The Best Ways to Improve Your Sleep Environment
If sleep disturbances regularly prevent you from getting the proper amount of shut-eye, you're not alone. In fact, 75 percent of adults experience sleep disruptions caused by allergy symptoms, trips to the restroom and temperature discomfort – and nearly a quarter say they rarely wake up feeling well-rested, according to a recent AllerEase® survey.
To improve your sleep environment, Dr. Neeta Ogden, a board-certified adult and pediatric allergy and asthma specialist, advises a three-pronged approach.
"My top recommendation for those suffering from respiratory congestion at night is to try a three-step plan: use zippered allergen barrier bed protectors, nasal saline spray, and remove allergens from your bedroom such as pets and carpets," says Dr. Ogden. "Simple changes can have a year-round impact on quality sleep and living."
Dr. Ogden also recommends addressing other common causes of sleep disruptions with the following tips.
• Wash bedding once per week, including comforters and duvet covers, to prevent household allergens from collecting in plush surfaces.
• Wash pillows monthly, or replace them every six months, if they are non-washable.
• Limit liquids and snacks close to bedtime to avoid overnight bathroom breaks.
• Identify optimal sleep temperature and adjust fan, heat or air-conditioning accordingly.