Allergy Season Is Here. How Does It Affect Your Sleep?

It’s so refreshing to see your garden start to bloom with gorgeous azaleas, gardenias, and rose bushes, but such beauty can also point to the start of allergy season. Referred to as allergy rhinitis[1], seasonal allergies can cause you to sneeze, cough, have itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose and trouble breathing[2]. If dealing with allergies while you’re awake isn’t tough enough, allergies also dramatically affect your ability to sleep well. When you’re not getting enough sleep, it can open the door to a slew of other health problems, like diabetes and heart disease. Let’s find out how you can battle the effects of allergies on your sleep life.

When Is Allergy Season?

Allergy season can affect you differently depending on what you’re allergic to and the geographic area where you live. Generally, allergies affect you at different times throughout the four seasons. If your allergies seem to be triggered by the changing of the seasons, you could be dealing with allergies related to trees, grass, pollen or ragweed.[3] If your allergies seem to be persistent throughout the entire year, then you are probably dealing with an allergy related to dust mites, mold or pet dander.[4]

Why Can’t You Sleep?

The symptoms of allergies can wreak havoc on your life—whether awake or asleep. The effects of allergies can cause you to experience daily fatigue.[5] And if you’re waking up all night from sneezing and coughing, or have trouble breathing during your sleep, the fatigue you experience can be considerably worse.[6] All of these symptoms are detrimental to your sleep routine and can leave you feeling tired throughout the day. You may also find that it’s hard to concentrate or that you can’t remember important details without writing them down.[7] You may also feel depressed and lose interest in things you once loved.[8] Extreme allergies can lead to chronic snoring problems or obstructive sleep apnea, both of which cause sleep problems that can be harmful to your health. It’s especially important to keep an eye on these symptoms if you have a child that’s dealing with allergy rhinitis.[9]

How Can You Help?

So what can you do about your allergies so that they don’t impact your ability to sleep at night? You’ll want to schedule an appointment with your doctor immediately. There may be over-the-counter prescriptions, eye-drops or shots that may ease your symptoms and help you get the sleep you desperately need.[10] There may also be lifestyle changes, like moving a pet outside or removing the carpet in your house that can also help you get your rest each night.

Allergies can affect your sleep life but if you stay proactive and reach out to your care provider, you can learn the steps needed to battle your allergies and get the sleep your body needs.

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