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Allergy-Proof Your Bedroom for Restful Spring Nights

Posted January 21, 2023 by Mike Lewis under Tips

Allergy-Proof Your Bedroom for Restful Spring Nights

Spring is a beautiful time of year, but for those with allergies, it can also be the start of a season of misery. As trees and plants come back to life, they release pollen into the air that can trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and trouble sleeping. The good news is there are steps you can take to allergy-proof your bedroom so you can still get those restful spring nights.

Keep Pollen Out

The first line of defense against spring allergies is to keep pollen out of your bedroom as much as possible. Here are some tips:

Close Windows and Use Air Conditioning

  • Keep windows closed during peak pollen times, typically mid-morning to late afternoon.
  • Run an air conditioner or filter to cool your bedroom and circulating filtered air instead of fresh outdoor air.

Use HEPA Filters

  • Invest in a HEPA air purifier to remove pollen and other allergens from the air.
  • Vacuum and dust with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner regularly.

Limit Outdoor Time Before Bed

  • Take evening showers to wash pollen off your body before bed.
  • Change into clean clothes/pyjamas before bed to avoid bringing pollen into your bedroom.

Dry Laundry Indoors

  • Dry bedding and pyjamas inside with a clothes dryer rather than hanging them outside to avoid pollen sticking to the fabric.

Use Allergy-Friendly Bedding

The materials used for your bedding can make a big difference in allergy comfort.

Choose Allergy Mattress and Pillow Covers

  • Encase mattresses and pillows in allergen-impermeable covers to create a barrier against dust mites and pollen.
  • Wash covers regularly according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Opt for Synthetic-Fill Bedding

  • Synthetic-filled comforters and pillows, like those filled with polyester, resist collecting allergens better than feather/down bedding.
  • Wash sheets, mattress pads, and blankets frequently in hot, soapy water to remove allergens.

Avoid Down, Feathers, and Flannel

  • Avoid down and feather-filled bedding and pillows which can accumulate dust and dander.
  • Skip flannel sheets that can trap pollen – choose cotton, bamboo, or microfiber instead.

Control Indoor Allergens

Pollen and outdoor allergens aren’t the only culprits. Taking steps to reduce dust mites, pet dander, mold, and other indoor allergens can also help give allergy relief.

Remove Carpets and Curtains

  • Replace wall-to-wall carpeting with solid surface flooring to eliminate a dust mite habitat.
  • Take down heavy curtains which collect dust and allergens – install washable blinds instead.

Use Dehumidifiers

  • Excess moisture breeds mold and dust mites. Use dehumidifiers and exhaust fans to keep indoor humidity around 30-50%.

Clean Regularly

  • Dust and vacuum thoroughly each week, including under beds and furniture.
  • Wash linens at least once a week in hot water.

Limit Stuffed Animals

  • Stuffed animals attract dust mites, so limit them to ones that can be easily washed. Freeze plush toys between washes to kill mites.

Consider Allergy Medications

For those with severe spring allergies, medications may be needed in addition to allergy-proofing your environment.

Try Over-the-Counter Antihistamines

  • Oral antihistamines like Zyrtec, Claritin, or Allegra can help control symptoms like sneezing and itching.
  • Nasal sprays like azelastine (Astelin) or olopatadine (Patanase) can tackle stuffy noses.

Discuss Prescriptions with Your Doctor

  • Prescription nasal steroid sprays are very effective for inflammation.
  • Allergy shots build long-term tolerance to allergens but require weeks or months to work.
  • Ask your allergist about prescription antihistamine options.

Time Medications Before Bed

  • Take medications in the afternoon or evening so they are fully effective when symptoms tend to worsen at night.

Use Air Purifiers and Humidifiers

Air quality devices can further help filter allergens so you can breathe easier.

Choose True HEPA Purifiers

  • Portable HEPA air purifiers remove at least 99.97% of particles from a room. Place one near the bed.

Consider Air Purifiers with UV Light

  • Units with ultraviolet light sterilize germs and destroy some types of mold and fungi.

Use Humidifiers Cautiously

  • Cool mist humidifiers can soothe dry airways but also breed mold if not cleaned meticulously.
  • Discuss with your doctor whether the benefits outweigh the risks.

Make Lifestyle Adjustments

Adapting daily habits can reduce allergy exposure and symptoms.

Shower at Night

  • Shower before bed to remove pollen from hair and skin that accumulates during the day.

Wash Bedding Weekly

  • Encase pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof covers, then wash sheets, blankets, and removable covers weekly in hot water.

Limit Pets in the Bedroom

  • Pets carry pollen indoors and increase dander. Keep them out of your bedroom if possible.

Clean Often

  • Vacuum and dust frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum. Wash bedding in hot, soapy water.

Monitor Forecasts

  • Check daily pollen forecasts and plan outdoor activities accordingly. Limit windows opening when counts are high.

Summary

With some diligence, you can create an allergy-free sleep sanctuary this spring. Focus on keeping pollen out of your bedroom, removing indoor allergen traps, using medication as needed, running air purifying devices, and adjusting habits to limit exposure. Don’t let allergies prevent you from getting much-needed rest. Take steps to allergy-proof your space and breathe easy all season long.

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