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3 Foods and Drinks That Could Be Making Your Nighttime Congestion Worse

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If you’re feeling all stuffed up when you crawl into bed at night, your diet might be to blame.

You had a long day and you’re tired, and since you left work, all you’ve been dreaming about is crawling into bed. Post-workout, eating dinner, and taking a shower, you finally crawl into bed ready to get some shut-eye. The only problem? You’re suddenly feeling super congested and can’t fall asleep. Believe it or not, your diet may be to blame. Here are some foods and drinks that could be making your nighttime congestion worse.

Foods and Drinks That Cause Congestion

Spicy Foods

Adding lots of chili powder, sriracha, or even wasabi to your dinner plate? While you may love the spicy flavor, your nasal passages feel the exact opposite about it. “All of these spicy condiments contain histamines,” explains Leslie Bonci, MHP, RD, CSSD, LDN, nutrition consultant for the Kansas City Chiefs, Carnegie Mellon University athletics, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and author of the Active Calorie Diet. “They can cause your nasal passages to swell and exacerbate congestion.”


You may want to limit your alcohol intake if you want to get some quality zzz’s. “Alcohol can cause the membranes inside the nose to swell, leading to nasal congestion,” explains Bonci. So yes, that glass of wine or beer may sound tempting, but think twice before you pour it.

Water (or Lack Thereof)

No, water isn’t causing congestion, but lacking in the liquids department may be. “Inadequate fluid consumption can make nasal secretions thicker,” explains Bonci, which means you’ll have a tough time getting air. “Having enough liquid can thin the nasal secretions, so it is easier to breathe,” she says.

Do your best to avoid these foods and drinks if you want to rest soundly. If you do happen to accidentally eat one of these culprits for dinner though, don’t fret. Try putting on drug-free Breathe Right nasal strips. They instantly relieve nasal congestion by opening up your nose for a more restful night’s sleep.