Sluggishness, lethargy, drowsiness – when it comes to hay fever they all amount to the same thing. You’re not kicking goals. You’re not your usual productive self. You’re not at your peak. With a head feels fuzzy and your eyes water and nose itches, how can you turn it around?
The source of your drowsiness
To be fair, it’s not actually the hay fever (allergic rhinitis) that’s making you feel fuzzy or drowsy. As your body responds to airborne particles it interprets as harmful (e.g. plant pollens, pet dander, dust mite, moulds, grass pollens, etc.) it produces histamines to combat them. The result can be increased mucus and inflammation of the nasal passages. It’s these histamines which cause your stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, headache, and general congestion. And it’s this congestion which reduces the quality of your sleep, making you feel fatigued and generally not firing on all cylinders.
Choose your medication carefully
Antihistamine tablets, which are designed to combat the histamines produced by your own body, can help reduce hay fever symptoms but some may also cause drowsiness. It’s important to speak to your local pharmacist to obtain the product most suitable for you. Coupled with the restless “sleep” familiar to those who experience hay fever, and you may find you are unable to concentrate well.
Plan of attack
Although hay fever impacts about 18% of the Australian/NZ population, the cause, impact and treatment of the allergic response can vary from person to person. Seek advice; it’s the easiest, most effective solution for hay fever. Your GP and/or local pharmacist may help you pinpoint the likely trigger of your hay fever and discuss the most appropriate plan for you. Given “hay fever season” can last a number of months, the appropriateness of your hay fever treatment plan may significantly improve your general sense of well-being and quality of life so it is in your best interest to seek professional advice.
And so to bed…
When you do finally get to bed, maximise your chances of a better night’s sleep and minimise the morning “fuzzies” with these tips:
- ensure your bedroom maintains a cool temperature
- keep room air fresheners and/or flowers to a minimum
- eliminate excess cushions and bedding (multiple decorative cushions and bed throws are great for photo shoots but are dust traps and can mean allergens encroach your sleeping space)
- wash hands and face with cool water or have a shower to wash away traces of pollen and dust before jumping into bed
- when you brush your teeth, brush your hair as well to prevent pollen deposits in your hair being transmitted to your pillow
- elevate your head to help reduce congestion.
- Livestrong Website: can seasonal allergies make you sleepy
- Health Harvard Education: the secret to an easier allergy season
- ASCIA: allergic rhinitis, hay fever and sinusitis