Allergies & Poor Sleep

What You Need to Know

If you’ve ever experienced a sleepless night, you understand the importance of rest. Lack of sleep can lead to poor mental health, a lowered immune system, and issues as serious as cardiovascular disease and death.

People with allergies are twice as likely to suffer from insomnia. Though it might seem like a mild issue, sleep affects every part of our lives, and allergy sufferers have a serious disadvantage. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, you might unknowingly suffer from allergic rhinitis, the body’s response to allergies.

Because lack of sleep lowers the immune system, it can also increase allergies. It becomes a continuous cycle of poor sleep, frustrating allergy symptoms, and health challenges.

But with treatment, people with allergies can enjoy added energy, better moods, and improved health. Learn more about potential triggers, their impact on your sleep, and how to enhance your life with allergy treatment.

Effect of Allergies on Sleep

Inhalant allergies are more common than any other type of allergy. Breathing in allergens like dust mites, pet dander, and pollen produces respiratory symptoms that make it almost impossible to get a good night’s rest.

Some sufferers don’t even know that allergies are causing trouble. Many blame it on their sinuses, not realizing that it is allergies that are causing their nasal obstruction, restricted breathing, and nose and sinus drainage. If you experience any of the following sleep problems, allergies might be the culprit.


Many snorers don't realize their allergies are to blame. But permanent turbinate tissue thickening in the nose and chronic inflammation throughout the airway from allergies can decrease the size of the breathing passages and prevent full inhalation. Not only does snoring affect your rest, but it also affects the sleep of those around you.

Breathing Issues

Aside from snoring, allergies can cause issues like sleep apnea, a disorder characterized by repeated breaks in breathing. Sleep apnea alone can lead to weight problems, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and lower quality and shorter duration of life.


Insomnia is much more common in sufferers of allergies than those without. People with insomnia experience trouble falling and staying asleep - disrupting memory, concentration, and increasing physical diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Poor Quality of Sleep

In addition to the above disorders, experiencing allergy discomfort at night lowers sufferers' general quality of sleep. It’s impossible to get a good night’s sleep when dealing with the frustrating symptoms of allergies, leading to rough mornings and unproductive days.

Importance of Sleep

The value of a good night's rest cannot be overestimated. Our bodies need a certain amount of sleep to function. But 63% of children and adults dealing with allergies report that they don’t get enough sleep.

Limited rest can cause issues like mild irritability in the morning to more severe impacts on physical health. Chronic lack of sleep can even lead to:

  • Impaired work performance
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Early death

Sleep is vital for maintaining a happy, healthy life. Getting enough rest allows you to enjoy every day with improved energy, activity, and wellbeing. The good news for allergy sufferers is that there are a few options to address the issue.

Treatment Options

Simple Changes to Make at Home

Routine changes can decrease symptoms of seasonal and environmental allergies for some people. You might find relief from allergies by reducing the stressors in your home. Here are some simple tips for decreasing nighttime symptoms:


Regularly wash bedding

Dust mites thrive on bedding, mattresses, and other fabrics in the bedroom. To reduce these pesky critters, anyone with allergies should regularly wash bedding at high temperatures and keep their home dust-free.


Keep pets out of the bedroom

As much as everyone loves a cozy night cuddling with their pet, this can seriously impact quality of sleep. If you suffer from pet allergies, keep pets off the bed and wash your hands after playing with your furry friend.


Monitor temperature and humidity

Moist environments are especially susceptible to mold, which is a known cause of allergic reactions. If you live in a humid climate, regulate your home with a dehumidifier. It is recommended to keep indoor humidity below 50%.


Use hypoallergenic products

Household items like laundry detergent, fabric freshening spray, and cleaning products can cause allergy symptoms. Try out some hypoallergenic options to see if you notice a difference.


Shower before bed

You might be dragging in environmental allergens like pollen without even knowing it. By changing clothes and showering before bed, it’s possible to remove some of those allergens, particularly in your hair, and have a more peaceful night’s rest.


One of the most common treatments is over-the-counter decongestants, which soothe the symptoms but don't address the problem at the source. Decongestants lose effectiveness after a few days, so they're not recommended for long-term use, which most allergy sufferers need.

Plus, if used as a topical nasal decongestant spray, there is a rebound effect after 4 days of use that makes nasal congestion worse than beforehand. Oral decongestants raise your blood pressure and dry and thicken the viscosity of nose, sinus, and throat secretions, resulting in more irritation and a higher risk for infections.

These products might help in the short term if used sparingly, but people dealing with inhalant allergies will not eliminate their symptoms. In most cases, immunotherapy with sublingual allergy drops is the better solution.


Many patients will not find relief from only routine changes or over-the-counter decongestants. People that suffer from more severe allergies need to attack their problem using safe, tested treatments.

Immunotherapy is not only the most trusted, but also the only permanent solution that desensitizes you to your allergies. After completing allergy testing, immunotherapy can be initiated to drastically decrease your symptoms permanently over time and prevent the future expectation of allergy progression. The easiest and safest immunotherapy option is sublingual allergy drops you can simply do from the comfort of your home.


Sleep is a huge factor in health and wellbeing. If your quality of sleep is affected by allergies, know that there are solutions. Whatever the treatment option, allergy testing is crucial to determine the source of any allergies.