Allergies Can Contribute to Your Feeling Tired

Allergies can contribute to daytime fatigue in several different ways. Allergies can cause congestion, by causing inflammation and swelling of the mucous membranes which line your sinuses, nose, and respiratory passages. This swelling narrows the airways making it difficult to breathe, especially when you’re lying down.  This can make it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

To make matters worse, year round indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold and pet dander, are commonly found in the bedroom.  Disruption of one’s sleep can be very serious; daytime tiredness can lead to irritability, decreased productivity, memory problems and depression.

The first step to sleeping better is to identify your allergens.  To do so, your doctor will assess your symptoms, examine you, and perform a painless 10 minute prick test on your arms. He or she may also order additional blood tests.

Once your allergens are identified, you should try to minimize your exposure to them. Your bedroom should be kept clean and you should sleep with a Hepafilter to reduce allergens in your bedroom.  If you are allergic to a pet, that pet should be kept out of your bedroom.  You can sleep with nasal strips to help open up your nasal passages and use nasal sprays.  Drink a lot of water, as being well hydrated helps to thin your mucous secretions. You should not take antihistamines by mouth, as they dry you out. Some antihistamines also stimulate you, which would not be desirable at bedtime, while others make you feel tired, which is not desirable during the day. Lastly, you can be desensitized using immunotherapy, either in the form of weekly allergy shots, or pills or drops placed under your tongue (sublingual immunotherapy or SLIT).