Why Does The Nose Get Blocked At Night?

 - Sakshi Post

Wondering why you are suffering from a blocked nose night after night? Actually, you suffer from some degree of nasal congestion throughout the day. You seem to notice these more at night when you are resting. You experience nasal congestion to get worse when you are sick with a cold, flu or sinusitis.

Causes of Nasal Congestion At Night

The simplest explanation is that gravity increases blood flow to the nose which increases sinus pressures. This increased sinus pressure caused congestion in the nasal passages. The pressure inside the nose causes the blood vessels to inflame resulting in a blocked nose. Also, due to the sleeping position, the mucus also doesn’t get drained properly. Some other factors are-

●      Acid reflux- When asleep, stomach acid can travel back up the esophagus and cause irritation in the throat. As the throat is connected to nasal passages, the nose can also get congested.

●      Pregnancy- Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, more blood flows through the vessels to the nose. This is the primary reason that pregnant women often wake up with a blocked nose.

●      Sinusitis-  This is the most common reason for stuffy nose, both during the day and at night. If you are suffering from chronic sinusitis, get it cured as soon as possible.

●      Allergies- Allergens such as pollen, pet dander, dust can cause the blood vessels to inflame resulting in nasal congestion.

●      Viral infection- Infections due to viruses such as cold, flu result in excessive mucus production. This leaves a feeling of the nose getting blocked throughout the day.

Causes of Nasal Congestion At Night In Children

ENT Specialists believe that children are more likely to suffer from nasal congestion as their nasal passages are narrower. Children are unable to express the symptoms and their severity properly which irritates them more. Hence, determining the cause of a blocked nose in children becomes difficult.  Here are some common causes that can be the reason for congested nasal passages in children. Look out for them-

●      Hay fever or allergies

●      The foreign object inside the nose that obstructs the nasal cavity

●      Sinusitis

●      Common cold or flu that fills the nasal passages with mucus

Treating Nasal Congestion At Night

Before hitting the bed, here are some remedies that can prove to be effective for relieving stuffiness inside the nose. Interestingly, these remedies can also be used for getting relief from a blocked nose during the day.

●      Sleep with head elevated- Put some extra pillows under the head. Sleep with the head elevated to prevent pressure build-up by curbing excessive blood flow.

●      Rinse the sinuses- Before going for the bed, use a saline solution to rinse the sinuses and nose to remove dried up mucus or any debris.

●      Avoid blowing the nose- Whenever there is nasal congestion, we tend to blow the nose to pop it open. However, researchers found that doing this can increase the sinus pressure and cause mucus accumulation in the sinuses. Thus, stop the urge of blowing the nose even if you want to.

●      Stay hydrated- Dehydration makes the nasal congestion worse as it dries up the nasal passages and the sinuses. Furthermore, inhaling air can also become irritating. Hence, throughout the day drink lots of fluids. Remember, drinking fluids with lots of sugar or caffeine won’t help. Take drinks that thin out the mucus and drains it from the nose.

●      Avoid allergic reactions- Some allergies can result in a blocked nose. Know your triggers and try to stay away from them as much as possible. Regularly clean the room to prevent allergens. Also, place air purifiers to purify the air and decrease the number of allergens in the room.

●      Use acupressure- With the top of fingers applying some pressure on certain points can help relieve out sinus congestion. You need to apply pressure on the base of the nose for three minutes and the innermost corner of the eyebrow to relieve out additional pressure.

●      Don’t drink alcohol or coffee after 2 in the afternoon- Both caffeine and alcohol make nasal congestion worse. The stimulants in both these beverages trigger sneezing and stuffy nose.

●      Try nasal breathing strips- Before sleeping, place nasal breathing strips on the nose to open the nasal passages.

●      Apply an essential oil chest rub- Chest rubs infused with the anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils such as peppermint, tea tree oil can relieve out several symptoms such as the stuffy nose and promote better sleep.

●      Take anti-allergens- To avoid triggering allergic reactions before going to bed due to dander from your pet or dust in the room, take antihistamines.

●      Drink hot caffeine-free tea- Tea which is loaded with antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties can clear nasal congestion. Also, drinking warm teas has a calming effect on the mind that provides a prerequisite for a good night’s sleep.

Prevention of Nasal Congestion At Night In Children

It is important for children to get a good night’s sleep. When they are asleep, the body produces antibodies that are necessary for them to fight against several infections. Also, their immunity is also not fully developed making them more susceptible to infections. Thus, it is crucial that they get proper rest for 8-9 hours a day. But the blocked nose can leave them restless and making them feel lethargic throughout the day. Here are some tips to ensure that your child gets an undisturbed sleep throughout the night.

●       Add a humidifier in your child’s room to make the air moist. This prevents the nasal airways don’t get dried up and there is no excessive pressure. Also, clean the vaporizer on a daily basis.

●      Raise your child’s head by placing a pillow under the child’s mattress.

●      Steam up the bathroom with a hot shower and make them breathe the humid air before going to sleep.

●      Give them drinks that don’t have excess sugar or else these can cause inflammation.

●      Give them mild decongestants or sprays in case they experience nasal congestion throughout the day.


Nasal congestion is a common phenomenon that can occur during the night. It can also occur in children disrupting their sleep. Some of the common causes to look out for include common cold, inhaling allergens, infections in the sinuses, nose or upper respiratory tract, or the position in which an individual sleeps. Pregnancy can also cause a blocked nose at night due to hormonal changes. Irrespective of any reason for a blocked nose, it is possible to avoid them completely if one takes proper precautions beforehand. However, in case none of these work and the congestion continues throughout the day and continues for days, it is advised to seek medical attention. This indicates that nasal congestion is due to some severe health conditions.

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