Why pollen is worse at night

The first few weeks of Spring and hayfever have been tough. What started as sneezing has now turned into serious nasal congestion that’s been keeping me awake at night.

Why does hayfever get worse at night? There’s more than one answer.

Firstly, it could be because pollen levels are higher at night. During the day pollen is pushed upwards by hot air and consequently falls back down when the temperature drops at night.

Another possible reason for those sleepless nights may be because pillows and mattress can contain hayfever triggers like dust mites.

Apparently over 50,000 dust mites live in the average pillow and 10 – 15% of the weight of a 2-year old pillow is made of dust mites.

So what does this mean for us hayfever sufferers? Here are the three steps I’ve followed to help me achieve a sneeze free sleep:

  1. Build your fortress

Not literally of course. As warm as it may be, if you don’t want hayfever, close your windows after sundown. This will prevent all that unwelcome pollen from entering your home

  1. Make improvements to your cloud

That cloud of yours that you call a bed should be a hayfever-free zone. Replace pillows every six months and get some allergen proof mite covers for your pillows and mattress.

  1. Treat yourself

Try taking your hayfever treatment at night before you go to sleep. If your hayfever lasts for long periods of time you may need to consider switching for a treatment that can be used long term. Your doctor will be able to point you in the right direction and update you on the most advanced medication available.

Take this self-assessment tool to see how hayfever is impacting you.

(photo credit: Flickr, by Jason Trbovich)