Fall has often been touted as the best season. And why wouldn't it be? With the fall season comes football, sweaters, Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkin spice lattes and the list goes on. Unfortunately, this coveted time of year also brings seasonal allergies, which for the estimated 50 million Americans (1 in 5) who suffer from allergies, means unwanted sneezing, sniffling and watery eyes the coming months. And if things couldn't get any worse, more than half of nasal allergy sufferers experience sleep issues because of their symptoms. Luckily, there are some things you can do to help combat seasonal allergies for a healthy night' sleep.
- Keep the windows closed. It may be tempting to keep those windows open on cool, autumn nights, but you may be letting pollen and ragweed into your home, which can sink into furniture and fabrics that you might not think about cleaning.
- Take a shower before bed. Taking a hot shower before bedtime can help loosen nasal congestion so you'll breathe easier when you sleep. In addition, seasonal allergies, like pollen, that circulate through the air can also get stuck in your hair and washing it out in the shower can help prevent it from transferring onto your sheets and pillowcases.
- Wash your sheets. That being said, you should wash your sheets and pillowcases at least once a week. Make sure the water is hot though , at least 130 F (54 C) , so that it'll kill any dust mites harboring in your sheets, which can also trigger allergy symptoms. Mattress encasements and pillow protectors, like the AllerZip¬Æ Smooth Mattress Encasement and AllerZip¬Æ Smooth Pillow Protector, can help. They're designed specifically for allergy sufferers to provide a protective barrier against dust mites, bacteria and other allergens.
- Rinse out your nose. Just like washing your hair, cleaning out your nostrils with a salt water nasal spray can help relieve allergy symptoms. Many of these are available at your local drug store.