When Allergic Rhinitis Interferes With Sleep

Allergic rhinitis is a common health problem, resulting in symptoms including nasal congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, headaches, and postnasal drip. One symptom that may be underreported is its negative impact on sleep and quality of life.(1) Sleep impairment associated with allergies affects patients’ functioning in specific areas, causing daytime drowsiness, fatigue, and decreased cognitive and psychomotor abilities. Poor sleep quality indicates that the allergic disease is in poor control.(2)
Nighttime allergens can affect people seasonally, or year-round. Common allergens include dust mites, which are often found in mattresses, pillows and bed springs, pet dander, and pollen that can stick to clothes.(3)
A leading health clinic provides these strategies for improving sleep in allergy sufferers:(4)

  • “Lock down” bedding, use zippered covers for pillows, mattress and box spring
  • Avoid carpeting
  • Use window blinds instead of drapes
  • Wash stuffed animals weekly in hot water, dry on high setting. If a toy cannot be washed, seal in a plastic bag and place in the freezer overnight
  • Avoid ceiling fans — they collect dust and then spread throughout the room
  • Limit humidity — use a dehumidifier and keep windows closed
  • Consider a HEPA filter
  • Don’t allow pets in the bedroom
  • Shower before bed and keep dirty clothes outside the bedroom
  • Use allergy medication, per healthcare provider’s instruction

Increased allergy symptoms at night are sometimes a result of lack of adherence to recommendations for medication use, such as daily use of topical corticosteroids, asthma medications or rescue medication. “Thus, the importance of consistent medication use is crucial for high-quality sleep in patients with atopic diseases.”(2)
Edge Pharmaceuticals offers allergenic extracts and allergy immunotherapy supplies for allergy clinics, hospital pharmacies, and ENT offices. Contact us today to place an order.

(1) Storms, W. MD, Primary Care Respiratory Journal, Allergic Rhinitis-induced Nasal Congestion: Its Impact on Sleep Quality, Allergic rhinitis | Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology | Full Text (biomedcentral.com)

(2) Koinis-Mitchell, D. PhD, Craig, T. DO, et. al., Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Sleep and Allergic Disease: A Summary of the Literature and Future Directions for Research, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3576835/

(3) Pacheco, D., reviewed by Wright, H. MD, Sleep Foundation, Allergens That Impact Sleep, https://www.sleepfoundation.org

(4) Cleveland Clinic, healthessentials, Get Some ZZZs With These Nighttime Allergy Relief Tips, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/