Like clockwork, your seasonal allergies are coming back. As if a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes weren’t bad enough, your allergy symptoms might also make it nearly impossible to sleep. But why do allergy symptoms often times worsen at night?

Lying down worsens congestion.

Gravity is not your friend when it comes to your bedtime allergies. When you lie down, everything in your nose starts dripping down your throat. Due to the anatomy of the nose and throat, that can lead to more or worse coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing than when you’re standing upright.

Your bedroom is full of dust mites and mold.

No, it’s not that pollen levels rise at night. (They’re actually highest in the early morning!) Your allergies might feel worse at night because now you’re adding indoor triggers into the mix. A lot of people are allergic to things in their bedrooms, like dust mites that make their home in your pillows, mattress, or box spring and mold that grows in the walls of older houses or after water damage. Bedrooms tend to be the most allergenic part of the home.

Your pet sleeps in your bed.

Another common allergen making things worse in your bedroom? Pet dander that accumulates on your carpet or comforter. Sure, furry friends make for cozy snuggle buddies, but if you’re allergic to your pet, sleeping beside each other isn’t doing you any favors. Keeping the animals out of the bedroom is best.

You’re alone with your thoughts… and sniffles.

Why do allergies get worse at night? Besides the fact that all illnesses feel worse at night? When you’re busy during the day, you might forget about it and feel a little better. When you’re lying in bed, most people aren’t thinking about anything else, and symptoms feel much worse. For that reason, nighttime is a good moment to try over-the-counter allergy meds. Look for an oral antihistamine or a corticosteroid nasal spray that can help limit congestion and reduce inflammation.