It’s that time of year again. Your eyes are itchy and watery, you nose is running and you can’t stop sneezing. Nighttime has its own issues—suddenly you can’t breathe through your congested nose and you are coughing. You wake up even more tired and unprepared for the next wave of allergens to hit you.
While you might limit your time outdoors during allergy season, did you know that these allergens are often lurking in your bedroom? Dust mites, pollen, pet dander and mold are common allergens that can be found in your room and even in your bed.
Follow these 10 tips to reduce allergens in your bedroom and start breathing, and sleeping, a little easier.
Tip 1: Vacuum Regularly
Vacuum with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and dust your room with a damp or electro-static cloth to pick up dust at least once a week.
Tip 2: Reduce Bedroom Carpet and Curtains
If possible, remove all carpeting and curtains from your room. This will help eliminate areas for dust, dust mites and pollen to accumulate.
Tip 3: Keep Windows Shut
Keep your windows closed—consider using an air conditioner in your home if it becomes too warm. If you wish to keep your windows open, close them from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. when pollen is usually emitted.
Tip 4: Shower Before Bed
Shower right before getting into bed. This will remove any pollen that may have accumulated in your hair or on your skin.
Tip 5: Use Hot Water
Use hot water when doing your laundry (at least 130°F). Washing in hot water is more effective in removing pollen and dust mites from your bedding and clothes. Wash sheets and pillowcases once a week.
Tip 6: Low Humidty
Keep humidity levels low. Allergens thrive in higher humidity, so keep levels below 50 percent to reduce your symptoms.
Tip 7: Replace Your Mattress
Have an old mattress and pillow? If you are sleeping on a mattress that is over 10 years old, it is time to get a new one. Refresh your pillow every few years to keep your sleep space allergen-free.
Tip 8: Protect Your Bed
Invest in a quality mattress protector encasements and pillow covers to prevent allergens and dust mites from entering your mattress and pillows.
Tip 9: Ban Fido and Fluffy
Ban pets from your bedroom (and your bed!). Even if you aren’t allergic to your four-legged friend, there is a good chance Fido and Fluffy have picked up pollen in their fur that can flair up your allergies
Tip 10: Change Air Filters
Regularly change your air filters. Invest in HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters that will minimize the dust and allergens in your home.