Allergies are commonly blamed for poor sleep. But does it really? Researchers from Japan found that allergies alone are not enough to cause sleep disturbances, but a combination of allergies and nasal congestion lead to increased reports of sleep difficulty.
This finding isn’t surprising, since any degree of nasal congestion can aggravate your soft palate or tongue to fall back more easily when you’re in deep sleep. Even if you’re completely normal, you’re more likely to toss and turn when your nose is stuffed up from a cold.
This also implies that the more narrow your jaws, the more susceptible you’ll be to any form of irritation or inflammation in the nose which can lead to nasal congestion. The more narrow the space between your upper molars, the less space there will be in your nasal cavity, and the more likely your septum will buckle (deviated nasal septum). Plus, the angle between your nasal septum and your nostrils will be more narrow, which makes it easier to cave in with even a little bit of internal nasal congestion.
If you suffer from allergies, and you have nasal congestion, it’s important to treat the congestion as well. Simple steps you can take include using Breathe Rite strips, nasal saline irrigation, and avoiding eating or drinking alcohol close to bedtime. If you must take an over-the-counter antihistamine, make sure that it includes the letter ” -D”, which stands for decongestant. Usually, it’ll have a variation of pseudoephedrine (the generic name for Sudafed). If pseudoephedrine makes you hyper or jittery, you can always use oxymetazoline (Afrin) very sparingly (not more than 3 days).
If these conservative options are not enough, then prescription medications can be used. As a last resort, surgery can sometimes help.
Do allergies cause you to sleep poorly?