If Hay Fever's Ruining Your Sleep, Doing This With Your Pillows Might Help

These handy tips could help if you're sniffling throughout the night.
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If you’re struggling with seasonal allergies and have found yourself reaching for the tissues and antihistamines more than usual recently, you’re not alone.

The first ‘pollen bomb’ of the year has arrived and people with hay fever are seriously struggling – with sleep severely impacted too.

Thankfully, sleep experts at MattressNextDay have shared their top tips for overcoming troubled slumber during the height of allergy season. Here’s what you need to know.

1. Stack up your pillows

The anatomy of your nose and throat means that while you’re horizontal, it’s harder for your body to let mucus and other bodily fluids drip down.

You’ll also find it harder to breathe, as your nose will stay blocked and it’ll be harder to clear your airways than when you’re upright.

This is why you should try to raise your head by layering your pillows higher than normal.

To see if you have the right pillow, you might want to take a selfie of your face and torso while lying in your sleeping position.

With the photo in front, draw a vertical line down the middle of your face, and then down the middle of your torso. If these don’t line up, your pillow isn’t high enough, according to MattressNextDay.

2. Take a hot shower to clear your sinuses

Not only is a warm shower a great way to relax before bed, but the steam may help thin out and drain the mucus in your sinuses, which makes it easier to breathe.

You could even take your steamy shower one step further by hanging a bag of lavender or peppermint around the shower head to help add some essential oils to the steam, as this will help with your congestion.

3. Make a cup of (decaf) tea, but make sure you drink it at the right time

A warm, steamy drink before bed can not only soothe a sore throat but the steam will help loosen your congestion. Peppermint tea has antibacterial and antiviral properties and has been proven to help clear sinuses. Or, alternatively, you can try some chamomile tea as it is known to help those who suffer from insomnia.

Just make sure to drink your tea 60-90 minutes before you go to bed, so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

4. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day

Another fluid you should drink lots of is water. Whilst you’re aware that staying hydrated has lots of health benefits, it can also help combat a stuffy nose at night.

Staying hydrated helps keep the mucus inside your nose thin and moist. Aim to drink at least two litres of water per day.

5. Eliminate pollen from your bedroom and body before bed

If you’re a regular hay fever sufferer, you’ll know that higher pollen counts mean higher chances of an allergic reaction.

Keeping your doors and windows completely closed will help to prevent pollen from entering your home and bedroom. It might be tempting to have the windows open on a warm spring day, but you’re simply inviting irritants inside.

Make your bedroom an anti-pollen zone, ensuring the windows are kept shut. Washing your bedding regularly will also help, and make sure to not wear clothes you’ve worn outside when sitting on (or in) the bed – this will simply transfer pollen and other allergens to your sheets.

6. Add an air purifier or humidifier to your room

Sleeping with an air-purifying device can help to reduce allergy symptoms during the night.

Air purifiers remove dust and other particles from the air, removing the triggers of your allergies. Of course, the more expensive the purifier, the more effectively it usually is, but even a budget-friendly option will remove some of the airborne contaminants from your sleeping environment.

A cool mist humidifier can also help relieve symptoms. Adding moisture into the air by emitting water vapour, humidifiers can help clear your airways and make it easier to breathe. Keeping these passages moisturised will prevent congestion and dryness.

You can even add some drops of essential oils, such as lavender oil, to emit a sleep-enhancing scent around your bedroom.

7. Tense your toes to reduce tension

If you’ve had a few nights of bad sleep, chances are that you’ll be feeling more tense than usual. If this is the case, try alternately tensing and relaxing your toes for a count of 10 each time.

Sleep experts at the University of Maryland found that this draws attention away from the rest of your body, and helps you relax more quickly.