Three-quarters of US adults (75%) experience occasional to frequent sleep disruptions, citing causes such as temperature-related discomfort, experiencing allergy symptoms, or needing to use the bathroom, according to a survey from allergen barrier bedding AllerEase. The survey also reveals roughly one in four adults (24%) say they rarely or never wake up feeling well-rested.

“That unrested feeling can be caused in part by household allergens lurking in your bed,” says Neeta Ogden, MD, a board certified adult and pediatric allergy and asthma specialist, in a release. “Many of my patients are surprised to learn that household allergens are more pervasive than outdoor allergens, and can have a real impact on sleep.”

Serious sleep disorders aside, almost 6 in 10 US adults (57%) say they suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies, and 42% say they’ve woken with allergy-like symptoms in the last month.

“My top recommendation for those suffering from respiratory congestion at night is to try a three step plan: use zippered allergen barrier bed protectors, nasal saline spray, and remove allergens from your bedroom such as pets and carpets,” says Ogden. “Simple changes can have a year-round impact on quality sleep and living.”

Many Americans try over-the-counter medicines, use humidifiers/dehumidifiers, and wash bedding to help improve their sleep, but less than 10% use zippered allergen barrier mattress protectors, which can help prevent the collection of dead skin cells, dust mites, and household allergens in plush surfaces like bedding and pillows.

Other tips to improve sleep environment include:

  • Wash bedding once per week, including comforters and duvet covers, to prevent household allergens from collecting in plush surfaces
  • Wash pillows monthly, or replace them every six months, if they are non-washable
  • Limit liquids and snacks close to bedtime to avoid overnight bathroom breaks
  • Identify optimal sleep temperature and adjust fan, heat or air-conditioning accordingly

“The concept of zippered mattress protectors isn’t new, but as our society has grown more allergic and sleep-engaged, it’s more relevant today than ever before,” says Tracie Oechslein, AllerEase brand manager in a release. “Many people don’t realize that using mattress and pillow protectors as preventative measures in helping alleviate allergy symptoms can help improve their overall quality of sleep.”

The omnibus survey of 1,015 American adults 18+ was designed and conducted online by Finn Partners Research, utilizing an online survey panel, developed by ORC International, between July 30 and August 3, 2015, on behalf of AllerEase.