Stuffy Nose At Night: how to get rid of a blocked nose at night 

blocked nose at night

You spent all day finessing an important presentation for your boss. But now you’re in bed, desperately trying to catch some zzz’s before your alarm sounds for another day of grinding, and you’ve been struck with nighttime nasal congestion. But a blocked nose at night can be relieved with a little extra rest. Now, before you protest – do you really want to be that colleague gasping for air between bites of your sandwich over lunch? At the very least, work from home, if you can – you should never feel guilty about putting your health first! 

Find out the causes of a blocked nose at night, and why the congestion always seems to be more intense when you’re tucked up in bed, ready to go to sleep. Discover our best home remedies for a stuffy nose at night, as well as some tips to fall asleep despite having a blocked nose. 

Blocked nose at night: causes 

Are you experiencing an annoying blocked nose at night and wondering why? Nasal congestion happens when the tissues and blood vessels inside your nose get irritated, which leads to swelling, inflammation, mucus production, and the stuffy feeling in your nose.1,2 There are numerous causes that might be behind a stuffy nose at night: 

  • Allergies 
  • A cold 
  • Flu 
  • Sinusitis 
  • Cold or dry air1,3

If you’ve been sick recently, it’s common to experience a clogged nose at night. But why does the stuffiness get worse come bedtime, and make it so hard to sleep with a cold? 

What makes a blocked nose at night so much worse? 

If you’re sick with the cold or the flu, you’ve probably noticed that you keep suffering from a blocked nose at night. But why do you get a clogged nose at night? There’s an explanation to it. 

When you’re lying down, the blood in your body flows differently. More blood goes to the face, which can make the inside of the nose swell up more.4 Lying down can also make it harder for your nose to drain out the mucus.4 This means that the mucus builds up in your nose and sinuses, making you feel even more stuffed up.5 Plus, at night, you don't swallow as much, and swallowing helps to clear mucus from your nose and throat.4 That's why a blocked nose can feel more uncomfortable when you're trying to sleep. 

Now that you know (almost!) everything about the causes of a blocked nose at night, it’s time to explore solutions so you can enjoy a restful night's sleep with a cold or blocked nose. Keep reading to discover some of our blocked nose remedies and our best tips to deal with a clogged nose while sleeping! 

Blocked nose at night: remedies 

Before we get onto tips like the best blocked nose sleeping position, let’s talk home remedies. Having a stuffy nose while sleeping is often the result of a cold, and there are a number of things you can do before bed to deal with a blocked nose at night.  

Remedies that help ease congestion during the day will at least help you hit the hay feeling reasonably clear. Here are some blocked-nose-at-night remedies: 

  • Staying hydrated. 
  • Steaming to clear airways. 
  • Warm compresses over your nose. 
  • Herbal teas – ginger is particularly good.  
  • Resting. No, you don’t need to just quickly respond to that email because it will undoubtedly still be there when you’re healthy again—recharge and give your body the best chance to sort out your cold. In turn, you’ll find it easier to deal with the results of a nose block during sleep.6,7 

There are also plenty of over-the-counter medicines that can help, too. Just check with your pharmacist before taking anything.3 Now that you know how to soothe a blocked nose at night, it’s time to learn about how to sleep well with a cold. 

The best way to sleep with a blocked nose 

All of the above remedies will help, and can be used during the night, but there are some more specific things you can do too. These are some of the best ways to sleep with a blocked nose: 

  • Don’t stress. Struggling to fall asleep because of a blocked nose at night can be annoying and stressful. But sometimes accepting the situation will actually help you sleep. The more relaxed you are, the more likely you are to nod off. Do some deep breathing, visualise where you plan on spending your next holiday — whatever you need to do to chill out and let sleep take your body over. 
  • Try a humidifier. Having a room full of dry air can cause irritation, so the more humidity you can get the better.7 You can buy a humidifier or place a bowl of water with a few drops of essential oil by your bedside to help ease the congestion. 

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  • Perfect your sleeping position. Comfort is key when you’re trying to catch some zzzs and finding the right blocked-nose sleeping position is certainly going to help. As we sleep, mucus doesn’t drain as effectively. That makes the nose even more blocked.4 So, the best way to sleep with a blocked nose is to prop your head up on an extra pillow or two. Also, it’s best to sleep on your side if you can as lying on your back could make things worse.7

Now you know the causes of a blocked nose at night, and why the stuffiness always seems to get worse when you’re sleeping. You’ve also got a plan for sleeping with a cold or blocked nose, so hopefully you can now look forward to a more restful sleep. Why not share these simple tips with your loved ones, so you can all cope with those pesky stuffy noses at night and enjoy that much-needed rest when you’re poorly?  

Give these blocked-nose-at-night remedies and advice a try, and rest easy. 

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1 Mayo Clinic, “Nasal congestion"  
2 Medline Plus, “Stuffy or runny nose – adult”
3 NHS, “Non-allergic rhinitis”
4 Robitussin, “Stuffy nose at night – why do I get congested before bed?” 
5 VeryWell Health, “Why a stuffy nose may get worse at night”
6 Sleep Foundation, “Treatment for a blocked nose at night”
7 Medical News Today, “9 tips for sleeping with a stuffy nose”  

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