Why do I Have a Stuffy Nose at Night? What Do I Do?

Surviving a day with a congested nose is bad enough, but imagine if it gets in the way of peaceful sleep. But the sad fact is: your nose can get stuffy, or stuffier, at night. Knowing why it happens can help you treat it accordingly, so you can breathe better when sleeping. This blog will discuss why your congested nose might become worse at night and what to do about it.

Causes of Stuffy Nose at Night

A stuffy nose at night can be pretty frustrating to deal with. The excess mucus blocks your nasal passages, which makes it hard to breathe properly. Sometimes, blood vessels inside the nasal passages can become swollen or inflamed. This could be another reason why your nose feels stuffy.

Some other causes of nighttime stuffiness include:

1. Gravity

During the day, you might not face the level of congestion that you do at night. That is because when you’re standing or sitting throughout the day, gravity works to drain the mucus constantly. The mucus drips from your nose and sinuses to the back of your throat and then is swallowed.

However, your anatomy works against gravity when you’re lying horizontally or on the bed. Hence, the mucus pools or backs up instead of draining.

2. Changes in Blood Flow

The blood flow to the upper part of your body increases when you lie down. This can result in inflamed vessels inside the nose and nasal passages. Consequently, your nose becomes congested, or the congestion worsens if you already have it.

Pregnancy can also alter blood flow, causing congestion.

3. Acid Reflux

The corrosive stomach acids sometimes back into your esophagus, a tube connecting your mouth to your stomach. GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, occurs when you experience frequent episodes of acid reflux, which can happen any time of the day.

Nasal congestion is a symptom of GERD, along with sore throat, coughing, wheezing, and more. Thus, acid reflux could be why your nose is stuffy at night.

4. Alternate-Side Nasal Congestion

You might feel that one nostril is clogged throughout the day, only for the other one to become stuffed at night. This happens due to the nasal cycle, which occurs for unknown reasons but is not classified as a disorder. Swollen turbinate in one nostril blocks airflow and might lead to alternate-side nasal congestion.

How to Prevent Stuffy Nose at Night?

A stuffy nose can affect your sleep quality. As a matter of fact, sleep disturbances and waking up throughout the night are three to nine times more likely to occur in people experiencing chronic sinusitis.

You can try these if your nose is stuffy at night:

  • Elevate your head while sleeping rather than lying flat. You can use two pillows to do so
  • Try not to eat a few hours before going to bed
  • Put a cool-mist humidifier at the side of your bed
  • Hydrate yourself and drink lots of water throughout the day
  • Refrain from smoking


What Should I Do?

A stuffy nose at night can disturb what would have been a deep, peaceful sleep. But you can try our tips to sleep better. If you want professional consultation regarding your health, contact Aqeeq Internal Medicine at (832) 786-8195.



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