With approximately one in five Americans suffering from allergies, many of us do not have a good night’s sleep during specific times of year. The earlier in the season a sufferer is exposed to allergens, the more susceptible they are to develop symptoms and to have problems with even lower levels of these allergens later in the season.
The most common allergy symptom preventing quality sleep? Congested nasal passages, better known as a stuffy nose. Some antihistamines that treat the allergy itself can cause daytime sleepiness and difficulty functioning at your best. However, newer drugs have improved so that daytime drowsiness is no longer a problematic side effect. Decongestants, however, can have the reverse effect due to commonly found ingredients such as pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine or phenylephrine that can keep us awake. There are also antihistamine and corticosteroid nasal sprays that are effective in treating nasal stuffiness without experiencing sleep loss. These medications require a prescription from your doctor.
If your allergies are affecting your sleep, talk to your primary care doctor or sleep specialist about your symptoms and any sleep problems that you may be having as soon as possible. You don’t have to suffer!