As the UK marks Allergy Awareness Week between 26 and 30 April, The Sleep Charity has published its top ten tips to conquer the symptoms of hay fever and asthma and ensure a restful night’s sleep.
Allergy Awareness Week aims to raise awareness about all allergies whilst highlighting the difficulties people with allergies experience in their day-to-day lives.
One in four UK residents suffer from hay fever1 and more than one in ten experience symptoms associated with asthma2.
Allergy sufferers, and particularly those affected by hay fever around this time of year, often experience trouble falling asleep.
Traditionally, the middle of May marks a sharp rise in the pollen count, while dust mites that favour residence in household beds can also trigger symptoms associated with hay fever and asthma.
To help allergy sufferers manage this time of the year, The Sleep Charity has published its ten top tips to minimise misery between the sheets.
- Keep the temperature in your bedroom between 16c and 18c
- Remove flowers from bedrooms (opt for artificial plants instead)
- Wash duvet covers and pillowcases regularly at a high temperature (this kills mites and removes mite faeces)
- If hot washing is not possible, 24 hours in the freezer will kill any mites in a pillow prior to a cold wash
- Leave your duvet turned back during the day
- Avoid drying clothes on radiators in the bedroom
- If you can, take your mattress outside for a good airing and then replace it upside-down and opposite-ways-round to its previous positioning
- Clean the base with a soft brush to remove fluff and dust – if you have to use a vacuum cleaner do so very carefully and with the window wide open
- While the bed is moved out from any walls, vacuum thoroughly under and around the bed – it can yield huge amounts of dust and fluff
- Severe reaction to pollen? Consider a mechanical ventilator – fans which bring in fresh air through pollen filters
Incorporating The Sleep Council, The Sleep Charity is a national, award-winning charity empowering the nation to sleep better.
The Sleep Charity deputy CEO Lisa Artis said: “Whatever issue you’re experiencing, practicing good sleep hygiene and creating a sleep-friendly environment will enhance your chances of falling asleep, staying asleep and sleeping well.
“This includes a cool temperature of around 16 to 18 degrees, reducing humidity, eliminating distractions, such as banning mobiles and tablets in the hour before bed, and sleeping on a comfortable, supportive bed.
“As we move into spring, many find that the increased daylight hours, the start of warmer weather and the onset of allergy season can also impact on sleep.
“For those who suffer as the pollen count rises, it can be difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.
“Key to getting a good night’s sleep is to keep allergens at bay – or to minimise your reaction or exposure to them.
“The house dust mite, prevalent in bedrooms, can be a problem for many, so air your bed each morning and regularly clean mattresses, pillows and bedding.”
Advice and information covering all aspects of sleep is available on The Sleep Charity website – www.thesleepcharity.org.uk/information-support/adults.