Tips For Getting Quality Sleep With Allergies
If your allergies are keeping you up at night or causing fatigue during the day, ensuring you take the proper steps to get quality sleep each night is always a good idea. Below are a few simple tips that can help you get a good nightâs sleep to feel rested and alert during the day, even if allergies are a problem.
Tired Depressed It May Be Hidden Allergies
People with allergies know that their sniffling and sneezing is allergen-induced, but allergies don’t always present themselves with such typical symptoms. Sometimes allergic reactions can cause fatigue, headaches or even depression. While not everyone agrees there is an allergy link to these conditions, there is evidence that strongly suggests it. Here’s what’s been found, and how to control your allergies to alleviate each problem.
Chronic fatigue syndrome If you’ve been experiencing extreme exhaustion for 6 months or more and your doctor hasn’t been able to identify the cause, you might have chronic fatigue syndrome . And if you do have CFS, allergies could be playing an important role, says Leo Galland, MD, director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine in New York City and author of “Power Healing.”
Though no one knows exactly what causes CFS, researchers have found that more than half of the people with CFS they’ve studied also have allergies. “I believe that being an allergic individual predisposes you to chronic fatigue syndrome,” says Galland. “Chronic fatigue syndrome seems to be associated with an over-reactivity of certain parts of the immune system, which is similar to what we see in people with allergies.”
“All we can really do is treat the depression with therapy and/or antidepressant medications and treat the allergies with shots, antihistamines, and avoidance of the allergens,” Marshall says.
Get A Skin Prick Or Blood Test
First, its a good idea to find out what is causing your allergies. This will make symptom management and treatment easier. A common way to find out what allergies you have is with a skin prick test. To get a skin prick test, you need to make an appointment with a doctor or allergist and visit their office.
This is how it works:
- The doctor or nurse will scrape your skin with a needle that has different allergens on it.
- After a short time, the spots on your skin that are itchy, swelling, or red will indicate what youre allergic to.
- Although this can reveal your allergies, it can be time-consuming and uncomfortable.
An alternative to a skin prick test is a blood test. Again, this requires an in-person doctor appointment and painful needles to draw your blood and find your allergens. If you want to skip the doctors visit and the uncomfortable old-fashioned allergy tests, you can get an at-home test from Wyndly instead. Wyndlys at-home allergy test is convenient and painless.
Heres how it works:
- Order your test and it will be delivered to your door.
- Follow the simple finger prick instructions and mail it back.
- Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through a treatment plan.
Once you know what allergies you have, you can start limiting your exposure to them.
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Could My Allergy Medication Be Part Of The Problem
Prescription medications can cause fatigue, but when used properly and managed well, they can help allergy sufferers battle through.
The best treatment outcomes are always when the patient and physician work together to tailor a treatment plan to a particular patients allergies, lifestyle, and needs, explains Dr. Haden.
Mississippi-based pharmacist Lori Elliott says to use caution when combining allergy medications with other prescription products that can cause drowsiness, including those for pain, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. People should take these medications at night, says Elliott, who currently works as a pharmacist in Oxford and has worked as a pharmacist in Georgia and Mississippi for more than 30 years. If drowsiness continues to affect quality of life, I recommend contacting your prescriber for a reduction in dose or a change in therapy.
How To Prevent Allergy
Step one is getting to the source of whats causing your allergies in the first place. An allergist can help you do just that. He or she can perform allergy testing by skin testing or by blood work to help identify any allergy triggers, says Patricia Takach, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Penn Medicine.
Once you know whats triggering an allergic reaction, do your best to avoid those substances, says David Corry, M.D., professor of medicine in immunology, allergy, and rheumatology at Baylor College of Medicine. That means taking steps like staying indoors on high pollen count days and making a few lifestyle changes such as showering when you come indoors, cleaning your sheets regularly, and keeping petswho can carry things like pollen and grassout of your bed. Wearing a face mask when youre outdoors can also help filter out pollen and other allergens that may be irritating.
Youll also want to do your best to prioritize sleep to help you recharge at night and keep your bodys immune system in prime working order, Dr. Wada says.
Make drinking water a priority, too. Staying well hydrated can help thin out mucous and also help with some aspects of fatigue as well, Dr. Wada says. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend that men aim to take in 15.5 cups of fluids a day and that women strive for 11.5 cups a day.
How to treat allergy-related fatigue
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Allergens Are All Around Us
Allergens exist both indoors and outdoors, so limiting your exposure to them can be challenging. You may be allergic to something and not even know it. The most common allergy triggers include tree pollen, grass pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander all of which can cause allergy-related fatigue.
