When you crawl into your bed after a long, exhausting day, the last thing you need is to share that space with a bunch of dust mites and other allergens. That’s where good sleep hygiene can really pay off, helping you to remove or reduce pet dander, dust mites, and pollen that may be preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. Many people are simply not aware that allergens can affect the quantity, and overall quality, of their sleep. Studies have shown however, that allergens do compromise sleep.
You Don’t Have to Take Night-Time Allergens Lying Down
Below are some helpful tips to get you back on track with your z’s:
First, wash, wash and wash again. You should wash your bedding and linens at least once a week to help reduce allergy inducing irritants like dust mites. This is doubly important if you allow pets into your bedroom. In addition, dust mites, which can also trigger full blown allergy or asthma attacks, feed on an icky diet of your sloughed off skin cells.
Hiding in bedding, carpets, furniture fabrics and curtains, these tiny creatures thrive in warm, humid environments. By adding a dehumidifier and keeping the level below 50% or lower, washing your linens and damp mopping, vacuuming (be sure to use a vacuum that has a HEPA filter or at least double-bagging the container that captures the dirt), you can seriously reduce their numbers.
Consider switching to hardwood floors, and using man-made materials instead of feather bedding, because you may have a sensitivity to feathers and not even know it. Covering your bed and pillows with hypoallergenic coverings can also help. They are far from cheap, but may be a good investment that will pay you back in more restful sleep over the long haul.
Next, be sure to keep the doors and window closed in the early morning hours when pollen production is highest. You can keep track of local pollen counts by signing up for a local news service. If possible, consider purchasing a small air filtration unit that can be placed in the bedroom. Many are very affordable and effective at removing allergens.
You should also consider putting dogs and cats in their own beds, away from your sleeping area. Many people have pet dander allergies that they are not even aware of. People love their pets and can’t bear to part with them, even for the night, but it’s usually a good practice to keep the pets out of the sleeping area.
If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about a sleep study. A sleep study can identify how well you are sleeping, if you have sleep apnea (a potentially dangerous medical condition that causes snoring), and pinpoint any other sleep related issues that you may be unaware of.
If you have questions about allergies and sleep, or would like to schedule a sleep study, call Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine at 8154777350, or request an appointment online today. At Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, we care about your sleep and your good health.