The unusual trick that sleep experts say reduces night-time hay fever symptoms

The solution might just be hiding in your kitchen cabinets

White painted bedroom with wall art above bed and grey bedding
(Image credit: Future PLC / James French)

Sleep experts reveal an unusual trick that will help alleviate hay fever symptoms at night to help you sleep better – and spoiler alert, it actually works.

The onset of Spring comes with longer days and warmer weather, however, for some, it's also another reminder of the insufferable symptoms of hay fever that are to come. While buying the best air purifier is a surefire way to reduce allergens in the home, there are some easy tricks worth trying out too to add to your bedtime ritual.

One method, in particular, has piqued our interest – and it involves stuffing a sock with rice and using it as a facial compress.

White painted bedroom with wall art above bed and grey bedding

(Image credit: Future PLC / David Cleveland)

How a sock filled with rice can help alleviate hay fever symptoms

'It’s no secret that hay fever is synonymous with sleep disturbance, which leads to daytime fatigue, irritability, and decreased productivity,' explains Sammy Margo, sleep expert at Dreams.

As it's proven to be one of the factors that impact our sleep, it's important that those with hay fever take steps to manage their symptoms so as to not compromise on a good night's rest.

White painted broom with white bedding and greyscale cushions and heardboad

(Image credit: Future PLC / Anna Stathaki)

Sinus pressure is a common symptom of hay fever. 'To combat this, fill a clean sock with uncooked rice and microwave it for 30 seconds and place it on your forehead or over your eyes,' explains Sammy Margo at Dreams.

'Making sure that it is not too hot, sleeping with a sock filled with rice is a simple and effective method which may help to soothe sinus pressure caused by hay fever.'

Light grey painted bedroom with hanging wall art and light grey bedding with green throw

(Image credit: Future PLC / Anna Stathaki)

Although you can definitely use a warm flannel as a more conventional hot compress method, Dr Hana Patel, resident sleep expert at Time4Sleep assures that 'using a clean sock filled with rice and heated in the microwave is another useful method to create a hot compress that may last a little longer than other options and help to reduce and alleviate hay fever symptoms.'

Hayley Thistleton, sleep expert at SleepSeeker adds that 'the weight of the rice in the sock will provide slightly more relief through extra pressure.' In addition to hay fever, this method also helps ease headaches.

Neutral bedroom with big triple windows

(Image credit: Future PLC / James Merrell)

As a safety disclaimer, the temperature of the rice would depend on the amount of rice, the size of the sock and the wattage of the microwave, so anyone trying this hack should do so with caution!

Additionally, other things you can do to help alleviate hay fever symptoms before bedtime include taking a hot shower before bed, keeping your room clean, changing bed sheets often, and opting for anti-allergy bedding.

White bedroom with bed with green bedding and large windows and blinds

(Image credit: Future PLC / Julia Currie)

Ensuring you get a good night's sleep doesn't have to be difficult, regardless of how bad your allergies may get – it's just a matter of being a little niftier and adapting your bedtime routine accordingly.

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.