Other typical allergy symptoms include:
- Sneezing or sniffling
- Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Hives or rashes
Combine all this with feeling tired and its easy to understand why people search for relief from their allergies, not just in spring but all year round.
Keep Your Furniture As Dust
Most people are surprised by the amount of debris and dust collected in nooks and crannies in the room. Avoid heavy drapes and upholstered furniture in the bedroom. Avoid floor-to-floor carpet, if possible. Use tightly-woven fabric for your sheets and pillowcase to prevent trapping of dust. Avoid dust collectors, such as stuffed animals, fake flowers, and old books in the bedroom.
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Why Your Allergies Could Be Making You Tired
In the United States, allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness. Allergens can exist both indoors and outdoors, and it can be a challenge to limit your exposure to them. When it comes to indoor and outdoor allergies, there are a few common culprits that can cause seasonal or recurring allergic reactions such as sinus swelling, nasal congestion or a runny nose, watery eyes, and tiredness. The most common triggers include dust mites, mold, pollen, and pet danderâall of which may cause fatigue.
There are several reasons why fatigue can be linked to allergies. First, exposure to an allergen triggers an immune response thatâs meant to protect you from foreign invaders. Your immune system produces a chemical called histamine, which can cause symptoms like itchiness, swelling, trouble breathing, and fatigue.
Allergy symptoms such as congestion, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and general feelings of discomfort can make it difficult to relax and fall asleep or disrupt your ability to stay asleep, contributing to feelings of fatigue during the day.
Plus, taking medicationsâsuch as antihistaminesâto combat or prevent allergy symptoms may lead to drowsiness during the day, as well.
When To See A Doctor
If you have allergy symptoms but over-the-counter medications arent helping you feel better, then its important to see a doctor.
Your primary care provider or an allergist can help you identify whats causing your allergies, how to avoid triggers, and medication or other treatments that might help.
While mild or moderate allergies arent considered a medical emergency, an allergy may cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.
- Skin reactions, such as hives, flushing, or itching
- Swollen tongue or throat
- Weak, rapid pulse
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Allergies And Chronic Fatigue
It is not uncommon for a person who suffers from allergies to also suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome . Symptoms of CFS include extreme exhaustion that does not have any known cause. The first step is to talk to your doctor so they can assess for potential illnesses. If they cannot find the cause, then your next step should be to take to an allergist.
Why? Because it is often the case that a person with CFS has an over-sensitive immune system. When you consider that allergies can be caused by over-sensitive immune systems, it is easy to see that why the conditions often exist together. It is often the case that by treating allergies, fatigue can be reduced. Other things can affect both fatigue and allergies, such as mold spores and other environmental irritants.
What Causes This Fatigue
When you have an allergy to something, whats really happening is that your immune system is creating antibodies to fight an unknown object and releasing histamines while doing so. This causes the allergy symptoms we know all too well sneezing, watery eyes, itchy nose. Its no wonder that most people experiencing allergy symptoms get very poor sleep when all this inflammation causes nasal congestion. Congestion makes it very difficult to breathe, especially when lying down, which can really affect your ability to get a good nights sleep. Waking in the morning you may feel like you didnt sleep at all. This lack of sleep is important to address, which means tackling your allergies head on.
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Treating Fatigue Caused By Allergies
1. Limit your exposure to allergens
The best way to fully reduce your allergy symptoms is to decrease your exposure to your known allergy triggers. Once you know which allergens are the cause of your symptoms, you can reduce your exposure to them. For example, if youâre allergic to pollen, you can try to stay indoors on days when pollen counts are high., or if you are very allergic to cats you can try to limit your exposure to them.
You can also check online to find your local pollen report. If you have air-conditioning, you should try to keep your windows closed. The same goes for when you are traveling in a car, keep the air conditioning on. If you do spend a lot of time outside, it is a good idea to change your clothing as soon as you come inside.
There are many examples online on how to reduce your allergen exposure once you have identified your specific trigger.
There are many kinds of allergy medications. Some are targeted at specific allergies while others are more generalized and treat many kinds of allergies. The most common medications are antihistamines, which are generally now found OTC or you can experiment with natural antihistamines.
Your best bet if you want to avoid feeling tired and also reduce other annoying allergy symptoms is to take an antihistamine. â
As mentioned earlier, be aware that many antihistamines themselves can cause fatigue and drowsiness.
