Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Select An Article

    Don’t Let Allergies Wreck Your Sleep

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    A runny nose and itchy eyes can keep you up at night. But allergy meds might leave you too wired to sleep.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. Take these steps to get your snooze on.

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    3 Questions About Fragrance Allergies

    If you find yourself developing a killer headache when riding an elevator with someone who was a bit generous dabbing on the perfume, you have company. More than 2 million Americans have fragrance allergies or sensitivities -- and the number is on the rise. Although that person's perfume may have been all too obvious a culprit, there are many hidden sources of fragrances, says Clifford W. Bassett, MD, medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York. Bassett helped WebMD sniff out the truth...

    Read the 3 Questions About Fragrance Allergies article > >

    Prevent Allergies

    First step: Figure out your allergy triggers and avoid them. Things like dust mites, pet dander, and pollen are often high on the list.

    Then remake your bed. You can get pillows and bedding that can prevent sneezes and sniffles. Look for items that say "hypoallergenic." Because dust mites are a huge cause of allergies, get pillow and mattress covers that keep the critters at bay.

    If your pets share the bedroom or bed with you, it’s time to find them a new place to sleep.

    Check your home's heating and air system. If you can upgrade to a unit that does a better job at air filtration, think about it.

    Otherwise, vacuum your carpets and furniture often. If you haven’t upgraded the vacuum lately, do. Today’s models are built to capture allergens, not just stir them up.

    If you use a humidifier, change the water regularly. That prevents mold, another allergy trigger, from growing.

    Treat Your Allergies

    Some treatments that can also help include:

    Saline nasal flushes. You’ll use a device like a Neti pot to pour a solution into one nostril and let it drain out the other. It can help relieve congestion, but the effects may not last long.

    Nasal decongestant sprays. They clear your stuffy nose, but don’t use them for more than 3 days. After that, they can make you more stopped up.

    Nasal decongestant pills or liquids. These also work well and can give you long-lasting relief, but you may not want to use them at night. Some can keep you awake, especially those with pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine.

    Antihistamines . Use them to dry up your runny nose and postnasal drip. Keep an eye out for side effects like dizziness, blurred vision, and a "hangover effect" that makes you sleepy the next morning. Don’t use them long-term, either.

    Steroid nasal sprays. Their role is to stop your immune system from overreacting to allergy triggers. They take a while to work, but they help prevent symptoms when you use them regularly.

    If your allergies keep you from getting the sleep you need, or if medication side effects bother you, talk to your doctor or see an allergist for a complete exam and treatment options.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on December 02, 2014
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
     
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?
     

    blowing nose
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Article
     
    lone star tick
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing nose
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Article
    Allergy prick test
    VIDEO
     
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Assessment
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
    Quiz