Have you realized that congestion worsens at night in adults and children? You could’ve spent the day working hard and feeling well. But just when you’re about to retire to bed for a good night’s sleep, congestion strikes. This can be frustrating and if it’s ever happened to you, you must’ve asked yourself; how do I stop nasal congestion at night?
Perhaps It’s but a Myth
In fact, this ain’t a myth even though physicians say that many people are busy during the day which is why they hardly notice congestion. Still, there must be a reason why congestion seems more prevalent at night as opposed to day time.
Reasons Behind Congestion at Night
How do you sleep at night? Of course, this is a difficult question because no one knows how they sleep at night unless you’ve ever recorded yourself while you slept. One thing you need to know is that the way you position yourself as you sleep can increase your risk of experiencing congestion at night.
If you ask the most people, they’ll tell you that stuffiness and congestion in the chest happen when mucus blocks your nasal passage. Yes, excess mucus can make you feel congested but the main cause of congestion and stuffiness is inflamed blood vessels along the nasal passage. One thing though that you’ll need to keep in mind is that there are more than one causes of congestion.
When you sleep, your blood pressure is bound to change and you could experience an increase in your blood flow towards the uppermost part of your body; such as your nasal passage and your head. What this increase in blood flow will do is that it’ll congest the blood vessels along your nasal passageway and nose.
Bad sleeping positions
Depending on your sleeping position, you could have difficulties in clearing mucus from your sinus and nose cavities. For instance, if you spent the whole day standing mucus will be flowing from your sinuses and nose to the back of your throat and you’ll eventually swallow it even without knowing.
What happens during the night when you lie down is that the mucus will accumulate and make you feel congested. Studies suggest that many people who suffer from congestion at night will notice signs of improvement a few hours after waking up. This is a clear indication of gravity at work. When the day is over, you’ll start lying around in a relaxed and inactive position and this is why you may notice that your congestion may get worse just after you’re done with the activities of the day.
If you’re prone to allergies and cold virus, then the aforementioned reason could be why your congestion worsens at night. If you’re neither sick nor experience symptoms during the day, you may be interested in knowing that recent studies suggest that even when you don’t experience congestion during the day, nasal resistance diminishes when you sleep.
The other unlikely reason why you’re constantly congested at night could be gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux which you can simply call heartburn. If acid reflux is the culprit, the symptoms will include; wheezing, post nasal drip, coughing, hoarseness, and sore throat. These symptoms will often escalate when you wake up and will occur often occur when people with a stomach full of acid and a weak esophageal sphincter sleep at night.
What happens, in this case, is that the acid in the stomach will often move towards the esophagus causing irritation at the back of your throat which is linked to your nasal passage. What’s even more interesting now is the fact that a section of medical experts today believe that there’s a direct connection between chronic sinusitis, GERD, and nasal congestion.
How to Clear Nose Blocked at Night on One Side
If you’ve got a stuffy nose, you know how irritating it can make you feel. Not only will you’ve difficulties speaking well, but your nose will drip unnecessarily. The struggle you experience when you blow your nose in a bid to breathe comfortably and still nothing comes out of it goes without saying.
And yes, you probably think that your congestion is due to excess mucus in your nasal passage which isn’t true. As mentioned above a blocked nose could be due to various reasons. No matter what’s causing it, you can get some relief with the following tips.
Take a Hot Shower
If you’ve never tried this method, you may want to try it the next time you’re congested. Jump into the shower and the steam from the hot shower will release the mucus from your nose hence minimizing inflammation. This is a temporary solution but it can help you feel better. If you’ve got a hot water sink, try inhaling the steam by; running the hot water in your bathroom sink.
When you’re satisfied with the temperature, drape a towel over your head and bend your head over the sink. Allow the steam to accumulate and then inhale it in deep breaths. Be extra careful though. You don’t want to burn your face with the steam or the hot water.
Use a Humidifier
A humidifier offers a simple and fast method of relieving your stuffy nose and minimizing sinus pain. The gadget changes water into moisture which fills the air to increase the humidity within your surroundings. When you inhale the moist air, your swollen blood vessels and inflamed tissues both in your sinuses and nose will get some relief.
Humidifiers decrease the mucus in your sinuses and this plays a major role in releasing the fluids in your nose to ensure that you breathe in a normal manner.
A Saline Spray may come to Your Rescue
Saline is simply a water solution. You may want to use a nasal saline spray for increased moisture in your nostrils. The spray helps decrease mucus in your nasal passage. The good thing about a nasal spray is that it’ll also reduce inflammation in your blood vessels and help discharge fluids from your nose.
There are various types of nasal sprays in the market today and you can choose one that meets your needs. You may want to choose a saline spray that contains decongestant properties. What you shouldn’t do however is deciding to use decongestants without the knowledge of your doctor.
