Everyone understands allergies flare up in the spring, when everything is blooming and there’s a layer of yellow-green pollen on your car every morning. These allergies can clog your sinuses and tend to include sneezing in their repertoire as well. These symptoms don’t generally lead to a good night’s sleep. But, while spring and summer are considered the allergy seasons, there are plenty of allergies that can bother you just as much in the winter.
Allergic rhinitis, or an allergic reaction to an airborne particle, is by far the most common type of allergy. The most common of these airborne allergens are pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and animal dander. While the pollen and mold allergies aren’t usually an issue during winter, the other two can cause a significant problem this time of year. When it’s cold outside, we obviously keep our windows closed. This means dust and animal dander can build up. And, since we generally we spend more time indoors than out during the colder months, that means we’re sitting right in the middle of those allergens.
The first thing you should do is visit your doctor if you suspect an allergy is causing your sleepless nights. Tests will confirm whether your suspicions are correct or not. If they are, you’ll want to begin removing the allergens from your environment. Dust-related allergies can be overcome through a mix of cleanliness (wiping dust from surfaces regularly), vacuuming or even removing carpets, and a bedding evaluation.
If pet allergies are causing your sleep problems, the answer may be simple. As much as you love Spot or Fluffy, it might be best to not allow your dog or cat to sleep in your bed.