Oct 8, 2021
Allergies and Fatigue: What's the Connection?
5 minute read
As if dealing with seasonal allergies wasn’t tough enough already, there are several different ways that all those allergens can make you feel exhausted. And, of course, when you’re tired, it’s even harder to deal with your symptoms. A runny nose, constant sneezes, and a persistent sore throat are irritating even when you’re feeling energized – it’s much tougher when you’re tired!
There are three main reasons why your allergies might be sapping your energy – by disrupting your sleep, by weakening your immune system, and by stressing you out. Let’s walk through them one by one.
Allergies Can Tire You Out by Stealing Your Sleep
When your seasonal allergies are at their worst, you’re likely to have a hard time sleeping. Staying up all night coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose can make it nearly impossible to function the next day, too.
To make things worse, lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, leaving you even more susceptible to allergies in the daytime. So, what can be done to get the relief – and the rest – that you need? Here are a few tips:
If your allergies are stealing your sleep, keep your home as clean as possible. Indoor allergens can trigger symptoms in the middle of the night, no matter what time of year it is. To minimize the risk of a sleepless night, do whatever you can to keep your living space free of allergy triggers.
Vacuum regularly to get dust, dander, pollen, and more out of floors, carpets, curtains, and other surfaces.
Use a HEPA air purifier to catch and trap allergens, getting them out of the air in your home.
Make sure your bed sheets are free of dust mites, especially if they’re a known allergy trigger for you.
That nighttime breeze might feel good, but it’s not doing you any favors. Leaving the window open at night feels great on a spring or summer night, but it leaves you vulnerable to airborne allergens. Keeping your windows closed – even when it’s nice out – can seal up your home, protecting it from invasion by pollen and other allergy triggers.
Your Allergies Might Sap Your Energy by Wearing Out Your Immune System
Allergy symptoms pop up when your immune system overreacts to foreign substances. That immune response takes a lot of energy to maintain, which can leave you worn out. In addition, all of that energy going to releasing histamines can sap your immune system of its resources, making you more susceptible to getting sick.
If you suspect that your allergies are weakening your immune system and, as a result, making you tired, here’s what you can do.
Give your immune system the nutrients that it needs. To keep functioning, your immune system needs plenty of vitamins and minerals – vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc, to name just a few. You can get these nutrients from your diet, but taking supplements can be a big help as well.
Get as much high-quality sleep as you can. Your body runs best when it’s well-rested. If you are feeling worn out and suffering from allergy symptoms, it may mean that you just need to get more sleep each night. When your immune system is on overdrive, you may even need extra rest to wake up in the morning feeling refreshed.
Allergies Can Make You Feel Fatigued by Stressing You Out
Let’s face it – allergies are stressful.
Your allergy symptoms disrupt your daily life, distract you from work and relationships, and make you feel awful. That’s more than enough to make anyone feel stressed out! And, as you can imagine, all that stress definitely isn’t giving you extra energy. In fact, adding stress into the mix alongside allergies and lack of sleep is a recipe for total exhaustion.
In addition, the connection between stress, allergies, and fatigue goes both ways – stress can make your allergies worse, and allergies can stress you out more. Here’s how:
Stress can weaken your immune system, leaving you more susceptible to allergy symptoms. When you’re stressed, your body increases its production of cortisol and other hormones. These chemicals can trigger an inflammatory response and burn out your immune system over time, leaving you more vulnerable to sickness and, of course, allergies.
Allergy-related stress can make it hard to sleep, which can leave you exhausted in the morning. If your allergies are leaving you tossing, turning, and totally stressed out, you’re likely to have trouble staying awake when the morning comes. And let’s be real – your allergy symptoms can definitely be discouraging enough to keep you up at night!
Stress can make you forget to take your allergy meds. If you’re feeling stressed out, you’re more likely to lose track of your daily tasks and habits, including taking allergy medication. As a result, you might end up feeling worn out and more susceptible to symptoms than usual.
How To Be Free From Allergy-Related Fatigue
If your allergies are making you feel exhausted, it’s time to get some relief. One of our experienced allergists can walk you through the process of diagnosing and treating your allergies, then get you started with an at-home testing kit. From there, you’re on your way to feeling so much better!
Once your test results are in, your personal allergist will make treatment recommendations based on your specific allergy triggers. With Cleared, it’s never a “one-pill-fits-all” treatment – you’ll get advice and medication recommendations that are tailor-made to fit your needs.
Our treatment options include immunotherapy, which gets your immune system used to your allergy triggers over time in addition to standard relief medications like antihistamines. We’ve also got everything your immune system needs for immune support in the form of delicious lozenges.
Schedule an online consultation with an allergist to get started with diagnosis and treatment whenever you’re ready.
Allergy-proof your home | Mayo Clinic
Nutrition and Immunity | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health
Is stress making your allergy symptoms worse? | Harvard Health
Dr. Payel Gupta
Medically reviewed by Dr. Payel Gupta
What Is an Allergy Headache and How To Treat It
Can You Develop Gluten Intolerance?
Can You Sneeze In Your Sleep?
Ticks That Cause Meat Allergy: What You Should Know
Healthy habits start here
Sign up to receive exclusive offers and ongoing advice