How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose: Tips For Sleeping Better

Do you have sleepless night because of a stuffy nose? Have you tried any remedies without any success? Stuffy nose is always a nuisance and can make you inactive spoiling a good night.

Stuffy noses happen to everyone at different times in life. There must be a trigger for you to have a stuffy nose, which when you identify, you can always have control over.

The triggers can be attacks of cold, allergies, and flu. When experiencing a stuffy nose, you will have difficulty talking, breathing, and your nose will be dripping.

Even though most people confuse it with being from having excess mucus in the nasal passage, it results from inflammation of the blood tissue in the sinuses.

To help you understand this, we will look at the remedies which will help you know how to sleep with a stuffy nose.

Have a Hot Shower

Did you know a hot shower can relieve a congested nose? If you take a hot bath when you have a stuffy nose, your breathing will ease hence opening the blocked nasal.

Hot Shower before bed

Breathing in warm steam from the shower will help because the hot vapor will make the mucus thin out reducing the swelling in the nasal passage. To get enough steam build-up, make sure to close the bathroom.

Also, you can do so using your sink by bringing in hot water either boiled or from the hot shower-head.  Use a towel to cover your head then put it over the sink after allowing enough steam build-up then breathe in the steam.

Doing this will help reduce the symptoms and is a good remedy to do at home.

Sleep with a Raised Head

It is usual for the blockage to worsen at night because the mucus doesn't drain faster. With a nose blockage, the head fills up with mucus which results in breathing difficulty that can cause headaches in the morning.

Sleep with a Raised Head

To raise the head, use pillows and sleep in an almost sitting position to help the mucus drain easily.

Related, The Top 10 Best Pillow – Review and Buying Guide.

Bring a Humidifier in the Bedroom

Having a humidifier in the room will help keep it moist, which is good for reducing the dryness and soreness of the nose.

The humidifier machine is capable of converting water to moisture filling the room with hot air that makes the room humid.

Humidifier in the Bedroom

When you breathe in this hot air, the swollen and dry parts of the nose get relieved.

Also, the machine can help the mucus become thin, emptying the fluids in the nose to restore your normal breathing.

To learn about humidifiers will help you know which type fits you and is easy to use.

You can also use eucalyptus or peppermint with the humidifier.

Make sure to clean the humidifier because the moisture promotes the growth of fungi.

Lick Honey

Often when having nasal congestion, breathing becomes a challenge forcing you to use the mouth for breathing resulting in a dry-sore throat.

Lick Honey while sleep

With a sore throat catching some sleep is never easy, but when you lick honey, the throat will get some sweet coating which will ease the pain.

You can also use honey when you have a cough to reduce coughing. It can also help to suppress colds.

Giving honey to a kid with a stuffy nose is easy because it’s sweet and the child will not resist it. There are also no side effects like you use honey for child medication.

Use Saline Nasal Sprays

Using nasal sprays with a saline solution helps reduce the effects of the stuffy nose at night.

It works by reducing congestion and swelling, which happens when the salty spray flushes excess mucus in the nasal passage.

Saline Nasal Sprays during sleep

Consider using a saline spray with no medicine content because you can use them more than one time when the blockage recurs.

Getting these sprays does not necessarily need a doctor’s prescription because you can get it over the counter.

There are different types of saline spray; some are for colds, allergy, and blocked nose. You can, therefore, buy according to your problem.

Also, the sprays come in various versions like a squeeze bottle, bulb syringe, or the battery-powered pulsed water devices like sprays.

Use Decongestants

When you use decongestants, the swelling in the nasal passage will reduce helping you have some sleep at night. These drugs can be bought over the counter and are in various forms like pills, nasal sprays, and drops.


It’s wise to seek a doctor’s advice before buying because some of these drugs contain active ingredients that will keep you awake. Hence, depriving you sleep that you were trying to get by using them.

Nasal sprays are not for long term usage to treat congestion because it can make the condition worse.

Increase your Fluid Intake

Did you know that fluids can save you from a stuffy nose? Generally, all fluids will help you stay hydrated, which is good for the body. You can drink water, juice or soft drinks which will help push away fluids from the nose and helps thin mucus that is good for reducing dryness in the nasal passage.

Fluid Intake Before Sleep

In case the congestion comes with a sore throat, take warm drinks to help reduce throat discomfort.

Drain Out the Mucus

To help you get rid of excess mucus drain them using specialized containers like a neti pot.

neti pot uses

Doing this is never comfortable, to do this use distilled or boiled water as recommended by the FDA.

To help you know how the flushing is done follow these steps.

Stand head over the sink and put the neti pot on one side of the nose then tilt it well to pour the water. Wait for the water to flow from the other nose into the sink. Once you are done with one side, do the same to the other nose after about a minute.

Use the Medications for Allergy

Medicines such as antihistamine are good for treating allergies. In this case, a stuffy nose can be from allergies, so to reduce the swelling or congestion use these drugs.


You can even combine both decongestants and antihistamine to have better and quick results. Make sure that when you are using these drugs, you follow the given instructions to later to avoid having more bad effects.

Note that antihistamines have effects like making you feel sleepy-drowsy, so don't take them when you have a busy day ahead.

Stay Away From Pets

Avoiding pets when you are a pet lover is very hard more so if you enjoy cuddling, but when their presence hurts you because you are allergic to their fur, you have no option.

Stay Away From Pets

What can make you allergic to your pet varies from one individual to the other? When you hold a pet so close to your heart, you won't mind sharing with them your seat, and when this happens, they leave the allergens that affect you on that seat and you might not even notice it.

To avoid this, try to avoid coming into close contact with a pet. Staying away from pets help you reduce the effects of nasal congestion.

Having the pet close to you at night will worsen your situation if you already have a stuffy nose making breathing a problem hence no sleep.

Spray Essential Oils

There are some oils with good components that are essential in boosting the breathing system because they help reduce congestion. You can use lavender or eucalyptus, which are well known for producing fragrance that can aid breathing.

Spray Essential Oils

When these oils get to the nostrils, they will help reduce congestion and allow the mucus to thin, enhancing your breathing. When your breath is eased, sleeping becomes easier, making the effects of congested nose reduce.

Also, you can use tea tree oil even though it has no scientific backing; it can always help.

Don't Drink Alcohol

But alcohol is a fluid? I know you might be thinking that way. Yes, it is fluid, but looking at the properties of alcohol, it will not help but make your situation worse because alcohol is diuretic. Meaning you’ll lose lots of fluids after taking it. Lack of enough fluids in the body will increase dryness in your nose, increasing the pressure and inflammation in the nose which worsens the situation.

avoid alcohol

Also, alcohol triggers sneezing and congestion, so imagine you having a stuffy nose and sneezing at the same time will you even grasp any sleep? Avoid alcohol to help prevent sneezing and be hydrated to allow you to have a peaceful night.

Avoid Blowing your Nose

When having a stuffy nose, most people tend to blow the nose to get rid of mucus in the nasal passage which of-course works but doing this exerts pressure in the nose.

Pressure on the already swollen nose will add more pain to your nose and also some studies explain that when you introduce pressure on the nose the fluids in there will be pushed further in the sinus causing dryness.

To help you in such a situation use a tissue to dab the runny nose. If you can't resist blowing your nose, ensure you do it at different times and do it gently on each nostril.

Use Spices and Herbs

Are you into spiced food? If you do not love spices you might be encouraged to use them when having nose congestion, you might need the right spices to help you manage the situation.

Use Spices and Herbs

Spices such as chili, ginger, lemon, or cayenne have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which can help manage a stuffed nose.

These spices will make the mucus loosen reducing nasal congestion. You can make ginger tea, make soups using these spices or you can eat raw some of the herbs like garlic though they are very bitter.

Note that some of these spices can cause running nose so use with care.

You can check on some of the spicy foods that when you eat can help you reduce nasal congestion making you sleep well.

Use Vapor Rub

There are various vapor rubs available as over -the counter drugs that can be useful in reducing congestion. You can use these rubs on either the chest or the throat to ease coughing and make breathing easier or to reduce cold effects.

Use Vapor Rub

When you apply a vapor rub at night, the difficulty in breathing will cease because it helps your sinuses open up, allowing you to sleep.

Vapor rubs consist of natural ingredients in various forms like camphor, eucalyptus, or menthol, which are good in reducing congestion.

To help you understand how vapor rubs work, do a basic search, and learn how to do it yourself to help benefit from the cooling effect that they provide.

Can You Stand Acupressure?

With Acupressure, your cold won't go away, but it will help you feel relieved from congested sinuses.

Acupressure therapy can only be done by a skilled practitioner who knows how to use their fingers and thumbs to exert pressure on certain body parts.

In this process, channels that work together with organs responsible for breathing like the heart have acupoints so when pressure is exerted on this point vital energy is restored, allowing smooth flow of stuffed fluids.

When the smooth flow of body fluids happens pain and swellings reduce making sleep easy because there's no pain to prevent you from sleeping.

It wise to understand how Acupressure works if you have no idea of what it is. Asks an expert or do research and have a better understanding so that you don’t end up using what you don’t know.


Getting some sleep with a stuffy nose is always a nightmare but knowing all these remedies will help you grab some sleep while having a stuffy nose.

Some of these remedies you can do them at home with no assistance but make sure you consult a physician when you are not certain of the medication use and effects.

Also, when the symptoms persist after applying any of the above remedies, see a doctor.

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