Bedroom Allergens got you stuffy?

Do you wake each morning with puffy eyes and a stuffy nose? The cause could be a reaction to allergens in your bedroom. Allergies can cause physical symptoms like breathing issues that interfere with sleep and leave us feeling groggy the next day. Severe allergies require the help of a doctor; but there are things you can do to reduce the allergens in your home, especially in the bedroom, to help you get a good night's sleep.

Since a great portion of our life is spent in bed, selecting a hypoallergenic mattress system and pillows is an excellent place to start. We are constantly shedding dead skin cells that attract dust mites. The mites feed on the dead skin and leave droppings behind that can trigger allergies. Mattresses that are made from natural fibers like cotton provide additional food for the mites and encourage breeding. Mites do not like memory foam as a food source and that helps deters the growth of mite colonies. Selecting a Nature's Sleep gel memory foam bed is an excellent start in reducing bedroom allergens.

One of the best ways to deter mite activity in a mattress system and pillows is to use washable protective covers. A weekly trip through a hot water wash will take care of any mites. If you choose not to use a cover, vacuum the mattress and clean pillows regularly.

Bed linens should be changed and washed at least weekly. Since pillowcases are near our mouths and noses, changing pillowcases more often will lessen reactions to allergens. It takes hot water and frequent washing to keep the mites under control. Select hypoallergenic laundry products - detergents, fabric softeners, dryer sheets - that are free of dyes and fragrances, to reduce the chances of contact dermatitis, chemical sensitivity and asthma.

You may wish to take your laundry routine a step further and eliminate commercial products and make your own laundry products incorporating natural ingredients like distilled white vinegar and baking soda into your laundry routine.

It is just as important to clean your washer and dryer frequently to prevent and reduce indoor allergens. Washers, especially front load models, can harbor mold and mildew on gaskets and hoses. If you don't see the mold you will certainly smell it and if you don't clean the washer, your bed linens will have the same odor. Front load washers should be cleaned monthly and it is very important to limit the use of excess detergent and fabric softener that act as food for the mildew growth.

The key to keeping a clothes dryer from becoming an allergy-inducing machine is to clean it regularly. Vented dryers pull the moisture out of our clothes and disperse it outside. If the dryer venting is clogged, mildew can grow and worse, a fire may ignite. Clean the dryer lint trap after every load and check dryer vents often for your health and safety.

While we love them dearly, one last tip is to reduce pet dander in the bedroom that can cause allergy problems. Limit your pet's time in the bed or bathe it often.

Welcome to a clear-eyed, unstuffy morning!