How Food Allergies Affect Sleep
Few people associate sleep problems with food allergies, but the truth is that allergies do affect how a person feels during the day as well as at night. Sleep can be interrupted if you have symptoms of an allergy to peanuts, soy, dairy or other foods.
Some symptoms of food allergies are digestive problems, stuffy or runny nose and a rash. It is difficult to sleep soundly with any of these symptoms. If you eat peanut butter crackers or cookies with peanuts before bed and you have one of these allergic reactions, it can definitely take a toll on your sleep.
Allergy symptoms may affect you after you have gone to sleep
It is possible to have a food allergy and feel okay after eating. But, according to the Mayo Clinic, peanut allergies and allergies to other foods can cause digestive problems, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting.
You may feel okay before bed and wake up during the night with some of these symptoms. It would not be possible to fall back to sleep if you have stomach cramps that are severe, or if you need to get up because you have diarrhea or vomiting. The same is true if you have a runny or stuffy nose and wake up having trouble breathing. It would also be nearly impossible to sleep if you develop an itchy rash from food you have eaten before going to bed.
Other allergic reactions to food can also disturb our sleep
Even a less disturbing allergic reaction to foods can disrupt your sleep. A peanut allergy may cause a runny nose that is not always associated with allergies.
Not all allergic reactions occur immediately after eating. Sometimes they do not show up for two or three hours after eating a food that you are allergic to, so your nose may begin to run an hour or two after falling asleep.
Many people have trouble falling back to sleep once they wake up during the night. Even if you do not fully wake up, your sleep patterns could be disturbed by your drippy nose.
Sleep quality can be affected by food allergies
If you wake up feeling groggy and tired after eating a certain food before bed at night, there is a possibility that your fatigue is caused by poor sleep quality. It is important to get enough sleep each night, and this requires that you sleep through the night without continually waking up because of peanut
If you are wondering why you are so sleepy, it is a good idea to think about what you ate before going to bed the night before. If you avoid this particular food and do not feel fatigued, you may have an allergy to that food.
How to know if you are sleep deprived
Besides the obvious symptom of feeling fatigued and tired, there are other signs that you are not getting enough sleep. Food allergies may be the root cause of feeling this way.
If you have a difficult time getting up in the morning or you get very tired in the afternoon, these are signs that your sleep may be disturbed. If you fall asleep while watching television or relaxing, this could also mean that you need to get more quality sleep. Finding out if you have a food allergy is a step in the right direction since these allergies can definitely disrupt your sleep.
Related Reading on PeanutAllergy.com
Sign up for our newsletter and receive a free peanut-free snack guide.
Stay on top of your allergy with the latest news, lifestyle tips and recipes.