In that case, you’re not alone.
Hay fever season starts around late February/early March in the UK, as tree pollen begins to fill the air. As tree pollen stops circulating, grass pollen season beings around mid May and continues into July, affecting the majority of hay fever sufferers. Of all pollens, 95% of people with hay fever are allergic to grass pollen, making the summer months particularly difficult.
But it doesn’t stop there. Towards the end of the peak grass pollen season, weed pollens are released and continue circulating through to the end of September.
Allergies can often be worst during the evening hours, as pollen that has been lifted into the air during the day begins to settle and lower to the ground as temperatures drop. Some varieties of flower also drop their pollen later in the day, causing pollen levels to rise in the late afternoon and evenings.
This can lead to misery for hay fever sufferers, not only coping with symptoms, but also losing sleep.
So what can you do to reduce your symptoms and improve your sleep during hay fever season?
- Keep your windows shut as much as possible, but especially first thing in the morning and in the late afternoons and evenings. If the house is getting too warm, try drawing the curtains.
- As soon as you get home for the evening, take a shower to wash off the pollen that has stuck to you during the day. A hot, steamy shower will also help to clear your sinuses.
- Reduce your stress. A study found that the increase in cortisol, the hormone associated with stress, worsens hay fever symptoms. Reducing your stress levels can help to reduce symptoms, meaning you’re more likely to get a restful night’s sleep.
- Keep your bedroom clean. Hoover and dust regularly and wash your sheets weekly or more. This will help to keep your bedroom allergen free. For the best pollen clean, invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- If you’re still suffering, see a pharmacist or your doctor. They will be able to assess your symptoms and recommend the best treatment. There are a range of treatments available for hay fever, depending on the symptoms you are experiencing and their severity.