According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, almost a third of adults in the U.S. suffer from allergies. Symptoms often include a runny nose, watery eyes, and an itchy throat. Common allergy triggers are pollen, mold, dust mites, pet dander, wool, and fur.
Allergies and sleep
Unfortunately, allergy symptoms can lead to interrupted sleep. A study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology discovered that 48 percent of seasonal allergy sufferers have problems getting uninterrupted sleep. These allergy sufferers are vulnerable to insomnia, daytime fatigue, and chronic sleep deprivation. And the worse a person’s allergies are, the worse their sleep.
Although a person cannot truly eliminate the allergens that affect them from their life, they can do multiple things—and invest in certain products—that will help allergy-proof their bedroom and possibly lead to better sleep.
If you have allergies, try to avoid carpeting your bedroom. High-pile carpeting can easily trap allergens. If you are renting a home or an apartment, or don’t want to install hardwood or linoleum flooring in your bedroom, consider installing low-pile carpeting.
To keep carpet free of allergens, consider vacuuming once a week with a vacuum that has a high-efficiency particulate air filter (also known as a HEPA filter) or a small-particle filter.
Bedroom curtains, blinds, and windows
Invest in curtains and blinds that are washable. Cotton and synthetic fabric drapes and blinds work well.
If able, try to keep your bedroom windows closed as much as possible. Also, regularly clean windows. Mold and condensation can accumulate in window frames and sills.
Allergy suffers tend to benefit from sleeping in a bedroom that’s free of clutter and pets, and has sleek furnishings.
First, furnishings should be made of easy-to-clean materials, such as leather, wood, metal, or plastic; upholstered furniture can catch more allergens.
Also, limit the amount of items you keep in your bedroom. Anything from books to knickknacks can accumulate dust.
And if you own a cat or a dog, try to keep them out of your bedroom. Their fur can accumulate on surfaces, and the pet itself can often carry in outside allergens.
Bed and bedding for allergy sufferers
First, opt for bedding that is made from organic materials that are naturally hypoallergenic. All-latex beds and organic wool and cotton are great choices. However, when buying a blanket, comforter, etc., keep an eye out for wool, cashmere, down, and feathers. All of these materials are potential allergy triggers.
Keeping bedding, such as pillows, mattresses, and box springs, free of dust mites is easier to do with dust-mite covers. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, children who had less exposure to dust-mite allergen and cockroach allergen experienced fewer asthma complications.
When you do laundry, ensure that sheets, pillowcases, and blankets are washed in hot water, specifically 130 F (54 C).
Air filters and cleaners for allergy sufferers
A study in the journal Current Allergy Asthma Reports suggests that people who have allergies may benefit from using high-efficiency whole house filtration (WHF) systems and portable room air cleaners (PRAC). This “combination filtration” strategy, especially when PRACs are used in a bedroom, can help eliminate allergens.