How to get a good night's sleep with hay fever

Sleeping hay fever. (Getty Images)
Don't let hay fever stand in the way of you and your sleep. (Getty Images)

The pollen count is 'very high' across the country, and the nation has the sniffles and watery eyes to prove it. But it's one thing sneezing throughout the day, and another being kept up at night because of it.

It's hard enough to sleep well in the summer – especially now the heat is finally here – so throw in a pollen allergy to the mix and it can be a recipe for disaster. Hay fever symptoms lead to tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion, but then can keep you up all night, zapping your energy the next day and leaving you feeling even worse in a vicious cycle that can disrupt daily life.

But it doesn't have to be that way. Here, airborne allergens expert Max Wiseberg shares how you can adopt a bedtime routine and keep your bedroom pollen free to ensure you do still get the sleep you need.

Cropped shot of a young man blowing his nose with a tissue outdoors
There's ways to avoid bringing your sneezes into the bedroom. (Getty Images)

On top of common symptoms like sneezing and coughing, a running or blocked nose, itchy, red or watery eyes, itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears, loss of smell and headaches (the list goes on, joy), Wiseberg adds, "Hay fever can also affect how we sleep and cause disturbance and difficulty getting to sleep.

"These symptoms can in turn zap our energy levels leaving us feeling low and sluggish. So a good night’s sleep is important to leave your body better prepared to cope with symptoms the next day."

With that in mind, Wiseberg, of HayMax, suggests adopting the following bedtime routine to increase your chances of a peaceful slumber...

  1. Take a shower or bath before bed to wash away pollen from your skin and hair (this will also help you to relax)

  2. Apply an organic drug-free allergen barrier balm to help trap pollen before it gets in your body while you sleep – less pollen, less reaction (try a Lavender variety; lavender is renowned for its calming and soothing properties, so can help you get to sleep)

  3. Sleep on your side rather than your back because it's more comfortable if you've got a blocked nose

  4. Each morning try covering your bed with a clean sheet, then before getting into bed at night carefully remove it and fold it away (this can help keep pollen off your bed clothes)

  5. Turn your pillows just before you get into bed so you’re not breathing in pollen from your pillow

  6. Prevent pollen getting into the room you sleep in

Senior Asian woman doing her morning routine, making up her bed at home. Let's get the day started
What is your current bedtime and morning routine? (Getty Images)

Wiseberg also suggests these hay fever tricks for keeping the pollen out of where you sleep...

  • Keep your bedroom door and windows closed to help prevent pollen drifting in or being blown in by the wind

  • Dry bedding indoors to prevent pollen being blown on to it by the outside wind

  • If you own a pet, keep it off your bed and out of the bedroom altogether if possible (keeping your pet regularly groomed and shampooed will also remove pollen from its fur)

And these cleanliness hacks are also worth utilising...

  • Wash bedding very regularly to prevent the build-up of pollen and dust and pet allergens

  • Damp dust regularly to prevent the build-up of pollen (damp dusting will help prevent pollen particles being dispersed back into the air)

  • Vacuum your room regularly, including fabrics such as curtains and upholstery, to avoid pollen accumulating

  • Store blankets and cuddly toys in a cupboard to prevent the build-up of allergens on them

And finally, the allergy expert adds, "If you have a sedating antihistamine like Piriton, it might be sensible to take it before you go to bed. Otherwise it's probably best to take an antihistamine during the morning and apply the barrier balm before going to bed." But always consult a doctor about what's right for you.

Watch: Sleeping with hay fever: How to get a good night's rest