Why do I wake up with a stuffy nose?

If you go to bed breathing normally and wake up congested, you’re not alone! Not much is worse than that groggy feeling of waking up with a clogged nose. You may be wondering, why do I have a stuffy nose when I wake up? Why does this keep happening? And most importantly, what can I do to prevent it?

Reasons for nasal congestion

A stuffy nose happens when there’s a buildup of mucus in the nose and sinuses, causing inflammation in your nasal passages. This reduces your airflow through your nose, causing that clogged feeling that can make it difficult to breathe. In general, there are many reasons you could be feeling congested—let’s explore why.

  1. A cold

    If you’re someone who typically doesn’t deal with nasal congestion and you wake up one day with a clogged nose, it may be a sign that you have a cold. An influx of mucus is a sign of your body attempting to clear your infection. Having a cold may also cause you to feel stuffy before you go to bed, making it harder to fall asleep.

  2. Allergies

    If you have allergies, you may be all too familiar with the nasal congestion or stuffy nose that can be caused from exposure to a variety of allergens, such as dust, pollen, or animal dander. This is formally referred to as allergic rhinitis. Up to 30% of adults experience allergic rhinitis, and depending on the severity of your allergies, it may affect your sleep quality.

  3. A deviated septum

    A deviated septum occurs when your septum is significantly displaced, often to one side, making one nasal air passage smaller than the other. Depending on the severity, this can cause one side of the nose to feel blocked and reduce the airflow. For some people, this could lead to needing surgery. If you have a deviated septum and are experiencing breathing issues, please consult your doctor.

  4. Other causes

    Sometimes people can experience symptoms that may seem like allergies but aren’t caused by allergies. A stuffy nose can be caused by the weather, medications, alcohol, smoking, or even strong emotions. Sometimes even eating certain spicy foods can cause nonallergic rhinitis. Pregnancy also can cause nasal congestion, due to the blood flow and change in hormones.

How can I help prevent waking up stuffy?

How you should treat your congestion long term depends on the cause, but some ways to help prevent waking up with a stuffy nose are staying hydrated, elevating your head, or using a Breathe Right® nasal strip. They’re proven to instantly relieve nasal congestion for up to 12 hours, allowing you to go about your day congestion free.

Want to wake up refreshed and rejuvenated? Give Breathe Right a try. Find your perfect strip.