Do Allergies Make You Tired? How to Manage Allergy Fatigue
We all know that seasonal allergies can make us feel pretty lousy – scratchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and other annoying symptoms. But do allergies make you tired as well? The answer is simple – yes!
Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies and the symptoms can be draining. If you're struggling with allergy fatigue and looking for ways to feel better, this blog post is here to help! Read on as we unpack the ways allergies can cause tiredness, plus actionable tips to protect and restore your energy levels.
How Allergies Impact Your Energy Levels
Allergies can play a huge role in how much energy you have throughout the day. Not only can symptoms disrupt your sleep, but they can also overwork your immune system, leading to even more fatigue. People with allergies also often experience brain fog which can make you feel even more lethargic. Understanding how allergies affect your energy is key for knowing what changes to make in order to feel your best.
Many people with seasonal allergies don't realize that their lack of energy is a direct result of poor sleep. Allergies can interfere with your ability to get restful and restorative sleep. And the problem is twofold: falling asleep and staying asleep.
It isn't exactly easy to fall asleep when you're coughing, wheezing, or sneezing. And if you manage to fall asleep, you're more likely to wake up throughout the night because of these symptoms. And the more disruptions to your restorative sleep cycles, the more exhausted you'll feel the next day.
An Overworked Immune System
When you suffer from seasonal allergies, your body works hard to counter the irritants. The symptoms you experience – a cascade of not-so-fun reactions in your body – is your immune system's way of defending you. But sometimes your immune system gets overworked as it tries to do its job, making you drag throughout the day.
Take hay fever, for example. When you inhale pollen particles, it stimulates mast cells to release histamine under the mucous membranes in your eyes and airways. This action all happens within minutes but can exhaust the energy reserves in your body.
Further, when allergies activate your body's immune response, it triggers the release of the hormone cortisol. Increased cortisol can cause a decrease in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling listless and exhausted.
Brain Fog and Drowsiness from Medications
Poor sleep, combined with the inflammation caused by allergies, can produce what is known as "brain fog." This feeling of hazy sluggishness makes it hard to concentrate, remember things, and do simple tasks.
If this wasn't enough, certain allergy medications - such as antihistamines - can further contribute to feelings of lethargy. Though they may help relieve symptoms, some allergy medications have a drowsiness effect that can actually make you more tired.
How to Fight Allergy Fatigue
Identify the Source
Identifying what you're allergic to is often the best starting point to alleviate your allergy fatigue. There are two types of medical tests that can help reveal the source of your allergies: skin tests and blood tests.
Skin tests use a small needle to inject an allergen into the skin to see if there is a reaction. Blood tests measure the amount of antibodies against certain allergens in your blood.
Once you know which allergens are causing your allergic reactions, you can focus on reducing your exposure and managing your symptoms.
For seasonal allergies, pollen is often the culprit. Local weather stations often provide helpful information on local pollen reports. On days with high pollen counts, staying indoors, keeping windows closed, and bathing and changing clothes after returning home can be effective strategies to reduce your pollen exposure.
Maintaining a clean and allergen-free home can also be crucial for keeping your allergies in check:
- Vacuum often to remove pollen that may have been tracked inside, as well as other common allergens like pet dander and dust mites, and regularly wipe down hard surfaces.
- Change air filters regularly, install an air purifier if possible, and keep humidity levels below 50% to discourage mold growth in damp areas.
- After washing clothes or linens, dry them immediately in the dryer instead of hanging outdoors to prevent attracting airborne pollens and molds.
- When gardening or lawn mowing, wear gloves and a breathable mask to protect from mold spores, pollens, and weeds.
Support Your Immune System
Supporting a healthy immune system is key for managing allergies. Making lifestyle and diet improvements to support your overall immune health can help you feel your best during allergy season.
Eating nutritious foods, managing stress, and exercising regularly can help to boost your body's natural defenses against allergens. It's also important to reduce excess sugar, increase water intake, incorporate foods rich in prebiotics and probiotics, and limit processed food. Certain vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and Zinc can also support your immune system to help your body manage the effects of allergens.
If you're looking for a daily (and delicious!) immune booster that's also uniquely targeted for seasonal allergy support, check out this Immune Ultra superblend drink. In addition to Vitamin C, Zinc and immunity superfoods like elderberry and adaptogenic mushrooms, it features Epicor® postbiotic which supports sinus & respiratory health, plus Quercetin which has anti-allergic functions that help support a healthy histamine response, and Wellmune® which can help alleviate nasal & eye symptoms from ragweed allergies.
Get Quality Sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is something everyone should strive for, but it can seem like an impossible task if you suffer from allergies. Luckily, there are several practical steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep, despite dealing with allergies.
First and foremost, make sure you are keeping your bedroom clean and free from allergens. Keep windows closed during peak pollen hours and consider investing in a HEPA air purifier to keep the air inside your room as clean as possible.
If you take an allergy medication that has a side effect of drowsiness, such as an antihistamine, taking it at night might work double duty to relieve your symptoms and help you sleep better. Benadryl is one such medication, but there are other brands available too. Keep in mind however, that some people can still remain alert after taking these medications. If this is the case for you, it might be best to try alternative options.
Taking a natural sleep aid can be a great way to ensure you get the best night's sleep possible during allergy season. This Sleep superblend combines nature's best sleep botanicals with soothing amino acids and 3 mg of Melatonin. It's uniquely formulated to work quickly and last long so that you fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up rested with no next-day grogginess.
Finally, practice good 'sleep hygiene,' such as keeping electronics out of the bedroom and having a calming bedtime ritual each night before bed. Making sure you have a comfortable environment to relax and unwind in before bed can also help with getting sound sleep. With these practical tips in mind, getting a peaceful night's sleep when suffering from allergies is possible!
Boost Energy, Naturally
On days when allergy fatigue gets the best of you, luckily there are those quick pick-me-ups to help you power through. Here are some ways to naturally boost your energy without adding additional strain to your body.
Start by avoiding ultra-caffeinated drinks and sugary snacks. The fast energy burst can be tempting when you're dragging, but the crash that follows will likely leave you feeling even worse. Instead, focus on adding in foods that are rich in essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. A banana, dark chocolate, almonds, or a hard boiled egg are all good options to provide instant energy for your body.
For most people, caffeine is the go-to when they need to power through energy slumps. But too much caffeine can come with its own problems, like jitters, anxiety, and insomnia. Many people forget there is another, natural alternative: nutritional supplements. With a combination of potent herbs, vitamins, and minerals, the right energy supplement can give you the boost you need without relying on high amounts of caffeine.
This Energy + Focus drink leverages the natural power of plants, amino acids, and B-vitamins to provide long-lasting, jitter-free energy without overwhelming your adrenals with an excessive amount of caffeine. And the naturally delicious forest berry flavor will make it the pick-me-up you won't want to put down!
Finally, don't forget to incorporate fun activities that can quickly recharge your batteries: listen to an upbeat song you love (and maybe dance like no one's watching!), go for a quick walk outdoors if it's a low pollen day, or even take an afternoon nap if your schedule permits. With these simple tips you can harness your natural energy even with allergies impacting your life.
The Bottom Line
Seasonal allergies can have a huge impact on the way you feel and your energy levels. But with a few simple changes to your lifestyle and diet, you can fight back against allergy fatigue.
Once you identify what's causing your allergies you can try to minimize exposure to those allergens. Then you can support your immune system, get plenty of quality restful sleep every night, and utilize natural energy remedies when you need that extra boost. Try some of these actionable tips to regain your energy and get back to living your best life, even during allergy season!