Is Hay Fever Ruining Your Sleep? Practical Tips for Managing Nighttime Symptoms

Are you tired of tossing and turning at night in spring/summer, struggling to get a good night's sleep? If so, you're not alone.

For many people, hay fever can wreak havoc on their sleep patterns, leaving them feeling exhausted and irritable during the day.

In this post, we'll explore how hay fever can affect your sleep and provide some practical tips for managing nighttime symptoms.

Congestion and Difficulty Breathing

One of the most common symptoms of hay fever is nasal congestion, which can make it difficult to breathe freely, especially when lying down.

This congestion can lead to snoring and mouth breathing, both of which can disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy in the morning.

Tip: The steam from a warm shower before bed may help unblock your sinuses temporarily, helping you get to sleep easier.

You can also try using a saline nasal spray before bedtime to help clear your nasal passages. You may need to consult a doctor first in order to get one.

Itchy Eyes and Irritation

Another bothersome symptom of hay fever is itchy, watery eyes, which can be particularly troublesome at night when you're trying to wind down and relax.

Constantly rubbing and scratching your eyes can not only exacerbate irritation but also make it harder to fall asleep.

Tip: Try showering before bed to reduce the chances of pollen being trapped in your hair, which may rub into your eyes from your pillow. You may also be able to consult a doctor and see if you are eligible for any specialist eye drops that can soothe this.

Additionally, try wearing wrap-around sunglasses during the day to protect your eyes from pollen and other allergens, which can help reduce symptoms at night.

Sneezing and Coughing Fits

The relentless cycle of sneezing and coughing that often accompanies hay fever can be a major sleep disruptor, making it difficult to drift off into a peaceful slumber.

These sudden fits of sneezing and coughing can jolt you awake just as you're on the brink of falling asleep, leaving you frustrated and fatigued.

Tip: Consider taking a non-drowsy antihistamine before bedtime to help reduce sneezing and coughing symptoms. These can be bought from over the counter, but please consult a doctor beforehand.

Additionally, try propping yourself up with extra pillows to elevate your head and chest while you sleep, which can help alleviate post-nasal drip and reduce coughing.

There are a range of other things you can also do to ensure you night is hayfever-proof.

Keep Your Bedroom Allergen-Free

Minimise your exposure to allergens by keeping your bedroom clean and free of dust, pollen, and pet dander.

Wash your bedding regularly in hot water, and consider using allergen-proof covers on pillows and mattresses to create a barrier against allergens.

You may also find that you need to shut your window to prevent allergens from coming in.

Invest in Air Purification

Consider investing in an air purifier for your bedroom to help filter out airborne allergens and improve air quality while you sleep.

Look for a purifier with a HEPA filter, which is designed to capture tiny particles such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.

This can be expensive, though, so you may choose to use this as a last resort.

What else could help?

Over-the-counter medicines, such as cetrizine, can be an easy solution - but please consult a medical professional first.

At Kokoon, we also offer our Philips Sleep Headphones.

Many people are turning towards sleep audio as a way of tackling their sleep issues - and these could certainly help distract you from those pesky hayfever symptoms.


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