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09th May 2023

Expert tips to prevent hay fever disrupting your sleep this summer

Woman sneezing because of hay fever symtpoms

Hay fever is the most common allergic condition and affects about 26% of Irish people, according to Allergy Ireland.

The prevalence in Europe is estimated to be between 17-29% and it is believed to affect at least 400 million people across the globe.

Met Eireann has been reporting high levels of pollen in the air over the last few weeks, so there are likely thousands of people struggling to sleep at night as a result.

The most common symptoms affecting people who suffer with hay fever, according to the HSE, are:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired

Hayley Thistleton, a sleep expert at SleepSeeker, has listed her top tips to help you sleep through the pollen season.

Purify the air

Use an air purifier in your bedroom during the day to ensure your room is clean for night time.

This will also get rid of any nasty pollen, mites and viruses from your home, which is a great way to keep your space free of a whole range of nasties.

Close doors and windows

This can help with keeping allergens out of your home, Hayley says. Instead of allowing air from the outside into your bedroom, this will stop outside pollen and pollutants from being invited into your home.

Cleaning out your sinuses

Rinsing your sinus is a good way of clearing out any pollen or dust that has gotten trapped inside your nose.

This trapped dirt or pollen can cause irritation and headaches, so cleaning the area regularly will help remove excess mucus and clear out any allergy-causing particles.

Sleeping in an upright position

Propping some pillows underneath your head will keep you in an upright position, to allow drainage from any congestion that may occur during sleep, in order to keep you asleep for longer.

Change where you dry your washing

Instead of hanging washing out to dry in the warmer months, it is best to dry them in a dryer if possible.

This will stop pollen from attaching to your clothes outside whilst drying and help keep that pollen away from your skin.

Take allergy medication at night – Always consult your doctor before changing your routine, but taking allergy medication at night could help in ensuring a good night’s sleep, as this will help your body combat the response to the pollen.

Anti-allergy bedding

Buying anti-allergy bedding is a great way to ensure a good night’s sleep, especially during allergy season.

Using anti-dust mite, antibacterial products can aid a great night’s sleep for anyone suffering with symptoms of allergies.

Shower before bed

A quick shower before bed will mean you have washed off all of the pollen from your body and hair that has accumulated over the day.


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