How to Sleep with Nighttime Allergies – 7 Tips for Sleeping Better

Struggling to find peace in the land of dreams because of nighttime allergies? You’re not alone. Up to 40% of Americans battle with allergic rhinitis, facing symptoms that don’t just stop at sneezing and itchy eyes but extend into the night, robbing them of precious sleep.

In this article, we’ll discuss the heart of the problem and emerge with strategies designed to reclaim the night from allergies.

Key Takeaways

  • To sleep better with nighttime allergies, use an air purifier, keep doors and windows closed, maintain a dust-free bedroom, keep pets out of the bedroom, change your laundry routine, shower before bed, and take allergy medication at night.

1. Use an Air Purifier

Allergy-friendly bedroom tips

An air purifier can be a game-changer for people with allergies. By filtering out common allergens such as mold, dust mites, pet dander, and pollen, air purifiers help create a cleaner sleeping environment, potentially improving sleep quality for both allergy sufferers and those without allergies.

Ensure the air purifier you choose is equipped with a HEPA filter, as these are highly effective at capturing even the smallest particles. Regular maintenance and filter changes are crucial to keep the purifier working efficiently.

Placing the air purifier in your bedroom or wherever you spend the most time can provide the best protection against airborne allergens.

2. Close Your Doors and Windows

Allergy-free sleeping tips

Keeping allergens at bay means keeping doors and windows closed, especially during high pollen seasons. This simple action can significantly reduce the number of allergens entering your home and, subsequently, your bedroom.

It’s also wise to use air conditioning in warmer months instead of opening windows, as this can help filter out pollen while keeping your living space cool. On days when the pollen count is particularly high, try to limit opening doors and windows to early morning or late evening when pollen levels are lower.

3. Keep Your Bedroom Dust-Free

Minimize dust collectors like heavy drapes, upholstered furniture, and floor-to-floor carpeting in your bedroom. Opt for tightly woven fabrics for bedding and avoid clutter that can trap dust, such as stuffed animals and old books. Regularly cleaning your bedroom, including vacuuming carpets and washing curtains, can significantly reduce dust and allergens.

Consider using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for the best results. Keeping the bedroom minimalistic not only makes it easier to clean but also reduces the surfaces where allergens can accumulate.

4. Keep Pets Out of Your Bedroom

Nighttime allergy relief

Pet dander is a common allergen that affects sleep. Sleeping in a separate room from your pets can help alleviate nighttime allergies. Remember to wash your hands after petting them to minimize allergen transfer.

If your pet is used to sleeping in your room, create a comfortable sleeping area for them outside the bedroom to ease the transition. Regular grooming and bathing of your pets can also reduce the amount of dander they shed.

5. Change Your Laundry Routine

Reducing nighttime allergy symptoms

After being outdoors, especially on high pollen days, change your clothes immediately upon returning home and avoid hanging laundry outside to dry. Using a dryer can help keep pollen off your clothes and bedding.

Washing your bedding regularly, at least once a week, in hot water can kill dust mites and remove allergens. Consider using allergen-reducing laundry detergents designed for sensitive skin to further minimize exposure.

6. Shower Before Bed

Better sleep with allergies

A nighttime shower can wash away pollen and other allergens, making it easier to breathe and sleep better. Incorporate this into your bedtime routine for a cleaner, more comfortable sleep.

This not only helps remove allergens but also signals your body that it’s time to wind down, promoting a more restful night’s sleep. Additionally, changing into clean, allergen-free pajamas can prevent transferring any allergens to your bedding.

7. Take Allergy Medication at Night

Improving sleep with allergies

Switching your allergy medication intake to nighttime can ensure the medication is most effective when you need it most. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication schedule.

This timing can help reduce nighttime symptoms and improve sleep quality. Be mindful of the medication’s duration of action to ensure it covers the hours you are asleep. Your doctor can help adjust the dosage or timing to suit your specific needs.

How Do Allergies Affect Sleep?

Allergies come in various forms, each with its unique triggers and symptoms. These allergic reactions can significantly impact sleep quality and overall health:

Type of Allergy Triggers Symptoms Impact on Sleep
Allergic Rhinitis (Hay Fever) Pollen, dust mites, mold, pet dander Sneezing, runny/stuffy nose, itchy eyes, coughing Difficulty breathing through the nose, poor sleep quality, insomnia
Asthma Allergens, environmental factors Wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, coughing Frequent awakenings, difficulty falling back asleep
Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis) Dust mites, pollen, pet dander Red, itchy, inflamed skin Hard to fall asleep and stay asleep due to intense itching
Food Allergies Various foods Gastrointestinal issues, hives, anaphylaxis Discomfort or anxiety impair the ability to fall asleep or stay asleep
Insect Allergy Bites or stings (bees, wasps, mosquitoes) Localized swelling, redness, itching, anaphylaxis in severe cases Discomfort and itching disrupt sleep, especially if bites occur at night


Can changing my diet help with nighttime allergies?

Yes, for some people, dietary changes can help with allergies, especially if food allergies contribute to your symptoms. Eliminating or reducing intake of certain foods that trigger your allergies may improve your overall symptoms and sleep quality.

Are there any specific types of plants that can help reduce indoor allergens?

While plants can improve indoor air quality by producing oxygen, they might not significantly reduce allergens. In fact, some indoor plants can contribute to mold growth. It’s essential to choose low-pollen plants and keep them well-maintained.

How often should I wash my bedding to reduce nighttime allergy symptoms?

It’s recommended to wash your bedding at least once a week in hot water to effectively remove dust mites and other allergens that can disrupt sleep.

Can using a humidifier at night help with my allergies?

A humidifier can help if your allergies cause dry nasal passages, but it’s important to use it carefully. Too much humidity can encourage the growth of mold and dust mites. Keeping indoor humidity levels between 30-50% is advised.

Is it better to sleep with the head of the bed elevated for allergies?

Elevating the head of your bed can help reduce postnasal drip and congestion symptoms for some people with allergies, making it easier to breathe and sleep comfortably.

Can stress worsen nighttime allergy symptoms?

Yes, stress can worsen allergy symptoms by triggering inflammation and immune system responses. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, or meditation can help improve sleep quality and reduce allergy symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Nighttime allergies can turn what should be a restful night into a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The steps outlined here aim to help you reclaim your nights from the clutches of allergies.

It’s crucial to talk to your doctor about your allergies and sleep problems. They can offer advice on over-the-counter medications, prescription treatments, and lifestyle changes to help you manage your symptoms better.