How To Sleep When You Have A Stuffy Nose – 7 Natural Tips For Releasing Congestion

How to sleep when you have a stuffy nose may seem impossible at times.

But believe me, it can be done!

Since I have a low immune system, I tend to catch everything that comes around. Getting a stuffy nose is very common for me. Learning how to deal with a stuffy nose to get some sleep has required me to get creative.

Not only is my nose stuffed, but I also have pain in my sinuses. My nose is like this because I’m doing chemotherapy. Other people’s nose can get stuffed for different reasons.

Such as:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Cold or flu
  • Noncancerous growths called nasal polyps
  • Irritants in the environment
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Deviated septum
  • Hay fever
  • Hormonal fluctuation due to pregnancy
  • Acid Reflux

These are the common reasons why people have stuffy noses. But there are a whole host of other issues a person could be suffering from which causes them to have a stuffed up nose.

Being stuffed up in the nose can be annoying for older children and adults. But it can also be a severe sleep disturbance for young children as well as infants. The tips I discuss below on how to sleep when you have a stuffy nose can be used by people of all ages.

1.    Don’ Blow Your Nose

Blowing your nose will actually make you feel not blow your nose


Because you’re actually building up pressure inside of your nostrils, the pressure can cause mucus to go up into your sinuses, instead of coming out through your nose. The stuffing feeling comes from blood vessels, which are inflamed. When you blow your nose, all you’re doing is irritating the vessels which then promotes swelling.

Not only will knowing your nose leads to mucus being pushed back up, but it can also lead to earaches as germ-carrying phlegm being forced into your ear passages. If you blow your nose with too much force, you may even end up causing the breakage of vessels. This leads to more stuffiness rather than having a nice clear un-stuffed nose.

The best thing you can do is gently blow out of each nostril one at a time. If you really need to cleanse out your stuffiness quickly then have a read of the necessary essentials oils to cleanse out sinuses

2.    Use A Good Pillow

Elevating your head when going to sleep is probably one of the best things you can do for yourself. When your head is elevated, it allows the nasal passages to drain; naturally, this makes it easier for you to breathe so you can get a good sleep.

Some people find themselves stacking pillows, but this is bad for your neck. This puts your whole body out of alignment.

There are some really good wedge pillows you can use which will allow the proper support of your neck and back. Supporting your neck and back while allowing your nose to drain is going to do wonders for your sleep. 

3.    Drinks Lots Of Water

By drinking lots of water, you will help to thin out the mucus that is clogging up your nasal passages. When you blow your nose, there is less pressure in your sinuses.

The mucous membranes become inflamed, but hydration helps to draw away the inflammation, which allows your membranes to function in the way they’re supposed to. I always keep a water bottle by my bed. Anytime I get up to go to the washroom at night I always make sure to have at least a couple of sips of water.

We live in a farm area where pollen is abundant, somehow it always ends up sneaking into my room. I already have other health issues; the stuffy nose is not one I want to deal with. Water is a simple solution.

4.    Avoid Caffeine Products After 3 pm

Most of us enjoy our caffeine, especially coffee. We all associate coffee with flavors as well as giving us a jolt of energy.

Unfortunately, sometimes a jolt of energy is required late in the afternoon. This is when many people reach for another cup of coffee, probably not a good idea for those who suffer from having a stuffy nose at night.


Although some of us might not know it, we may have a sensitivity to coffee. This sensitivity causes our sinus passages to become narrow.

Mild symptoms of a coffee allergy can include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Pressure or pain in your sinuses

People can also have a severe allergy to coffee, which can consist of the complete closure of airways and is a medical emergency.

If you have pre-existing sinus conditions which are seasonal, they can be made worse by consuming coffee.

5.    Have A Hot Shower

When you take a hot shower, you help to quickly send out any mucus which is plugging up your nose. The steam in the hot shower will help to release the mucus.

The best thing to do when taking a hot shower is to make sure that your door is closed. This helps the steam to stay inside the room where your showering.

Simply let the shower run over you for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Another great thing to do while your showering is just gently tapping the sides of your nose to help loosen up the mucus.

Once the mucus has been loosened, gently blow each nostril to get it out. By doing this you are not only loosening the mucus, but you’re also soothing the membranes of your nose.

6.    Remove Allergens From Your Bedroom

The first thing you will need to do is learn how to understand precisely what type of allergens you’re dealing with. Four common types are probably destroying your nose at night, causing it to stuff up.remove allergens

The four types of allergens are:

  • Mold spores – mold grows in dark, damp places which can include the closet window molding or bathroom cabinets.
  • Dust mites – these tiny organisms can be found in bedding, stuffed animals, pillows, curtains, and carpets.
  • Pollen – This is one of the most common types of allergen which will affect most of us. It primarily takes place during spring and fall.
  • Animal dander – if your pet owner, then most likely your pet’s fur, skin, and saliva may stick to your bedding. This allergen also tends to stay airborne; it will flow through the air for hours before finally resting.

The way to reduce allergens in your bedroom is by purchasing products which are allergen resistant. Where you need them the most is in your bedding. As you know, when we sleep at night, we breathe in whatever is around us.

Having hypoallergenic bedding which includes pillows, blankets as well as bedsheets may be your best bet to beat allergens.

7.    Introduce Some Moisture Into The Air

By using a proper humidifier, you can quickly reduce sinus pain and relieve a stuffy nose. The humidifier will convert water to moisture that will fill the air in your room. This will help to increase the humidity.

Breathing in this type of air will soothe irritated tissues as well as swollen blood vessels in your nose. Not only that, but this will also thin out the mucus in your sinuses. Your nasal passages will remain moist, which will allow them to drain correctly.

Humidifiers help to replace moisture which can be lost due to air-conditioning or central heating in homes.

But just remember to clean your humidifier every day to prevent mold or bacteria from growing. Both of these may be harmful to your overall health.

Another little tip is not to raise your humidity to high levels. This can promote the growth of dust mite and make allergens worse than before.

In conclusion, as I wrote about this topic to bring some of the best tips to you on how to sleep when you have a stuffy nose, I learned many people attempt to sleep at night with their mouth open. Rather than do that using a wedge pillow will help your nose drain naturally. 

By sleeping with your mouth open,  it can cause you to have a dry throat as well as it induces snoring. I would say sleeping with your mouth open is a big no-no. Give the tips I’ve brought to you today a try to see if they will help you get to sleep at night.

Share in comments below techniques or tips you’ve used to relieve a stuffy nose so you can get some sleep.

12 thoughts on “How To Sleep When You Have A Stuffy Nose – 7 Natural Tips For Releasing Congestion”

  1. Great tips for getting a night of better sleep.  My wife and I have used some of these ideas, (mostly her) and they really seem to help her get better sleep.

    She also includes a little eucalyptus oil when using a steamer.  Not so great if one is allergic to it but, it helps her breathe easier and that’s the main thing.

    When we feel something coming on we also use sinus rinses and I start taking Oil of Oregano.  The former helps to rinse out that nasty mucus and the latter seems to chase away those bugs before they have a chance to take a firm hold in my body.  I’m not crazy about the taste of it and… maybe the bugs aren’t either? 🙂

    I hope the chemo is doing the job you hoped and you are well soon.


    • Yes, chemo is doing its job. Thanks for commenting and sharing your technique. 

  2. This article is very timely because me and my daughter are suffering from stuffy nose. I guess it’s the weather because right now we have been experiencing series of typhoon. Your natural tips are really helpful in relieving congestion. I never knew that caffeine intake could worsen the problem. Well, I have to just restrain myself to have a cup after 3pm! I also think that most people have experienced colds, allergies, sinusitis, etc. and will continue to do so. Having a humidifier therefore should be a home staple because it can both prevent and help cure stuffy nose. Thanks for this informative article. I have learned something helpful for our timely problem!

    • Glad that this post could help. Typhoons can be so nerve-wracking with bringing in all sorts of allergens not to mention the storm. Wishing you well in this weather.

  3. It’s interesting that you should mention coffee and perhaps being the cause of a stuffy nose. Because I have also had issues with a stuffy nose a month into winter now and it seems to flare up a bit more after drinking coffee. I like the idea of a wedge pillow aswell. I have used a tri pillow aswell which helps enormously if I lie face down on the pillow. Thanks again for a great post and great tips!

    • Coffee is so good, but having a stuffy nose is not so good. I am glad it’s one less issue I  have to deal with now. The wedge pillows are great for elevating your head to drain the nose. 

  4. Hi, thank you for some good suggestions there! I also find putting Vick’s vapo rub or a eucalyptus oil on the souls of my feet help clear my nose and cough and you can put it on your chest or a touch under your nose as well.
    Thanks for the tips!

    • I’ve heard of Vapo Rub as well eucalyptus oil helping with a stuffy nose. Thanks for sharing your methods.

  5. Excellent article you have written up here. The pain and restlessness encountered when one has a stuffy nose cannot be over emphasized and with it comes discomfort that requires urgent attention. I guess the mistake I always commit most times are taking caffeine at night and making attempts to blow out the mucous out. Though they seem like a better options but I never knew they do more harm than good. Great post

    • Not many people know that coffee can cause nose issues, I was surprised myself. But now I  look back to my coffee drinking days, I see the correlation. 

  6. These are great ideas to help those suffering from stuffy noses! I have never heard of coffee being a substance that many people could be allergic to. However, when you are tired and need sleep, it is very smart to take steps to avoid things that may be aggravating the issue!! Great advice!

    • I stopped drinking coffee along time ago. My nose has been better for it. 


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