It’s official: Spring Allergy Season has arrived in the Mid-Atlantic. I used to be mostly unaffected until early June when the grass pollen starts ramping up. But now the tree pollen seems to be getting to me earlier in May. During peak pollen season, the 24-hour Claritin I take doesn’t always do the trick. When that happens, I call in the big guns and break out the Benadryl. I took some last night, and true to form, it killed the hay fever, put me to sleep, and turned me into a walking zombie the following morning. The good news is, Benadryl has a relatively short (4 to 6 hour) half-life, so once I shake off the waking sluggishness, it doesn’t affect me much for the rest of the day. I’ve biked to work several mornings after taking Benadryl the previous night at bedtime, and I’ve never noticed any drop-off in energy, but I must admit that my first urge on those mornings was to get back in bed and sleep for the rest of the day. So it’s important to fight that urge and get moving.