You could be surprised to learn that decongestants can worsen your congestion especially if you use them consistently. Further, they could cause you severe side effects more so if you use them together with other medicine.
Keep Yourself Adequately Hydrated
Drink lots of fluids when your nose is blocked. You can choose any of your favorite beverages such as water, juice, or sports drinks. These will help thin mucus from your nasal passage and release them out of your nose.
This will minimize pressure in your sinuses. When the pressure is minimal you’ll experience less irritation and inflammation. Are you experiencing a combination of stuffy nose and sore throat? Opt for warm soup and lemon and ginger tea to soothe your throat.
How do I get rid of a stuffy nose fast?
If you have a stuffy nose, you can only imagine how breathing with ease feels. In this case, you’ll probably grab the nearest medication in a bid to feel better, but did you know that sometimes medication won’t work effectively? Often, all you need to alleviate pressure from a stuffy nose can be as simple as just massaging the pressure point.
One thing you should keep in mind before trying to relief your pressured head and stuffy nose, try to establish the cause of such pain.
Have a Mini-Massage
If you’ve ever had a massage, you know that it can transform the way you feel. When you’ve got a stuffy nose, you can as well attempt a mini massage. Studies suggest that with just a few rubs, you can discharge fluid from your nose. Using your fingertips, push against the cleft of the collarbone firmly and repeatedly.
This way, you’ll stimulate the fluid to move downwards. You can tell when the process is successful when you feel the urge to clear your throat. One other thing that may happen after this process is; your ears may open up suddenly once the pressure discharges. But some people who’ve tried this method found it slightly uncomfortable.
If the same happens to you, you can try crossing your hands to form a V shape and use a similar pumping movement at the sides of your neck to trigger the lymph fluid to discharge. These two actions stimulate suction in the lymphatic system, which empties the fluid in your sinuses out of your head.
Push Your Tongue and Press the Area Between the Eyebrows
Studies suggest that when you apply pressure in certain points of your body, you can stimulate fluid flow and go back to breathing properly. One of the optimal locations that you can use to gain instant relief from a stuffy nose is in your mouth. All you need to do is; push your tongue against the upper part of your mouth and place a finger against the skin between your eyebrows.
Control the pressure for approximately 20 seconds and you’ll have high chances if feeling better. When you let go of your tongue and release your finger, you’ll begin to experience movement at the back of your throat as the pressure declines.
Preventing nasal congestion at night
Do you experience frequent nasal congestion and think that you’ll never have any peaceful night’s sleep? There are various steps that you and your family can adopt to eliminate congestion and enjoy a good night’s sleep as seen below.
Home Care Congestion Relief Tips for Young Children
- Put a child-friendly pillow under your kid’s mattress. If you can find an appropriate pillow, you may want to use an appropriate method to raise the head of the bed where your child sleeps. However, this quick fix can be tricky sometimes seeing that children sleep in different styles.
- Run the shower steam before your child goes to sleep. Let them inhale the warm and moist air for a few seconds. This will make their nasal passages moist just before they retire to bed.
- Get a cool mist vaporizer for your kid’s room. The only thing you’ll need to be cautious about when you decide to keep a vaporizer in your kid’s room is making the room too moist. One more thing; clean and disinfect the vaporizer daily.
- Encourage your children to drink sugarless fluids especially during the day. This is yet another tricky solution but if they can follow it, then it’ll go a long way in relieving their congestion.
- Do you have infants who are regularly congested? If yes you can use a bulb syringe to conduct nasal suction. This method will only work if your kid is below one year.
- Choose soothing nasal sprays or drops for your children. These products are readily available in pharmacies bit you can still make yours at home using common ingredients found in your kitchen; such as baking soda, salt, and water.
Home Care Congestion Relief Tips for Adults
- If you have pillows, organize them in an ideal way that allows you to elevate your head when you sleep. This can minimize the blood accumulating in your nasal cavities. What this does is; it cuts down inflammation which is the main cause of inflammation. But if you don’t have pillows, you may want to invest in a few good quality pieces.
- Hydrate on clear sugarless fluids during the day. Try to avoid alcohol and caffeine if you want to maintain thin mucus which can easily flow from your nose.
- Invest in a humidifier. A humidifier will prevent the air in your house from being extremely dry and this will also avert dryness in your nasal cavity.
- Use a nasal wash to thin out mucus and remove it from your nasal passage. Are you prone to allergies? If yes, then you may want to stay away from anything that’s likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Clean your room thoroughly to remove any allergens and where possible use an air purifier to minimize airborne allergens in your house.
Studies suggest that a restful night’s sleep is critical or you if you want to lead a healthy and happy life. The sooner you can establish the cause of your congestion, the sooner you’ll find the right solution for it. The idea of avoiding a blocked nose may be beyond your ability, but you can use the tips mentioned herewith to relieve the symptoms and enjoy your sleep all night long.