3. Allergy Immunotherapy
Why And How Allergies Can Make You Tired
The ragweed is in bloom or you visited a friend with a cat, and now your allergies are leaving you so exhausted youre dragging around all day. No, the gravitational force on Earth has not increased. It could be your allergies. But why and how can your allergies make you tired?
When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases proteins called proinflammatory cytokines, which are designed to neutralize invading particles, including allergens like pollen, pet dander, and mold. Researchers believe that cytokines act on the central nervous system, and prompt leukocytes and other cells to secrete IL-1 beta , a hormone-like substance that can make you feel lethargic and depress your mood. Perhaps fatigue from the inflammatory process is your bodys way of telling you to rest, so it can fight whatever evil nasty is plaguing your system.
Ironically, some allergy medications may also lead to poor sleep, and the same vicious cycle of insomnia and daytime drowsiness. Many antihistamines can leave you groggy, with a hung over feeling that may last through the day. Or, if you take them at night, you may sleep for a while, but then wake when the medication wears off. Think switching to a decongestant will help? In one study, 15 to 25% of decongestant users reported insomnia. But some doctors switch their patients to prescription nasal corticosteroids, which are not as likely to cause fatigue.
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How Your Allergies Might Be Making You Tired
Most people who ask themselves, Why do I feel so tired all the time? wind up blaming their fatigue on being stressed, overworked, or other external causes. Others may point to a lack of sleep or getting poor sleep. While these potential culprits can contribute to lack of sleep, theres another suspect whom Houstonians should keep in mind: allergies.
Very few people suspect that their allergies can rob them of quality rest or make them feel tired, but they can, and for multiple reasons. The next time you ask yourself, Why do I feel so tired all the time or even, Can allergies cause fatigue? remember these three things:
So Why Do Allergies Make You Tired
There are actually a few potential reasons why your allergies are wiping you out. And, when combined, they can lead to some serious fatigue.
Youre not breathing well.
When this happens, youre not getting oxygen as easily, and your body has to work a little harder to operate normally, which can wear you out, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network.
The immune response is tough on your body.
Allergies cause bodily inflammation, and when your immune system is inflamed, your body uses up a fair amount of energy and resources to make an immune response, says Kara Wada, M.D., an allergist and immunologist at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Plus, when youre having an allergic reaction and histamines are released, that can make you feel tired, notes Dr. Monteleone.
Youre having trouble sleeping.
Seasonal allergies tend to cause nasal congestion, and that disturbs your ability to get a good nights rest, says Dr. Monteleone.
Your medication is wiping you out.
Certain allergy medications, including first-generation antihistamines like diphenhydramine can make you feel tired, says Stanley Schwartz, M.D., Ph.D., division chief of Allergy-Immunology-Rheumatology at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.
Can Allergies Cause Fatigue And Brain Fog
The answer to the questions, Can allergies cause fatigue? and, Can allergies cause brain fog? are very intertwined. Brain fog confusion and a lack of mental clarity is technically a symptom of a symptom the combination of tiredness and swollen nasal passages caused by allergies can lead to brain fog.
What Causes Allergies Anyway
An allergic reaction is a chain reaction that starts in your genes and is expressed by your immune system, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology .
When you have an allergy to something, like pollen or grass, your immune system views it as an invader . It then overreacts by producing antibodies called Immunoglobulin E , which travel to cells that release chemicals called histamines, Dr. Monteleone explains. Cue the stuffy nose, coughing, sneezing, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
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How Does An Allergic Reaction Impact Sleep
Weve established two things: Allergic reactions can make you tired, and they do, in fact, get worse at night for several different reasons. But how exactly does an allergic response disrupt sleep?
Experiencing an allergic reaction can trigger several issues, such as insomnia, low sleep quality, restless sleep, and increased risk for sleep apnea and snoring. Typically, the severity of your allergy symptoms is connected to sleep. If your allergy symptoms get worse, the sleep problems you face might also be more profound. Because of either one or a combination of these issues, youre also likely to experience higher levels of fatigue during the day.
Research conducted on participants who suffered from allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma found that both groups had trouble falling asleep and reported feeling unsatisfied with the quality of their sleep. Those suffering from allergic rhinitis and allergic asthma also said that their daytime functioning was impacted due to fatigue, and they struggled to focus on work and other daily tasks.
Its also interesting to note that 67.1% of respondents said their allergy trigger was pollen, and 48.1% also said they experienced the worst allergy symptoms during springtime. This means its essential to take extra precautions during spring to ensure your sleep isnt adversely impacted so you can fight allergy fatigue.