According to Allergy UK, hay fever affects approximately 18 million people in the UK (20% of the population), with most reporting that their symptoms get worse at night, and a massive 87% stating that their sleep is severely affected by the condition in the spring and summer.
Science has yet to discover exactly why things get worse after dark. One theory is that as the temperature cools down, pollen, which has risen in heat of the day, begins to fall back down to the ground. Equally, if you live near those plants and flowers who release their pollen in the evening, this could also be the cause. Whatever the cause for those who suffer days with a high pollen count often leave them counting sheep for the whole night rather than getting to sleep.
My Top 10 Tips
Here are 10 tips for how to get a better night’s sleep and combat the dreaded pollen:
1) Shower before bed, making sure you wash your hair to get rid of any pollen, which has stuck to your skin and hair in the day.
2) Change your sheets and linen regularly, as pollen hangs about in the summer. However, make sure to keep them inside when they are drying.
3) Vacuum and dust your bedroom every day when you get home. This gets rid of any pollen which has snuck into the bedroom during the day.
4) Put a barrier under your nose before you go to bed such as Vaseline or coconut oil, which stops pollen entering through your nose. Reapply each time you blow your nose though.
5) Keep windows shut both during the day and night to stop pollen getting into the bedroom. If you can’t get to sleep because you are too hot at night, try putting your sheets in the freezer to cool them down.
6) Invest in an air purifier. My favourite is the Dyson Pure Hot + Cool Link™ Purifier, as it both removes pollution and captures pollen (removes 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns). It also doubles up as an air-cooling system by projecting out cooled air from its unique jets. As it does not use blades, it is a lot quieter than traditional fans and has a night-time mode with a dimmer and an even quieter setting. What’s more, the Hot + Cool Link™ Purifier becomes a heater in the winter and has a built in thermostat and a timing system, which can be set to switch off when you go to sleep and be programmed to start before you want to wake up.
7) Wear sunglasses, even in the evenings to keep pollen out of your eyes.
8) Make sure to have a diet full of fresh vegetables and fruit supply vitamins C and D, as well as antioxidants, all of which are thought to reduce symptoms of hay fever. Try Horseradish (decongestant), Garlic (anti-inflammatory) and Local Honey, which creates immunity to local pollen. Dairy, on the other hand, is a food category to avoid, as it increases the production of mucus, so is alcohol, which can depress your immune function.
9) Keep hydrated, as this helps reduce hay fever symptoms. Try drinking Ginger tea with (local) honey, which is both a natural antihistamine and decongestant. Peppermint tea is another good decongestant, whilst Green tea can reduce the production of Histamine. Nettle tea is another tea, which is often recommended for Hay Fever sufferers. In addition, drinking diluted Apple Cider Vinegar, as it is another remedy for reducing reactions to allergies when taken 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar.
10) Keep your airways open with Nasal sprays at night and avoid smoking in the day, as this can irritate your airways and increase hay fever symptoms.
Follow these easy tips on how to stop hay fever affecting your sleep to wake up feeling rested and ready for the day ahead.
How to beat the heat
Did you enjoy this post? Why not read my top tips on how to beat the heat here.