If you’re sneezing, sniffling, or struggling with nasal stuffiness or other telltale signs of allergies, it’s time to take steps to rid your bedroom of allergens and other irritants. After all, your bedroom is where you probably spend the most time in your home—ideally, seven to nine hours per night—so it’s wise to make it an allergy-free zone. That way, you can breathe easier and avoid letting allergies affect your sleep. Here are five things to do.
- Keep the humidity in the right zone.
The ideal range is 30 to 50 percent; check yours with a hygrometer (which is available at drugstores). If the humidity in your bedroom is too high or too low, use a dehumidifier or a portable humidifier to create a sweet spot. Keep your bedroom windows closed to avoid inviting pollen in. Instead, use air conditioning during pollen season.
- Vacuum regularly.
Run a vacuum with a HEPA filter on the bedroom floor at least once a week if you have carpets or pets.Better yet, consider replacing carpeting with hardwood floors or area rugs that can be washed or dry-cleaned.
- Protect your bedding.
Use zippered, hypoallergenic, woven, microfiber casings for your mattress, box spring, and pillows to deter the growth of dust mites, molds, and mildew. Wash your sheets and pillowcases in hot water (130° F) once a week and dry them in a hot dryer; do the same for your duvet cover every other week. Don’t let pets lie on or sleep in your bed.
- Eliminate clutter.
All those books, magazines, lotions, and trinkets on your nightstand are dust magnets so get rid of them or at least put them in another room. The same goes for throw pillows— they’re a haven for dust mites and they’re often tossed on the floor, which adds to their dust collection.
- Shower before you go to bed.
After spending time outside, it’s important to rinse off so you don’t bring pollen or other allergens into bed with you. If you wash your hair right before bed, dry it with a blow-dryer to prevent the moisture from promoting mold growth in your pillow. If you prefer to air-dry your hair, move your shower time earlier.