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Hay fever and Sleep – what you can do!



By Giles Watkins, Consultant, Coach and Author of 'Positive Sleep: A holistic approach to resolve sleep issues and transform your life.'


I am often asked if there is any special advice for people with regards to sleep and hay fever, indeed in regard to sleep and the summer generally. Whilst there are a few pieces of advice that become more critical during hotter weather and longer days, many of the tips I share are also just as valid the rest of the year, and worth acting upon if you are not getting the sleep you want.


So here are five tips – or perhaps more accurately groups of tips – to help.


Tip 1

A regular bedtime and wake up time is one of the keys to good sleep. As days get longer & nights shorter, black-out curtains are one route to a fuller night’s sleep. However, a cheaper option for those with roller blinds is simply to instal plastic runners on either side of the blinds that can keep the sun out. I recently organised this for my teenage son and his sleep has improved dramatically.


Tip 2

Room temperature is another sleep disrupter for many. Ways to keep your room cool include:

  • Keeping the blinds or curtains drawn during the day so the room does not warm up during daytime

  • Running fans during the day and /or at night. Fitting a timer to the electric socket can also help regulate the fan’s use and control electricity usage.

Some mattress protectors can be fantastic at reducing the temperature in bed. I am a sleep consultant for Sussex Beds and they stock a great range that does exactly that.


Tip 3

To address the hay fever issue specifically requires limiting the impact of pollen on your sleep. One way to do this is simply to put an extra, loose sheet over your duvet by day. This will keep pollen off the bed and can be removed at night.


Tip 4

Other tips to keep that pollen away include washing your hands, face and hair before bed to cleanse of any pollen collected in the day, plus also putting something – Vaseline or similar – below your nostrils to trap pollen.


Tip 5

Antihistamine tablets a good thirty minutes before bed help many people. Add to this a teaspoon of magnesium powder about an hour before bedtime and you should really see the benefits from a sleep perspective too.


Meet Giles Watkins, one of our esteemed Well-Experts who as a Director of Tinderbox management consultancy, brings over 35 years of global business and general management experience with Shell, McKinsey, Fosroc, Coats PLC and Vistage. Giles now focus the majority of his time on promoting Positive Sleep, primarily with leaders and organisations. Giles has featured in Psychreg Journal, Employer News and Elite Business Magazine among others plus multiple podcasts to promote his book, Positive Sleep: A Holistic Approach to Resolve Sleep Issues and Transform Your Life (LID Publishing, 2019). Giles is also an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD Magazine, a Sleep Consultant for Sussex Beds and has recently worked with clients such as Santander, Ooni, Google Singapore and the Gstaad Yacht Club to support their wellbeing programmes. To find out more about Giles click here.

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