Are you constantly waking up with a stuffy nose and feeling congested? If you don't have a cold or flu, you may be dealing with allergic or non-allergic rhinitis.
Rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages, which leads to congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and itching. Exposure to allergens or environmental triggers causes an overreaction to your immune system, which leads to rhinitis symptoms.
If you're waking up with a stuffy nose, you're not alone. According to this study, 74 percent of us are exposed to 3-6 allergens in our bedroom each night! Every time you roll over, move your blanket, or fluff up your pillow, you're sending fresh clouds of allergens into your airways.
But don't you worry—these triggers can easily be overcome. Let's jump into a list of common allergens and what you can do to clear your stuffy nose and wake up feeling energized.
1. Pollution or Wildfire Smoke
Environmental factors, like pollution and wildfire smoke, may be the culprit for why you're waking up with a stuffy nose. If you live in an urban area, carbon monoxide gasses may be entering your home and irritating your nasal passages. If you live in an area exposed to wildfires, wildfire smoke may be sneaking into your home—and these gasses and fine particles are extremely harmful to your respiratory system.
While closing windows may help, these environmental triggers can still get through a building's cracks and windows. While you can't change the air outside, you can control your indoor air quality. Change your central air filters every few months and get an air purifier to clean the air inside your home effectively—and finally get a good night's sleep!
Pollen is an allergen that pops up during the warmer months after all the trees and plants recover from winter hibernation. Wind can help it travel far and wide—and oftentimes, it can enter the home through windows or attach itself to clothing and hair.
You may have never suffered from allergies in the past, but if you recently moved, you may be exposed to new pollen that's triggering rhinitis and making you feel congested.
Routine cleaning and keeping windows and doors closed will help. But again, it's important to replace your home air filters to rid your home of any pollen that creeps in.
3. Dust and Dust Mites
Dust is sometimes hard to see, but it's one of the most common types of allergens we find in our homes. If you're waking up with a stuffy nose, perhaps all you need to do is ramp up your cleaning routine. Dust typically accumulates around carpets, beds, and other furniture. If your bedroom is carpeted, a thorough vacuum and washing your sheets is the first step to reducing this irritant.
Dust mites are not necessarily caused by dust, but they settle in dust or fabrics. These tiny creatures need moisture to live and feed on human skin cells (yuck)—which means your bed is the perfect home for them. You'll be exposed to dust mite allergens when there's movement in your bed. In addition to keeping your bed sheets clean, an air purifier will also help you control these allergens.
Yikes, mold is something we never want in our homes—especially if it's impacting our health and sleep. If areas of your home are susceptible to getting damp, the chances are high that mold is present.
Mold releases spores that can irritate your lungs and nasal passages. To keep your house—and respiratory health—in tip-top shape, it's crucial to get rid of it. How? By cleaning these areas with a bleach solution. To keep mold at bay, continue with regular cleaning and ensure there's good ventilation in these areas.
5. Pet Dander
While we love our furry friends—and enjoy a cuddle or two with them in bed—they may also be the reason why you're waking up with a stuffy nose. Pet dander and dry skin cling to their fur, so if you see a lot of pet hair in your bedroom, it's time to vacuum!
We also recommend regularly bathing and grooming your pets. This will also reduce pet dander. It's a win-win: they'll feel clean, and you'll wake up with a clear nose!
Improve Your Air Quality to Clear Up Congestion
Ultimately, you can reduce these triggers by improving your indoor air quality. Keeping your bedroom and home clean is a great start, but you should also invest in tools that monitor and improve your air quality for you. That's right—air quality monitors and purifiers just need to be turned on, and they'll start working their magic! You don't even have to lift a finger. (Well, you need to lift it once to turn it on.)
No more waking up with a stuffy nose. With Wynd's Air Quality Monitors and Purifiers, you can say goodbye to congestion and hello to restful nights of sleep.