Allergies often keep people awake at night, resulting in sleepiness and fatigue during the daytime. The lack of sleep could be caused by nasal congestion, a runny nose, and difficulty breathing.
Sleep deprivation has many dire consequences, such as heart complications and high blood pressure. There are also psychological effects. You could become irritable and prone to emotional outbursts. Sleep deprivation can impair your relationships and affect your ability to think clearly.
Allergy symptoms and sleep deprivation are closely linked. Common symptoms of allergies include a runny or stuffy nose, itching, and sneezing. The congestion and the swelling of the mucous membranes make breathing difficult. You might find yourself tossing and turning to get into a comfortable position that facilitates clearer breathing. You may wake up with every last sneeze or cough. Your alarm clock will sound long before your body has had the chance to rest and recover adequately.
Taking allergy medications at night can help you get a good night’s rest. You can take antihistamines, which will help with your postnasal drip and sneezing. Decongestants will minimize nasal congestion. Just be careful with these medications because they can affect your sleep patterns. Antihistamines can make you drowsy while decongestants can perk you up. When you interfere with your natural sleep patterns, you are more vulnerable to insomnia.
Another option is inhaled nasal steroids, which you should start a couple of weeks before the onset of pollen season. They may help you avoid some allergy symptoms and allow you to sleep better at night.
If your allergies persist or are not fully addressed by medications, talk to your allergy doctor about immunotherapy. Medications help with your symptoms, but immunotherapy can actually change the underlying allergy for lasting results. Allergy immunotherapy is available through under-the-tongue drops (sublingual immunotherapy) or allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy).