Do You Typically Wake Up With A
Stuffy Nose Or Sneeze In Your Sleep?

You’re not alone. More than 400 million people globally suffer from allergic rhinitis or allergies caused by airborne allergens. And in the U.S., it’s estimated that 10% to 30% of adults and 40% of children are allergy sufferers.

Since allergies and deep sleep are closely connected, it is vital to find ways to mitigate nighttime allergy symptoms. Whether you experience an allergic reaction due to dust mites, pollen, or other allergens, creating the right sleeping environment is essential to avoiding a reaction.

One of the most effective ways to enhance your sleeping environment is to choose an allergy-friendly mattress. Sleeping on the right mattress, and taking other steps to optimize your sleep, can help you experience all the benefits of a good night’s rest.

If allergies are hindering you from getting uninterrupted sleep, read on to find out how you, too, can experience deep, regenerative sleep.

How Allergies Affect Regenerative Sleep

Regenerative sleep is a natural biological process through which your body heals and repairs itself on a cellular level — all while you’re sleeping. It happens naturally and, during this time, your body not only repairs but also builds bones and muscles, all while strengthening the immune system. 

Our sleep consists of four different sleeping stages divided into two main phases: 

  • Non-REM sleep happens first and consists of three stages. The last two stages, light sleep and deep sleep, make it difficult to wake up. During this deep sleep stage, our body releases growth hormones, helping the cell regeneration process. 
  • REM sleep, the stage during which our eyes move, happens an hour or so after falling asleep. No visual information is sent to the brain, but we typically dream during this stage. It’s an important sleeping stage associated with learning and protein production. 

During the night, you typically go through these different sleeping cycles with varying brain chemicals released to coordinate rest and recovery. As the night progresses, you spend more time in REM sleep and less in the deep sleep stage. This is why getting deep sleep is critical; to make the most of its regenerative benefits.

Benefits of deep sleep range from better memory consolidation to muscle building and reduced mental fatigue. Such deep, regenerative sleep resets you for the next day full of activities. 

But suppose this regular, nightly process is interrupted due to external reasons — like allergies. If these allergy symptoms are consistently creating disruptive sleeping environment, the body begins to slowly experience adverse symptoms, both physical and mental. 

Allergy sufferers often struggle to get a good night’s rest each night. But because allergies and quality sleep are closely connected, it’s even harder to break the cycle of poor-quality sleep.

One study points out that only 17% of patients who suffer from allergies get a good’s night’s sleep. There’s also a link between inadequate sleep, a surge of allergy symptoms, and stress levels. 

In essence, allergy symptoms get worse without restful, deep sleep. At the same time, poor sleep can be triggered by allergy symptoms. And that makes the bidirectional relationship between sleep and allergy symptoms a vicious cycle that you, the sleeper, can become tangled up in.

Allergies & Sleeping Quality

Allergic reactions interfere with normal, restorative sleep. Since allergies create nasal congestion, you can experience dry mouth or blockage in your airways. That’s why allergies are often connected to sleep apnea, with the signature symptom being interruptions in sleeping patterns throughout the night.

You can make simple lifestyle changes such as trying different sleeping positions to avoid sleep apnea. But to get quality sleep, your mattress choice matters too.

If you suffer from sleep apnea, learn more about getting optimized oxygen and restorative sleep here. It’s important to keep in mind that the quality of your sleep matters as much as the quantity you get.

Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep is great, but getting quality sleep during those hours is even better because disrupting your body’s repair process trickles down into several related issues like: fatigue, brain fog, trouble concentrating, hormonal issues, poor gut health, and memory issues.

Unsurprisingly, allergy sufferers do not get to experience high-quality sleep often because their issues with breathing or constant sinus issues can cause difficulty falling asleep and then staying asleep. Now, consistent lack of quality sleep impacts your immune system. And your immune system, in response, triggers your allergic reactions in a never ending cycle that you’ll eventually need to address.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common allergens to help you better understand these triggers.

Dust Mites

Allergic reactions to dust mites are common. Often found in high numbers in mattresses and pillows, dust mites feed on organic matter such as dead skin cells, absorb water from the humidity in their surroundings, and leave dust mite feces behind. 

People who react to these pests are allergic to the proteins from the dust mite feces, urine, or decaying bodies. If you’re allergic to dust mites, when you inhale these proteins in airborne dust, they can cause inflammation of your nasal passageways.

These microscopic bugs like warm, humid indoor spaces, which is why they tend to live on and within the coils of regular mattresses and in bedding fibers such as cotton batting or wool. So if your allergy symptoms worsen at night, it could be because you simply have more dust mites in your bedroom. 

Some of the typical allergic symptoms associated with dust mites include: 

  • Itching 
  • Coughing 
  • Nose stuffiness
  • Sneezing 
  • Watery eyes
  • Sleeping issues due to coughing or shortness of breath

The severity of dust mite allergies can vary from mild and severe and also affect pre-existing conditions. Asthma sufferers, for example, also can potentially have a dust mite allergy, significantly contributing to interrupted sleep cycles. Dust mites might even contribute to asthma. 

Successfully managing a dust mite allergy requires effort, from regularly replacing accessories that quickly become dusty to choosing hypoallergenic mattresses to prevent dust mites.


Millions of people suffer from pollen allergies, making it one of the most common triggers of allergic rhinitis. 

Pollen can travel anywhere. Anytime you go outside, pollen particles can land on your hair, clothes, skin — you name it. If you don’t take a shower or remove your clothes, the same pollen can quickly end up on your bed. 

Pollen can also enter your room when you leave your bedroom window open, which makes getting fresh air a challenge for people who have pollen-triggered allergies and asthma.

Most pollen allergies tend to be seasonal. When it’s peak allergy season, we see an increase in symptoms throughout the night and your sleep worsens. 

Pet Dander

People sharing their beds with pets tend to be more vulnerable to nighttime allergy flairs. That’s why it’s best to get your pet its own bed. Although pet allergies are not seasonal, different pets can cause different levels of reactions.

For example, a hairless cat might not cause the same allergic reaction as a Labrador Retriever — which, no matter how cute, has a double coat that causes lots of shedding, triggering human allergies. 

It’s also recommended to give frequent baths to your pet using a non-allergenic shampoo. Doing this will help to reduce the indoor pet dander levels.

But those suffering from this kind of allergy don’t need exposure to the animal for an allergic reaction to occur. 

Similar to pollen, pet dander can travel anywhere. It can land on different surfaces and stay there for days, making it all the way to your bedroom. It also easily sticks to clothing and bedding. As a result, you can experience day-long symptoms. 

Indoor Mold

Many people are also allergic to mold and mildew. Mold spores grow in a cold and damp environment. As soon as you spot indoor mold, you should clean it right away to prevent it from spreading further, as that can cause more allergic reactions. 

Being allergic to mold can interrupt your sleep, especially if your bedroom happens to be close to a bathroom. 

Check for mold around shower curtains, sinks, dish racks, carpets, and books, especially if you keep these in your bedroom. You should also make sure your bathroom is well ventilated. This will help keep your mold allergic reactions at bay. 

The Negative Effects of Allergies on Sleep

The problem with nighttime allergies is that they do far more than trigger uncomfortable allergy symptoms.

If you don’t switch to an allergy-free mattress and take other measures to minimize allergens in your sleeping space, you could experience several negative consequences that harm your physical and mental well-being. In the long term, the effects can be dramatic. 

Here’s a look at some of those potential negative effects.


Stress and Anxiety

Adults who sleep less than the recommended average of eight hours per night also tend to have higher stress levels than those who lock in a full sleeping cycle each night.

People suffering from sleep problems often report feeling anxious too. This effect occurs because of a biological process. When you do not sleep well, your body releases more cortisol, a hormone responsible for helping regulate your body’s response to stress.

When cortisol levels remain high, you’re likely to experience chronic feelings of anxiety.

Then, if you are feeling anxious, it makes you less likely to fall asleep but also less likely to stay asleep. This creates a cycle of sleeplessness, with greater anxiety in the mix leading to poorer quality sleep.


Cognitive Impairment: Lack of Deep Sleep

Being deprived of deep sleep means that your body doesn’t have the chance to the third stage of non-REM sleep. And this is the critical point directly responsible for restoring cognitive capacity, including memory consolidation, learning new skills, and so much more. 

So when allergies disrupt your sleep, they’re also interrupting this key restorative sleeping stage. 

Essentially, when we do not sleep enough to get to the last cycle of the non-REM sleep due to allergens, we deprive ourselves of a nightly period of restoration, which impacts memory, mood, and judgment.

Poor Muscle Recovery

Quality of sleep has a direct impact on muscle recovery. The better your sleep’s quality, the stronger your muscle repair and recovery process — whether that’s simply from everyday wear and tear or more targeted, strenuous physical activities. 

During deep, regenerative sleep, your body releases protein-building amino acids, which are then pushed into the bloodstream to aid muscle recovery. This chemical process also helps increase muscle mass over time for fitness enthusiasts and athletes for whom strength, endurance, and performance really matter. 

So, any disruptions during this sleeping cycle directly affect how efficiently your body can repair and restore muscles. 

After a night of poor sleep, it’s not a surprise that, besides feeling unrested, you may also be facing continuous muscle pain or soreness. And it’s a no-win situation for active individuals as well. They tend to see less muscle mass growth and experience poor muscle recovery from potential physical injuries. 

Sleep Disorders: Insomnia

Nasal congestion due to allergies also worsen at night. That’s why having a runny nose can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Allergies often cause nasal congestion, which then leads to interrupted sleep, and even insomnia. Long term, it could snowball into a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for you to sleep well.

Sleep Apnea

Those suffering from allergies are also more likely to develop sleep-related breathing disorders. This includes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). 

Obstructive sleep apnea is a common breathing disorder in which the airway collapses while sleeping, causing interrupted sleep. Central sleep apnea is a condition in which respiratory muscles are not active when the brain sends signals. 

Typical symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, snoring, gasping, and difficulty paying attention when awake. Children who suffer from sleep apnea are severely impacted. 


Snoring during sleep happens when we have obstructed airways or other causes that make it so the muscles in the roof of the mouth, tongue, and throat can’t relax. There are types of snoring — primary, chronic, and habitual. You end up snoring when you have congestion due to an allergic reaction.

3 Benefits of Regenerative Sleep for
Allergy Sufferers

If you flip the coin and look at the other side of the sleep-allergy connection, you can see that you gain benefits from quality, uninterrupted sleep. So let’s look at what they are and how you can get quality sleep even if you suffer from allergies. 

1. Improved Sleep Quality with Less Frequent Allergy Symptoms

Allergies impact not only your sleep but also your body’s ability to stay asleep. You tend to wake up earlier in the night, not getting to the REM sleeping stage and experiencing the restorative sleep benefits that come with it.

Getting deeper sleep enables you to develop a stronger immune system.

2. Better Mental Performance

Quality sleep means better memory and mental performance. You allow your body and mind to enter the REM stage of sleep. This is when you experience restorative sleep, something you need for memory consolidation, concentration, learning performance, and a stable mood. 

3. Optimal Physical Performance

Better physical performance comes from reaching (and remaining in) deeper sleeping stages. Because sleep is when the body repairs itself, getting enough good quality sleep can boost athletic performance. Studies have found that sleeping more each night can improve your speed, accuracy, and reflexes. 

It is important to find the best mattress for allergies to achieve this deep, restorative sleep.

Ideally, your mattress allows you to maintain cleaner air in your bedroom so you’ll breathe in fewer airborne allergies. Generally, allergy sufferers should choose a mattress that doesn't harbor dust mites. For example, an innerspring or coil mattress on its own with many padding layers made of fibrous materials is typically a breeding ground for dust mites. 

A organic latex foam mattress like Essentia’s is the best defense against dust mites since latex is naturally anti-microbial, leaving no haven for allergens to relax or reside.

The resulting benefit is regenerative sleep that allows your body to release protein-building amino acids for a better next-day of physical activities and muscle recovery.

3 Steps to Regenerative Sleep for
Allergy Sufferers

To sleep better, even if you suffer from allergies, you can do the following:

1. Create The Right Sleeping

Getting optimal sleep means creating the right sleeping environment. The most restorative sleep happens in a quiet environment, with no light disruption and the right room temperature and noise control. 

But most importantly, you want a calm, pollen-free environment to ensure your allergies aren’t triggered. Since pollen levels increase during the night, we recommend closing the windows. 

To reduce indoor pollen, you can also use an air purifier. Make sure you choose an air filter to remove dust, smoke, pollen, odor, and bacteria. This way, you’ll have fewer sniffles and better sleep.

2. Choose the Best Pillow & Mattress

You want to eliminate any wool or fiber batting that may act as a nesting ground for dust mites. This means that dust mites can still live in your latex mattress if it has wool. 

Secondly, ensure that the latex proteins that cause allergies are removed from your latex foam mattress. That’s precisely what Dr.Robert G. Hamilton, Ph.D. and Director, Dermatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology (DACI) Reference Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine did when he tested Essentia mattresses for their allergy-friendly properties. 

What he found was a gamechanger. Essentially:

  • Essentia mattresses are impervious to dust mites, and do not have any wool or cotton batting that can harbor dust mites.
  • Dipped latex products release high levels of latex allergens
  • Essentia's mattresses don’t release “detectable levels of allergens”, as Essentia takes steps to remove the latex proteins that cause allergies. 

These findings are significant because they mean that, even if you sleep on a synthetic latex mattress, you could still face allergens or even develop a latex allergy later in life.

Ideally, you’re sleeping on a hypoallergenic mattress made from natural organic latex foam to mitigate the effects of everyday allergen exposure — including allergens related to latex itself!

Finally, consider incorporating a protective mattress cover as these sleep accessories create a layer of defense against everyday allergens.

Essentia is the Best Hypoallergenic Mattress

Essentia hypoallergenic mattresses mitigate the effects of your allergies and get better quality sleep.

Factor #1: Chemical-free Mattress 

The best mattress for allergies seeks to reduce the number of allergens in your bedroom. Essentia's allergy-friendly mattress is made of organic materials which are vital to reducing VOCs.

These components include: 

  • GOTS Certified Organic Cotton 
  • GOLS Certified Organic Latex

Using such natural, high-quality materials helps reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction. A mattress made of any of these materials, or a combination, diminishes your exposure to allergens, enabling you to sleep better at night. 

Essentia's latex beds are naturally dust-mite resistant — the mites are unable to live in the material like they typically can in innerspring mattresses or coil mattresses.

And if you suffer from latex allergies, you can rest assured that the way that Essentia's latex is processed makes it the best mattress for allergies. The process to produce an Essentia organic mattress removes allergenic proteins from the material, unlike the allergic reaction caused by latex products like gloves, boots, and other items.

Factor #2: Sleeping Position 

The way you sleep matters. A proper sleeping position helps with sinus drainage. Back sleepers suffer from more allergies as this sleeping position increases mucus build-up and sinus pressure. One way to mitigate these problems is to prop your head up with pillows or to use an adjustable foundation.

Side sleepers tend to suffer less than back and stomach sleepers. Side sleepers or combination sleepers who suffer from allergies and asthma can easily benefit from naturally hypoallergenic mattresses with plenty of support to improve their sleep and ensure sinus drainage.


Sleeping well is a vital part of staying healthy throughout your lifetime. The right hypoallergenic mattress can help you get quality sleep even if you suffer from allergies.

We can help you get the best mattress for restorative sleep — Essentia offers patented natural latex mattresses designed to mitigate everyday allergies and allow you to sleep without all the congestion, sneezing, and watery eyes. 

Find out how our natural latex foam mattresses can help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Explore our collection and choose the best memory foam mattress for uninterrupted, quality sleep.