The sudden arrival of warm sunshine is like a release from lockdown for nature. Grass, flowers and trees have suddenly gone into turbo-charged overdrive and it won’t be long before those ‘Medium’ pollen levels are uncomfortably ‘High’. If you’ve suffered from summer allergies, like our household does, you’ll know that itchy eyes, sneezing and runny noses often get worse in the evenings.
There are a few simple things we’d recommend to make it snooze-time and not sneeze-time.
To reduce your allergy symptoms at night and give you a more comfortable night’s sleep, especially when those one-a-day anti-histamine tablets seem to have worn off:
Wash pillows or swap old pillows for new
Pollen and dust love nesting in your bedding. Pillows and duvets need to be cleaned regularly, more often this time of year than at any other time. This means swapping out old pillows for new, and / or washing your pillows and drying them in a large-capacity tumble drier – see our article on washing pillows and washing duvets. Do check to make sure that your pillow is washable in the first place and don’t just ‘air’ them outside (in the pollen!).
Our favourite really great washable pillows are The John Lewis Soft Touch Washable pillow – reviewed here
and The White Company Super Soft Ultra Wash pillow – review here.
Anti-allergy can help, certainly if you have an allergy to dust mites. They’re also useful when it comes to pollen as they tend to be washable and often come with high thread count covers which means dust, dust mites and pollen are less likely to be able to get in in the first place.
Keep the pollen out
Shutting bedroom windows might make the room a little stuffy, but it will help keep the pollen out. We’d advise also keeping your bedroom door shut if you have windows or doors open in the rest of the house; and use the air-con in the car, not windows, especially if you have a pollen filter fitted to your air-con unit.Annoyingly, grass pollen and tree pollen are often released at different times of the day. Generally the pollen count is highest between 5am and 10am, says www.pollen.com so definitely don’t ‘air’ the room in the mornings. Warm, dry and windy mornings are absolutely the worst, but then again ‘pollen showers’ can occur as the air cools in the evening after a warm day – which explains why my hayfever is worse at night. Wait for a colder, wetter day with little wind to let the air in to your house. https://www.allergyuk.org has some useful factsheets.
Pollen – in hair, on pets, on carpets
Wash your hair at the end of the day. Even rinsing in the morning and the evening can help get rid of dust and pollen which has blown into your hair throughout the day. What you don’t want to be doing is lying in pollen grains whilst you sleep and rubbing them into your pillow! Your cat may not appreciate you giving them a shower, so basic sense is not to let them sleep on your bed. Dogs and cats can carry a lot of pollen in their fur, particularly if they’ve been having lovely long walks in the countryside.
Finally, don’t forget to vacuum as often as you can. Clean surfaces with a damp cloth and wash out afterwards to get rid of pollen grains and keep your allergies under control.
For the best pillows and duvets for allergies: