Many people seem to have more problems related to stuffy noses during the night. Nasal congestion usually happens due to swollen tissues in your nasal cavity. This can lead to a poor quality of sleep, and we all hate feeling exhausted in the morning when we have to get out of bed.
In this post we’ll get into more detail on why your nose gets stuffy at night, what causes it, why does it feel worse at night, and how to prevent it from happening.
Why Does My Nose Get Stuffy?
Nasal congestion is typically caused by swelling of tissues in the nasal cavity. Your tissues are probably swollen due to the inflammation of blood vessels and fluid buildup inside them. The National Institutes of Health states that other reasons for nasal congestion include:
- Allergies such as hay fever – When people with respiratory allergies inhale allergens such as pollen, dust mites or mold spores, their bodies can respond with an allergic reaction, which means that chemicals related to allergy symptoms are getting released into the system.
- Respiratory infections such as flu, cold, sinus infections and other usual issues.
- Nonallergic rhinopathy (nasal irritations implied by odors, foods or atmospheric factors) – Simply put, this means that the mucus in the nose gets dense and dry, while also disabling sinuses from draining, and therefore leading to a stuffy nose.
- Pregnancy – may influence the blood to flow towards the nasal cavity and further imply inflammation and nasal congestion.
- Nasal polyps – These are tiny, benign growths in your nose, that can prevent the proper airflow.
Why Does Nasal Congestion Feel Worse at Night?
You’ve surely noticed how, even if you don’t have neither cold nor flu, congestion is more noticeable during night. This is mainly due to the body position, since gravity is very useful when it comes to airways and mucus. We should underline how important body posture and movements are to your bodily functions. When lying down, your body works in a different way, and that leads to particular symptoms such as shortness of breath, or nasal congestion even in healthy people.
Your position also has an impact on how mucus builds up in your nose, since standing or sitting helps your mucus either drain or get swallowed. On the other hand, lying down leads to accumulation of mucus and a stuffy nose.
How to Prevent Your Nose from Getting Stuffy at Night?
We stated earlier how bad nasal congestion is for sleep quality. This especially goes to those suffering from chronic sinusitis, since they’re three to nine times more likely to experience problems with sleeping due to a stuffy nose. Below, you’ll find the tips that can help you prevent nasal congestion, and all the issues related to it.
- Make sure your head is always on the pillow while you’re asleep.
- Sleeping on the side can also be very helpful.
- Avoid eating for a few hours before bedtime.
- Hydrate yourself frequently during the day, but remember to avoid sugary beverages, as well as caffeine.
- Use nasal wash, such as saline nasal spray to eliminate the mucus.
- Quit smoking, since smoking dries your throat and can lead to further complications.
- Consider purchasing a humidifier to prevent the air in your room from becoming too dry.
In case your congestion is caused by allergies or respiratory diseases, we suggest you consult your doctor, and they’ll advise you about further strategies or medications that can help you resolve the sleep issues.
Nasal Congestion and Allergies
Beside nasal congestion, lying down can also increase the symptoms of your allergies. Triggered by different allergens such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites, and mold spores, allergies can also worsen during the night. Your body’s process of releasing allergy-regulating hormones varies, so we should note that this happens much faster when you’re awake compared to when you’re asleep. Remember that letting your pet roam around your bedroom, means that it will leave dander and fur all over your bed, floor and clothing, for you to inhale.
Nasal Congestion in Children
Nasal congestion can cause even more serious issues to children, since their bodies are still developing. Naturally, their nasal canals are narrower. According to Stanford Children’s Health, stuffy noses in children can lead to issues with hearing, and even speech development. Sometimes it might be hard to find out whether a child’s experiencing congestion, since it doesn’t know how to explain it. The NHI notes that common reasons to stuffy noses in children include:
- Sinuses infection
- Allergies to pollen, dust mites, pet dander and others
- Regular flu or cold
- Nonallergic rhinopathy
- Foreign objects blocking the nasal passages
How to Relieve Stuffy Noses in Children?
Helping your child get a good sleep is crucial, so here are some tips on how to relieve nasal congestion in children, as suggested by NHI:
- Make sure the child’s head is elevated while it sleeps. You can do this by locating a pillow under the head of the mattress.
- Steam your bathroom by running a warm shower, and bring your child inside so it breathes the humid, warm air which will help increase the amount of moisture inside the child’s nasal cavity.
- Purchase a cool-mist vaporizer for the room where your child sleeps. However, make sure not to implement too much moisture, as well as to clean and disinfect the vaporizer on a daily basis.
- Clear, sugar-free beverages are always helpful when it comes to nasal congestions, so make sure your older children have plenty.
- Saline nasal drops and sprays made specifically for children are also available, so you can find them in pharmacies and even supermarkets.
This concludes our comprehensive post on why your nose gets congested at night. As we said before, the factors that might be causing your nose to be blocked are numerous and they include allergies, physical obstruction, respiratory infections, hormonal changes and others. Read this guide carefully, and follow the tips to prevent your nasal cavity from getting congested.
As always, in case you have any questions, or you want more detail on a certain point, feel free to write a comment below, and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with more information.