Google searches for ‘hay fever sleep’ increased recently, rising by 733% since mid-April. The majority of searches peak between midnight and four am, suggesting that for many Brits, those dreaded allergies are back – and they’re wreaking havoc on our sleep.
To help you beat those pesky allergies, we worked with the medical experts at Chemist Click to reveal eight top tips to stop hay fever from ruining your sleep. Most of our tips are completely free or cost no more than £1, plus some can get to work in seconds!
1. Dab Vaseline on your nostrils to trap pollen particles
Before bed, dab a small amount of Vaseline or petroleum jelly to the outside of each nostril. This traps any lingering pollen particles in the atmosphere which could find their way onto your face. The particles will stick to the Vaseline instead of going up your nose and should help to prevent any sneezing or itchiness in the night.
You can pick up a pot of petroleum jelly for around £1 and it takes seconds to apply.
2. Throw a spare sheet over your duvet to create a pollen barrier
This quick fix takes less than a minute and all you need is a spare bed sheet. Throw your sheet over your duvet during the day – this acts as a pollen barrier and prevents allergens from sitting on your bedding. You can take it off each evening and your duvet should be safe from particles.
3. Banish pet hair in five minutes with a wet rubber glove
Pet hair is a common allergy trigger which causes the same symptoms as hay fever, like itchy eyes and a runny nose. If your furry friend sleeps in your bed, hair can easily get caught in your covers and worsen your allergy symptoms.
To remove pet hair, simply grab a pair of rubber washing up gloves from your kitchen cupboards (or get them for around £1 at a homeware shop) and rinse with water. Run the glove over your bedding and mattress to quickly collect the hair – it takes around five minutes.
4. Wash your bedding once a week on a 60°C wash to kill pollen particles
Make sure you wash your bedding more often to ensure pollen particles aren’t sitting in the sheets. We recommend washing your bedding at 60°C to ensure all germs, dust mites and pollen particles are removed. You should also clean your mattress frequently to remove dead skin cells and bacteria.
Dry your bedding indoors and not outdoors as pollen from the trees will most likely land on the sheets and stick to them, making your allergies worse.
5. Rinse your eyes and nose before bed
Pollen particles can easily stick to your skin and hair, so try to take a shower before bed, especially if you’ve been out all day. It’s not just the hair on your head either – pollen can make its way onto your nose hairs and eyelashes, which can irritate your allergies. Make sure to rinse your face with fresh water, including your eyes and nose to remove any sitting pollen particles.
6. Tie back long hair to stop pollen falling onto your face
If you don’t want to wash your hair at night, tie it up in a high ponytail or bun. This helps to prevent any pollen particles falling onto your face and irritating your allergies further.
7. Keep your windows and doors closed
You might think you’re letting fresh air in, but open windows and doors could make your allergy symptoms worse when you’re trying to sleep. Pollen particles can come in and stick to your bedding and furniture, so keep your windows and doors closed to avoid this.
8. Take an antihistamine half an hour before bed
If hay fever is constantly interrupting your sleep, take an antihistamine before bed. Doctors advise that antihistamines take 30 minutes to kick in, so take your medicine around half an hour before you go to bed. This should keep any allergies at bay and allow for a peaceful slumber. Steroid nasal sprays can also be used to reduce symptoms such as a blocked nose, itchiness and sneezing.
Find more tips to remove toxins from your bedroom or see our bedding advice for allergy sufferers. If your symptoms frequently affect your sleep, consider investing in hypoallergenic bedding to keep allergies at bay, like an anti-allergy pillow or an anti-allergy mattress.