Due to a combination of factors, it’s not uncommon to experience allergy flare-ups at night. Medications and changes in your cleaning routine may be able to help.

Allergies can cause symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing all day long. However, many people also experience symptoms at night that can interrupt sleep and leave them worn out the next day.

Factors such as sleeping position and indoor irritants such as pet dander, dust, and mold are common reasons allergies can feel worse at night.

Treating allergies and taking steps such as changing your sleep position and taking steps to remove allergens from your bedroom can help relieve nighttime symptoms.

It’s common to experience allergies that get worse at night. There are a few reasons this can happen. These include:

  • Sleeping position: Lying down causes the fluid in your nose and nasal passage to drip down your throat. When you have allergies, this can lead to irritation in your throat, coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms that can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
  • Dust and mold: It’s common to think of allergy triggers being found outdoors, but many allergens can be found inside bedrooms. Water damage can lead to mold growing inside walls, and many older homes have buildups of mold, dust, and other allergens in the walls or floorboards.
  • Humidifiers: Many people with allergies might find humidifiers helpful for dry sinuses. However, humidifiers can increase the production of dust in the air. Additionally, mold can grow in humidifier filters if they’re not changed regularly.
  • Indoor pollen: Pollen can follow you indoors. This can be in a pet’s fur, through open windows, or on clothing.
  • Your pet: Pet dander, the skin cells your pet sheds, is a common allergen. It can build up on your bedroom carpet and your blankets.

Finding the right allergy medication can be a good step for managing any allergy symptoms. You can also take steps to help relieve allergy symptoms that are worse at night. For instance, you can:

  • sleep with your windows closed (but make sure your bedroom is well-ventilated)
  • shower before bed
  • wear clean pajamas
  • try not using a humidifier at night (if you use a humidifier, clean and change the filter regularly)
  • remove carpeting from your bedroom (if you can’t remove carpeting, vacuum regularly)
  • use dust mite covers on your mattress and box spring
  • change your sheets at least once a week (it may also be helpful to use a clean pillowcase each night)
  • avoid items that collect dust and moisture, such as soft furniture
  • consider using an air purifier
  • avoid letting your pet sleep in your bed, or at least on your pillows

Beyond allergies, there are a lot of things that might be causing you to get poor sleep.

Learn more about ways to improve your sleep hygiene here.

What is the best position to sleep in with allergies?

Changing your sleeping position can be one of the best ways to relieve allergy symptoms at night. Laying flat tends to make allergies worse. It can help to elevate your head and upper body.

You can try using an extra pillow under your head and shoulders or purchasing a back wedge or body pillow.

Check out our picks for the best wedge pillows here.

When to talk with your doctor about allergies

Allergies can often be treated with home remedies or over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. However, this isn’t always true. Sometimes, it’s best to make a medical appointment. It’s best to see a medical professional about your allergies if:

  • OTC medications don’t help relieve your symptoms
  • OTC medications cause side effects that are difficult to manage
  • your symptoms are affecting your daily life
  • you have allergies year-round or most of the year
  • you have chronic sinus infections
  • you often experience symptoms such as wheezing or congestion
  • you experience fatigue or daytime sleepiness

A doctor can help you manage your allergies. They can run tests to find the specific allergens that are causing your symptoms, and they can develop a treatment plan for you.

Was this helpful?

It’s common for allergies to feel worse at night. This can happen because of in-home irritants such as mold, dust, and pet dander. Sleeping position is another common cause of nighttime allergy symptoms.

It can help to treat your allergies with OTC or prescription allergy medications and to take steps such as changing your sleeping position, closing your windows at night, changing the filters in your humidifier, vacuuming regularly, showering before bed, and not having your pet sleep in your bed.