My son and younger daughter are with me for a few weeks while their Mom travels with our oldest, and it’s been an interesting time. They’re fabulous and terrific company – as always – but my son’s sleep patterns have been increasingly affected by allergies, to the point where we had four nights in a row where he didn’t get to sleep until after 10pm. Not good when we’re trying to get to school and get him to be thinking and awake!
Night after night, I’d listen to him sniffling, kicking, and just having a hard time, and though I could correlate the increase in allergic symptoms with him laying down, it never dawned on me that it could be the pillow that was causing the problem.
Last night I sent out a message on Twitter: “fourth night in a row my son is having allergy issues. I suspect his new pet rat.” (I’m @DaveTaylor if you want to connect there!)
Through the lucky happen chance of Twitter, one of the responses I received was from @Jamesd78, who responded: “@DaveTaylor as a lifelong allergy sufferer I can tell you that if his allergies act up at bed time it’s possible that it’s his pillow. Srsly”
Those words were like some sort of epiphany.
It’s possible that it’s his pillow.
Ah, yeah, that’s exactly what the problem must be. I had suspected his bedding for a while and when he was having particularly tough evenings, I’d put a clean towel over the pillow, but this time I took it to heart and determined that today I’d go and buy him a new anti-allergy pillow and see what happened.
A visit to Bed, Bath & Beyond revealed that they had quite a range of anti-allergy pillowcases ranging from about $10 to $30 or more per-case. Since they are made out of cottons and synthetic materials, I don’t quite get what makes them anti-allergy (an extraordinarily tight weave?) but for $19.99 it was worth a test, so I bought one, instead of a new pillow.
I didn’t get either of these, but here are two example products in this segment:
Tonight we unveiled the new pillow case, and I pulled off an existing pillowcase off one of his favorite pillows, replacing it with the boring white anti-allergy case…
…and he fell straight asleep without a single sniffle!
It’s like some sort of miracle. Really, we’ve been suffering through him being cooperative, tired, and then spinning up and getting sniffly and cranky as he goes to bed for such a long time that I couldn’t actually believe how quickly he passed out this evening. Maybe five minutes after his head hit the pillow.
Y’know that there’s an adage about it “taking a village to raise a child”? In this instance I feel like the village is a digital one and I am so, so thankful that I have been sharing some of this via Twitter. James D., thank you so much for giving me a way to fight the bedtime allergies, an easy way that is astonishingly effective.
The challenge will be to keep the pillowcase allergen free on the outside too. For that, I am planning on keeping the pillow on a high shelf in the closet when he’s not in bed: we have a cat and the dander could be a factor (though when he lays on the couch he doesn’t get sniffly, so perhaps that’s a red herring?)
Anyway, if you or your child is suffering from nighttime allergies or evening asthma attacks, I highly encourage you to check out one of these f.a.b. pillow cases. It might be just what Dr. Sandman ordered.