Does Pollen Make You Tired?

Those who suffer from allergies are used to a wide range of bothersome symptoms. But in addition to everything else, does pollen make you tired, too? Some have noticed that when their allergies kick in, so does the desperate need to get some extra sleep. Here's what you need to know about pollen, allergies and sleepiness.

Does Pollen Make You Tired?

Yes if you are allergic to pollen, it does make you tired. Those who suffer from allergies often feel terrible. They have itchy and watery eyes, sneeze quite often, feel congested, and might even have stuffy ears. In addition to all of this, they might feel incredibly tired, too. But how could pollen make you tired? Here's what you should know:

1. It Tricks Your Brain

It's definitely true that pollen can make you tired, but how? The most obvious issue is that it convinces your brain that you really are tired because chronic inflammation occurs, when your immune system is working overtime for long period of time. In fact, fatigue is one of the most common yet most overlooked symptoms of serious allergies. The higher the pollen counts, the sleepier you might be.

2. It Disturbs Your Sleep

One of the reasons that you might find sleeping at night is more difficult is that pollen allergy makes it tough to breathe. It can be even tougher to breathe when you are suffering from inflammation and congestion. In addition, blockages can lead to obstructive sleep apnea, which makes you even more tired than just the pollen reaction alone.

3. Allergic Drugs May Make You Sleepy

Antihistamines, decongestants and other prescription drugs have a definite effect on your sleepiness. These medications can lead to feeling tired all the time, even though your allergy symptoms might be completely gone when you take them. So, when it comes to being tired, you are just switching from the pollen to the medication, but the fatigue is the same. In addition, when you do fall asleep, it's not nearly as satisfying as it should be, and you wake up feeling groggy.

How to Deal With Pollen-Induced Tiredness

Does pollen make you tired? The answer is a definite yes. But how can you combat the problem, especially when medications meant to relieve the symptoms might actually make you more tired than you were in the beginning? Here are ways that might help:

1. Get Away from Pollen

  • Check pollen counts and try to stay inside when they are too high outside.
  • Keep your windows and doors closed and use your air conditioning to limit indoor pollen count.
  • Turn off your attic fans.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen.
  • Go on vacation only to places where the pollen count is low, like the beach or the mountains in the wintertime.
  • Change your clothing when you come in from outside.
  • Shower as soon as you come into the house to remove the pollen from your hair.
  • Let someone else mow your grass and handle the landscaping.
  • When working outside, wear a N95-grade mask.
  • Look into immunotherapy shots.
  • Never use a clothesline to dry clothes and always use the dryer.
  • Keep your outdoor pets well brushed and never allow them to sleep in your bedroom.

2. Change Allergy Medication

Changing your allergy medication can help you dodge the sleepiness. Some newer medications such as Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec do not make you drowsy. Speak to your doctor about which ones might work best for you.

3. Develop Good Sleep Patterns

If pollen makes you tired, make sure that you do all you can to get the best night of sleep possible. Avoid alcoholic beverages right before bed, don't eat late at night, and avoid caffeine after five or so in the evening. Caffeine can keep you up, while alcohol can relax you too much and lead to breathing problems. Eating too late at night can cause stomach acid reflux, which can make you feel terrible.

4. Allergy Shot

If all else fails, consider allergy shots. These shots are given over time and serve to desensitize your body to the pollen that is bothering you. Does pollen make you too tired to really function properly? Then allergy shots might be the best way to ensure that your body can handle the pollen in the air without costing you a good night's sleep. 

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