With the spring season, beautiful flowers start to bloom and the weather warms up. While the new foliage is gorgeous, it also brings new allergens as pollen is released into air from trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers. Spring allergies are a pain for many, causing allergy symptoms like itchy throats and stuffy noses. When it comes to bedtime, allergies and sleep don’t mix very well, especially if you use a CPAP. Coughing, sneezing, and sniffling do not lead to a good night’s sleep. Here are a few tips to survive Spring allergies with your CPAP.
How to Sleep with Allergies
If you’re using a CPAP with allergies, follow these four simple bedtime tips to sleep well through spring allergy season.
Wash Your Sheets
The key to a comfortable night is freshly cleaned sheets. While it’s advised to clean sheets on a regular basis throughout the year, during spring it’s especially important. Pollen and other allergens can collect on your sheets throughout the week, whether they’re from open windows or tracked in on your clothes. The slow buildup can leave you sleeping face-to-face with allergens all night. Wash your sheets as frequently as possible, especially if you live in a high-pollen area, or have a few sets you can rotate between to ensure your bedding is pollen-free. In addition, turn to scent-free detergents, as sometimes the harsh chemicals in many brands will exacerbate the problem. The more natural, the better.
Shower Before Bed
Just like you want to keep your bed clean, you’ll want to keep yourself clean. Throughout the day, your skin, hair, and clothes pick up pollen. Before bed, put your clothes from the day in the laundry hamper and take a quick rinse in the shower. Not only will this keep allergens from tracking into your bed, but a warm shower is also a great way to relax and unwind after a long day and the steam clears your sinuses. Focus on your hair and face, as rinsing those areas will keep pollen buildup from your eyes, nose, and mouth during the night.
Clean Your CPAP
In continuing the spring cleaning theme, make sure to clean your CPAP. Cleaning your CPAP equipment every day is important for the same reasons as the others: avoiding allergen buildup. A good first step to keeping your CPAP clean is washing your face before bed, but pollen and other allergens can still build up in your mask, tubing, and humidifier. Also, be sure to check your filter regularly to see if it needs to be cleaned or replaced. Your CPAP and allergies have the potential to form a dangerous relationship if not tended to properly, so clean your equipment from the get-go!
Use the Right Equipment
When it comes to allergies and sleep, nasal congestion is a big problem. If you’re using a CPAP with allergies, make sure you’re using the right equipment to alleviate stuffy noses. People tend to breathe through their mouth when sleeping, and for CPAP users, this might not be ideal if you use a nasal mask. Consider using a full-face mask during the spring season to make breathing a little easier when you’re stuffed up. CPAP users may also find relief from spring allergies with the help of a CPAP humidifier to keep moisture in the air and reduce dry nasal passages.
Figuring out how to sleep with allergies can be difficult, especially if you use a CPAP machine. Don’t let pollen get in the way of having a great night’s rest, and be sure to keep your sleeping space clean while using the right CPAP equipment for ultimate comfort.
Daniela has researched and published over 60 articles covering topics that aim to inform and empower people living with Sleep Apnea. As an avid reader and researcher, Daniela continues to grow her knowledge about Sleep Apnea and CPAP therapy everyday with the help of coworkers, CPAP.com customers, and members of other CPAP communities online.