The sun is finally out and Britain’s looking glorious. Green grass, trees in leaf and flowers blooming like they’ve just come out of lockdown. What’s not to like? Well, just one word… Pollen. We’re all suffering in my house with runny noses, itchy eyes and other irritating hayfever symptoms. Allergic reactions often get worse at night – so what can you do to make bedtime better and get rid of the sneezes?
Often one-a-day anti-histamine pills just don’t cut it after 5pm, so we’ve put together a few simple tips to help lessen allergies and enable you to sleep better – thanks to Pillowadvisor.co.uk, NHS.uk and allergyuk.org.
Wash your bedding, and swap out old duvets & pillows.
Duvets and pillows are perfect little traps for dust and pollen. Unfortunately this means cleaning them frequently – especially during the spring and summer, or if you suffer year-round from asthma, dust-mite allergy or allergic rhinitis. This doesn’t mean giving them a shake out and hanging on the line of course as they’ll soak up pollen grains on a sunny day and especially if it’s windy.Best to wash if the label says you can – see our article on washing duvets – and dry in a big tumble-dryer. Get rid of old duvets and replace with washable bedding or an anti-allergy duvet if you can.
‘Anti-allergy’ duvets and pillows can be useful, particularly if you are allergic to house dust mites too. They are normally washable and should be made with a high thread count cover which helps prevent pollen, dust mites and household dust from getting into the actual duvet filling or the pillow filling.
Hair, carpets and pet fur traps pollen too
Your hair spends its summer days catching pollen grains, especially if you’ve spent the day outside. The best thing you can do before going to bed is to wash your hair; even rinsing it through will help to get rid of pollen and dust which has gathered there. Don’t forget your pets too. Discourage them from lying on your bed, or even coming into your bedroom – their fur is frequently dusted with pollen and unless you shower / bath your pets regularly, their coats can be a bit of a trap for allergens.
Shut doors and windows
Although summer is often a time when we want to open up the house, keeping bedroom windows shut is an important habit if you want to keep the pollen out. The website www.pollen.com explains which are the worst times for high pollen count during the day – and that’s generally first thing in the morning. Different types of pollen can be released at different times of the day though and as the air cools in the evening after a warm day, ‘pollen showers’ can occur, which helps explain worse allergy symptoms at night. Breezy, warm and dry conditions are perfect for high levels of pollen to blow around, so wait for cooler, damper days to open up the windows. Don’t forget to close your bedroom door, and give a thought to how you travel in your car. If you have a pollen filter fitted to your car air-conditioning unit, then wind up the windows.
If you’re not busy enough with washing your bedding, your hair, your pets and shutting windows, do a bit more vaccuuming! Of course pollen grains will settle in carpets and also on surfaces so don’t forget to clean those too with a damp cloth.
For the best pillows and duvets for allergies: