Tips for getting sleep during allergy season

Spring brings sunshine and flowers and, for many people, allergies.

In addition to making days miserable, allergies also can interfere with a good night’s sleep.

To get the best sleep possible, note these natural allergy remedies recommended by Lissa Coffey, a lifestyle, relationship and wellness expert who is a spokeswoman for the Better Sleep Council, the consumer education arm of the International Sleep Products Association:

Shower before bed. This helps to wash off any allergens.

Keep bedroom windows closed.

Change sheets and pillowcases regularly.

Take a steam bath to help loosen congestion. This makes breathing easier.

Have a cup of hot tea (herbal tea, not caffeinated) or hot water with lemon, to loosen congestion.

Use a nasal saline rinse. This helps reduce swelling in the nasal passages and washes out any pollen that might be in the nose.

For those with pet allergies, keep pets off the bed, and if possible, out of the bedroom.

Encasements for mattresses and pillows offer protection against dust mites.

Check the heating and air-conditioning system. Make sure filters are clean.

Vacuum carpets and furniture often.

To add moisture to the air, consider using a humidifier. Make sure the water is changed frequently so that mold doesn’t grow.

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