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Posted by Bridget Reed
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Why Do My Allergies Get Worse At Night?

5 min read

It’s that time again. 

In many parts of the US, February signals the inevitable resurgence of seasonal allergies. That said, this cycle is very much dependent on where you live and the climate therein. Often, if you live somewhere more tropical, pollination can happen nearly all year round…which means seasonal allergies feel more like “constant, neverending itching and sniffing” than seasonal.

Whether you struggle with seasonal allergies or it’s a thing you’re managing year-round, we don’t have to tell you how frustrating allergies can be. But it makes things even worse when they seem to flare up most significantly right when you’re ready to go to bed.

But why do allergies seem to get worse at night? Let’s talk about why this happens so that we can cover some ways to lessen your symptoms and get the restful night’s sleep your body needs to stay happy and healthy.

So, What’s Going On?

1. It’s Easier To Focus on Your Symptoms

If you struggle with anxiety or are dealing with a lot of stress, you know how hard it can be to fall asleep when a million thoughts are spinning through your mind every time you try to close your eyes. 

This isn’t necessarily because your anxiety symptoms or feelings of stress actually worsen in the evening. It happens simply because it’s the one time of day when you’re not meant to be doing anything else.

It’s easier to push through or ignore your allergy symptoms at work, socializing, or otherwise busying yourself with other activities. This doesn’t mean allergies aren’t still frustrating and won’t get in the way of your daily activities because they can, especially when they’re severe. 

But when you lay down to sleep and there’s nothing else to focus on and nothing you’re asking your body to do other than relax, that frustrating wheeze or cough or sniffle that was just a niggling frustration throughout the day can suddenly feel like the only thing you can think about.

What can you do about it?

In addition to following the other steps we’re about to lay out for you to actually address your allergy symptoms, if simple stress and frustration with your symptoms are keeping you up at night, you can look for ways to help your mind wind down so that it’s ready to rest in the evening along with your body. 

Mediation, light exercise or stretching, and staying away from electronic devices before bedtime can make it easier to get a restful night’s sleep.

2. Lying Down Makes Congestion Worse

It’s true! It’s not just in your imagination. When you lie down, it makes it easier for all of that congestion to start dripping from your nose down into your throat, exacerbating any coughing and stuffiness you may be experiencing. In this case, gravity is not working in your favor.

What can you do about it?

There’s a simple way to minimize this problem: pillows. Propping your head and shoulders up with some additional cushioning can help by elevating your nose and throat to a position that makes it less likely for this post-nasal drip to occur.

3. Your Pets Sleep In Your Bed

If you’re even mildly allergic to your dog or cat, pet dander accumulating on your sheets or comforter could exacerbate your allergies when you sleep. Because their hair, saliva, and dander accumulate on your bedding, these irritants go to town on your allergies when you cozy up for a good night’s sleep. 

Not only that, but even if you’re not allergic to your pet, but you are reactive when it comes to pollen or certain plants, your pet could be gathering these allergens on their fur when they spend time outside and bringing them into your bed. You’re basically sleeping in one big allergy trigger.

What can you do about it?

There is, of course, the obvious solution: stop allowing your pet to sleep in your bed. We recognize, however, that you might not want to do this for many reasons. While it may not totally solve the problem, swapping out your generic sheets for our Miracle Made Sheet Set can help reduce the accumulation of bacteria and other impurities between washes.

This is because our sheets are infused with silver, which is antibacterial. These sheets stop 99.7 percent of bacterial growth, which means fewer odors, clearer skin — and yes, even fewer allergens in between washes, so this could be a useful change to make if you can’t bring yourself to say no to puppy dog eyes.

4. You’ve Got a Dust or Mold Problem

Pollen is at its highest early in the morning, so other than the mental aspect, which we’ve covered, your allergies shouldn’t worsen in the evening. But you could be triggered by some indoor allergens that tend to accumulate on textiles you might have in or near your bedroom, like pillows, comforters, mattresses, box springs, or even damp towels you’ve thrown into a laundry basket in your bedroom.

These soft, porous furnishings can attract bacteria, dust mites, and mold — and all of these can be allergy triggers. So while keeping your bedroom soft, cozy, and full of plush textures may create an environment conducive to a good night’s sleep, they may be doing the opposite.

What can you do about it? 

Remove any unneeded soft furnishings and decor from your room, and be sure to wash anything that remains on a regular basis. Make sure you’re doing the simple things, too, like hanging your bathroom towels up so they stay dry and don’t accumulate mold and bacteria that can mess with the air quality in your place.

5. Your Detergent Exacerbates Your Allergies

If you’re using a washing detergent that has a strong scent, it could exacerbate your allergies. Additionally, you could be reactive to the detergent itself, especially if it contains chemicals and artificial ingredients.

What can you do about it? 

Switch to a toxic-free, environmentally-friendly, fragrance-free detergent like ourMiracle Made Laundry Detergent Sheets. These powerful laundry sheets will provide the hardcore clean you need to cut back on mold and dust mites while removing the risk of a fragranced or toxin-containing detergent worsening things.

Takeaway

In conclusion, allergies can be a real pain, especially at night when trying to sleep. The reasons why your allergies seem to get worse at this time are varied and complex. Still, some factors include increased exposure to allergens, changes in your body’s hormone levels, and the simple fact that while trying to fall asleep, symptoms you could ignore throughout your busy day become harder to stifle.

To minimize the impact of nighttime allergens, there are many things you can do. Additionally, consider speaking to a doctor or allergist about alternative treatments or therapies that may be more effective for you.

Overall, it’s important to remember that allergies can be managed and that there are steps you can take to reduce their impact on your daily life. By staying informed, taking proactive measures, and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can minimize the discomfort of nighttime allergies and enjoy a restful, allergy-free night’s sleep.

Sources:

Seasonal Allergies | American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology

Pathophysiology of Nasal Congestion | National Library of Medicine

Anxiety and Sleep | Sleep Foundation

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