bit of housework goes a long way
Vacuuming your bedroom everyday or as much as possible during the summer months is a great way of removing pollen, which has filtered in through open windows (if you haven’t remembered to shut them) and from clothes and shoes worn outdoors. Dusting regularly will also help to get rid of pollen which has invaded your bedroom and home.
5. Avoid late nights
Not only can hayfever disrupt your sleep and affect your mornings when you waken, lack of sleep can also make your hayfever symptoms worse! So try to avoid too many late nights during the hayfever season. If you need help dozing off or sleeping longer you can try a relaxing combination of Valerian and Hops, a natural sleep remedy.
6. Avoid alcohol in the evening
Although it’s tempting to have a night cap to send you off to sleep, it doesn’t actually help you get a good night sleep overall and what’s more it suppresses the immune system and can make hayfever symptoms worse.
7. Invest in an air purifier
Try using an air purifier in your bedroom. Air purifiers improve the air we breathe by trapping and removing airborne pollutants in the home, such as dust mites, pollen and pet hair, so they are ideal for hayfever sufferers, as well as those with allergic rhinitis.
8. A dab of barrier balm
Dab a little barrier balm (such as coconut oil) around the edges of each nostril before you go to sleep. This will help trap and block pollen, preventing it from entering your body and triggering symptoms. Reapply each time you blow your nose.
9. Some herbal help
Take some Pollinosan Hayfever tablets with your evening meal, which will help reduce hayfever symptoms during the night. You can also use Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray just before bedtime to clear your nose of pollen, dust and other allergen particles, restoring the fluid and moisture in your nose, making it feel more comfortable.
If you eyes are sore before you go to bed, soothe them with eye drops. That annoying irritation could prevent you from getting to sleep, even though your eyes are closed! Euphrasia, also known as Eyebright, is a herb which has a long traditional use for easing inflammation and redness in the eyes. Fresh extracts of this herb can be found in A.Vogel Eye Drops.
10. Plan ahead
Try keeping a record of your symptom pattern to see if certain times of day are clearly worse or better for you, e.g. first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Check pollen counts in your area regularly to have an idea of likely conditions and prepare for them
Pollen counts are great for measuring the amount of pollen in the air, which will allow you to determine how bad your symptoms might be on any given day (or night). To help you to avoid pollen hotspots, visit our A.Vogel Pollen Count page for the pollen count across the UK and in your local area.
Do you find your hayfever symptoms get worse in the evening or disrupt your sleep during the night?
Source: Daily Mail Online – Why hayfever gets worse as you go to bed