When you think about allergy symptoms, what probably comes to mind is sneezing, sniffling and itchy eyes. You might not think of sleeplessness or fatigue from allergies. And while everyone has a bad night’s sleep now and then, fatigue from disrupted sleep can sometimes point to more serious problems, like untreated or improperly treated allergies.
Find an allergist
When you are sniffling, sneezing and generally feeling poorly, you often don’t sleep well. But you might not make the connection between daytime allergy symptoms and a lack of sleep at night. And you might not realize that the combination can cause fatigue and other health issues. Also, an allergic reaction can release chemicals in your body that cause fatigue.
If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and unusual fatigue, you might have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). This condition affects about 10 percent of Americans. As many as 90 percent of people who have asthma also have EIB, but not everyone with EIB has allergy-related asthma. One way to get relief is by using an allergist-prescribed inhaler before you begin your workout routine. Breathing through your nose rather than your mouth during exercise can also help.
If you have allergies, you might use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to deal with symptoms. But this could cause more problems. OTC medications, such as decongestants and some antihistamines, can disrupt sleep. This can result in:
- Trouble making decisions
- Greater risk of car accidents
- Memory damage
- Reduced hand-eye coordination
- School and work injuries
- Restricted activities