If you are miserable with hay fever, itchy eyes or sinusitis, you may be tempted to crawl into bed and retreat into slumber. Unfortunately, you can’t sleep off allergy symptoms. In fact, your bedroom may be hosting a lot of the allergens that are making you miserable.
Since you spend a lot of time sleeping in your bedroom, it’s important to keep that room as allergy-free as possible. Here are a few ideas:
- Secure your bedding – Using zippered covers for your box spring, mattress, and pillow will protect you from many allergens.
- Get rid of carpeting – Your carpets harbor allergens such as dust mites, pollen, mold, and pet dander. Opt for hard surface flooring, such as wood or tile.
- Use blinds – Avoid using curtains to filter the light from outside. Curtains will collect dust over time and aggravate your allergy symptoms.
- Wash stuffed animals – Wash your stuffed toys using hot water, and dry them on high heat in order to kill the dust mites that thrive deep in the stuffing.
- Lose the ceiling fan – Dust will collect on top of the ceiling fan and be distributed throughout the room once it starts spinning.
- Limit humidity – Dust mites will thrive in a humid environment. Maintain less than 50 percent humidity in your bedroom to discourage the growth of dust mites.
- Use the air conditioner – Set your air conditioner to recirculate instead of getting moist air from the outside. Remember to clean your air conditioner regularly as it could harbor molds.
- Designate a sleeping space for pets – Assign your pets a permanent place to sleep—outside of your room. Your pet’s dander can add to the allergens in your sleeping space.
- Shower before bed – Taking a shower before going to bed will wash away the pollen that has accumulated on your body and in your hair.
- Filter out allergens – Using a HEPA filter in your bedroom will help keep allergens out.
If you have taken steps to allergy-proof your room and are still waking up with allergy symptoms, talk to your doctor about allergy immunotherapy. It is the only treatment that has been shown to alter the underlying allergy. Immunotherapy is available through allergy shots or under-the-tongue (sublingual) drops.