Warmer days, greener grass and leafy trees are all signs that summer is just around the corner but with research suggesting that 64% of people with hayfever suffer from the effects of what Boots UK experts have dubbed ‘Insneezia’ - the insomnia-esque effects of hayfever symptoms at night - poor quality of sleep can leave them unable to fully enjoy the summer months.
Boots Pharmacist, Tom Kallis explains: “We really want hayfever sufferers to be able to enjoy their summer so we’ve been looking into how we might be able to help. Our research found that 64% of people with hayfever say their sleep is disturbed by their symptoms which could mean as many as 11.5 million people in the UK. Most told us that this has an unfortunate impact on them the next day. 22% say it makes them irritable – often arguing with loved ones; 25% say they struggle at work; and 16% decline social invitations. It’s such a shame, when the rest of us are enjoying the finer weather and light nights, that some people are waking up feeling awful when there are steps they can take to keep their hayfever in check and get a good night’s sleep.”
So what causes night-time hayfever symptoms? Dr Peter Burt, Aerobiologist at the University of Greenwich explains: “Towards the end of the day, the temperature drops causing the pollen that has risen in the atmosphere during the day, to fall back to the ground. This explains why hayfever sufferers may experience a worsening of symptoms at night which can impact how they feel the next day.”
“But,” says Tom Kallis “There are some simple, practical things that people can do to help tackle their night-time hayfever symptoms to avoid ‘insneezia’.”
Five hacks to help reduce night-time hayfever symptoms…
- Keep the windows shut at night and first thing in the morning. Feeling hot? Pop your pillow case in the freezer before bedtime for a temporary cooling effect
- Wear sunglasses after sun down. Not because you’re a wannabe celeb but to help protect your eyes from pollen
- Hang laundry inside - even when the sun is shining - because you don’t want pollen-infused bedding
- Shower before you go to bed to help wash any stray pollen from your hair and skin which could aggravate your symptoms overnight
- Teeth cleaned, face washed and moisturised? Don’t forget a final smear of petroleum jelly under your nose which may help trap pollen
Five hacks to help tackle the impact of ‘insneezia’ the next day…
- Shower again!Showering in the morning helps to stimulate the circulatory system and ‘shock’ your body into a more awake state if you’ve lost out on shut-eye overnight
- Think twice before reaching for a coffee or chocolate based pick-me-up – both contain high levels of vasoactive amines, like histamine which can cause some sensitive individuals to suffer ‘allergy-like’ symptoms
- Lose the booze – Alcoholic drinks, such as wine and beer and cider can make it hard to sleep well anyway and these also contain histamine and other vasoactive amines.
- Chill two teaspoons in the fridge overnight then cup them over your eyes for 5 minutes to help combat any puffiness caused by lack of sleep
- Stay hydrated – to help replace lost fluids and help you feel more energised
Tom Kallis, Boots pharmacist adds that you can also get smart with your medication: “If you find that symptoms trouble you more at night than in the day, and you usually take your one-a-day anti-histamine in the morning, you may want to consider changing your routine to take it later in the day instead. You could also consider using a barrier nasal spray, which instead of containing medicine, creates a protective lining in the nasal passage. Talking to your local Boots pharmacist will help you find what’s suitable for you.”
Boots UK is hosting a Petal Party on 4th May to offer tips and advice on how to tackle ‘insneezia’.’ The event kicks off at 7pm with a DJ set from TOWIE favourite Lauren Pope who will warm up the crowd before more than three million petals shower from the sky.
- Ends –
Notes to editors:
Boots Pharmaceuticals Allergy Barrier Nasal Spray (now £4.45, was £6.75) is a non-drowsy nasal spray that delivers fast, effective protection against hayfever and other airborne allergens. The spray starts to work in just three minutes; helping to prevent the symptoms from starting. Suitable for adults including pregnant women and children over 18 months old.
Boots UK (boots.com), the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, is part of the Retail Pharmacy International Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (Nasdaq: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. With 2,510* stores in the UK, Boots UK is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare and offer innovative 'only at Boots' exclusive products such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value customers love. Created over 165 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.
*As at 31 August 2015 excluding equity method investments
1 Research on 2,080 hayfever sufferers conducted by Opinium Research, June 2015
2 Allergy UK (2016). 18 Million Hay Fever Sufferers in the UK. Available at: https://www.allergyuk.org/blog/blog/post/144-18-million-hay-fever-sufferers-in-the-uk Last accessed April 2016.