A health expert says changing the foods you eat before bed could ward off nighttime hay fever symptoms and help you sleep better this spring.
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Although this week’s snow showers and cold weather would try to convince you otherwise, we are now well into the spring season and winter should be well behind us.
And as things hopefully begin to warm up a bit and plant life begins to bloom, those who suffer from hay fever are no doubt preparing to battle a season of sneezes – as well as nights whiteheads caused by symptoms that show up when it’s time for bed.
In fact, while the peak hay fever season doesn’t usually start until June, the tree pollen count in London in March 2022 is 422 PPM (pollen per mile), which is classed as high and could see hay fever sufferers experiencing symptoms. earlier this year.
But thanks to Parvinder Sagoo, Senior Pharmacist and Health Advisor for SimplyMedsOnline, sufferers now have a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep this spring, as he shared his top tips for keeping allergies at bay overnight. – including the odd way of changing your diet might help.
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Keep windows and doors closed
Although you may be tempted to let fresh air into your home when the weather warms up, you should be careful about this if you are prone to hay fever.
Opening your windows and doors will allow pollen particles to get inside and settle on your furniture and bedding, which could make your symptoms worse overnight.
Parvinder says closing your windows takes seconds and will help reduce allergens in your home.
Wash bedding once a week
Washing your duvet covers and pillowcases more often in the spring and summer will help remove pollen particles that settle on your sheets.
Parvinder recommends drying your sheets inside out so pollen doesn’t stick to them as they dry on the line, and also suggests washing at a higher temperature of 60 degrees to ensure all germs and pollen particles are eliminated.
Hot weather will probably mean you’ll be jumping in the shower more often anyway, but the health expert says you should still shower every time you go to bed with cool sheets.
Otherwise, you risk dumping pollen particles from your skin and hair onto your freshly laundered sheets.
Put petroleum jelly on your nose
Much like using a spray bottle to clear your nose during the cold winter season, hay fever sufferers can also use a petroleum jelly like petroleum jelly to try to keep pollen particles from ruining their sleep.
According to Parvinder, a small dab of Vaseline on the outside of each nostril could trap lingering pollen particles before they are inhaled – which will help avoid sneezing or itching at night.
Wear an eye mask
Provided the mask is completely clean, covering your eyes with a sleep mask could do wonders for your sleep if you are prone to itchy or watery eyes as a symptom of hay fever.
Parvinder says: “ Wearing an eye mask will create a barrier between your eyes and your pillowcase, as long as you keep your mask in a safe place, like a drawer, where it won’t get pollen particles.”
Change your diet
According to the health expert, some foods make hay fever symptoms worse, while others can give your body the boost it needs to fight off the sneezing and coughing associated with allergies.
Parvinder explains that you should stay away from dairy, starchy and sugary products just before bedtime if you are prone to hay fever, and increase your intake offoods like ginger, garlic, and chili peppers, as they are rich in vitamin C and quercetin, an antioxidant known to improve lung function.
The expert also advocates eating more honey, as he says: “ Honey is a natural remedy for hay fever because the bee pollen in honey can actually desensitize your body to other pollens. Therefore, increasing your daily honey intake should actually significantly reduce hay fever symptoms.
“I would recommend taking a scoop or two a day right out of the jar or adding it to your morning porridge or granola.”
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