Skip to main content

Here's Why You May Have a More Stuffy Nose at Night Than During the Day

< Back to the article list

Why are there days when we basically feel fine, but the second we’re all nestled under the covers at bedtime, we feel it happening: a stuffy nose. Seemingly out of nowhere, we have nasal congestion, which occurs when nasal and adjacent tissues and blood vessels become swollen with excess fluid.

What gives? And more importantly, how can we work around this situation so we can get a proper night’s rest? As it turns out, there are some scientific reasons why a stuffy nose can start to act up more during those later hours, beginning right when we lay down in bed. Read on to learn more about nighttime stuffiness, and how to find quick relief!

Why Do I Have Stuffy Nose at Night?

“Nasal congestion worsens at night because when we're lying down, more blood flows to our head and nose, potentially leading to more inflammation of our nasal passages,” says Dr. Adarsh Vijay Mudgil, M.D., a board-certified doctor in both dermatology and dermatopathology. Essentially, lying on your back at night while you sleep can cause nonallergic rhinitis, a symptom of which is nasal congestion.

“Because of the effects of gravity, it's more difficult to clear our airways of mucous secretions, particularly if you have allergies or are sick,” says Mudgil.

Stuffy Nose Remedies

Sleeping upright probably isn’t a viable option for most of us, but we can sleep with our heads elevated, which can get gravity working in our favor and help promote drainage. Just bolster yourself up with a stack of pillows or a backrest pillow that has arms.

You can also try a saline nasal spray before going to bed, as well as setting up a humidifier in your bedroom. Drinking liquids is also a good idea, as they can help loosen the mucus in your nose — just make sure not to drink too much right before bed, or you may be hopping up at all hours to use the bathroom!

And when nasal congestion from colds or allergies is really annoying you at night, try Breathe Right nasal strips. Breathe Right strips are drug free, and instantly open your nose to relieve snoring and nighttime nasal congestion for a more restful night's sleep. Plus, the 3M adhesive will keep your strip secure all night long, so you can wake up feeling refreshed!

Related articles