Why are allergies worse at night?

Allergies are a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. They occur when the immune system overreacts to a substance that is normally harmless, such as pollen, dust, or pet dander. Allergies can cause a range of symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes. While allergies can occur at any time of the day, many people experience worse symptoms at night. In this article, we will explore the reasons why allergies tend to be worse at night.

1. Exposure to allergens during the day

One of the main reasons why allergies are worse at night is due to exposure to allergens during the day. Many people spend most of their day outside, where they are exposed to various allergens such as pollen, dust, and mold. These allergens can stick to their clothes, hair, and skin, and when they come back home, they bring these allergens with them. As a result, the allergens are present in their homes, and they continue to trigger allergy symptoms throughout the night.

2. Increase in indoor allergens

Apart from bringing outdoor allergens into the house, there are also indoor allergens that can worsen allergies at night. These include dust mites, pet dander, and mold, which are commonly found in homes. During the day, these allergens are disturbed by movement and air circulation, but at night, when the house is quiet and still, they can become more concentrated in the air. This can lead to a higher exposure to allergens and more severe allergy symptoms.

3. The body’s natural sleep cycle

The body’s natural sleep cycle can also contribute to worse allergies at night. Our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which helps to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation. Cortisol levels are highest in the morning and gradually decrease throughout the day, reaching their lowest point at night. This means that the body’s natural defenses against allergens are weaker at night, making it easier for allergens to trigger allergy symptoms.

4. Lying down for an extended period

When we lie down to sleep, our nasal passages become more congested, making it difficult for us to breathe through our nose. This can be especially problematic for people with allergies, as it can lead to snoring and mouth breathing, which can further aggravate allergy symptoms. Additionally, when we lie down, allergens that have settled on our pillows, sheets, and blankets can come into contact with our face and nose, causing a reaction.

5. Poor indoor air quality

Indoor air quality can also play a significant role in worsening allergies at night. Many people keep their windows closed at night, which can trap allergens inside the house. This, combined with poor ventilation, can lead to a buildup of allergens in the air, making it difficult for people with allergies to get a good night’s sleep.

6. Lack of distractions

During the day, we are often busy with work, school, or other activities, which can distract us from our allergy symptoms. However, at night, when we are trying to sleep, there are fewer distractions, and we are more aware of our symptoms. This can make allergies feel worse than they actually are.

In conclusion, allergies can be worse at night due to a combination of factors, including exposure to allergens during the day, an increase in indoor allergens, the body’s natural sleep cycle, lying down for an extended period, poor indoor air quality, and lack of distractions. If you suffer from allergies, it is essential to identify your triggers and take steps to reduce your exposure to them. This may include keeping your windows closed, using an air purifier, and regularly washing your bedding. If your symptoms persist, it is best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why are allergies worse at night?

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