I’ve grappled with a stuffy nose numerous times in my life. From my experience, I have not only learned how to cope with the stubborn and irritating feeling but also how to sleep with it. In this article, I’ll share some strategies on how to sleep with a stuffy nose.
How To Sleep With A Stuffy Nose
You can comfortably sleep with a stuffy nose by employing several strategies. They include:
- Proper sleeping position
- Installing a humidifier
- Using decongestants before sleep
- Using nasal dilator strips
- Take plenty of fluids
1. Proper Sleeping Position
One thing I have come to realize is that your type of sleeping position can make a difference in whether you will be comfortable or restless when sleeping with a stuffy nose. If you fail to sleep well because of a poor sleeping position, your mood and body will be affected.
So which position should you sleep on to enjoy a comfortable sleep at night?
Firstly, the stuffiness of the nose happens more at night because when you are lying down, more blood tends to flow not only to your nose but also head. This occurrence potentially results to further inflammation of the nasal passages.
The worst sleeping position when having a stuffy nose is side sleeping. Sleeping on the side further congests your nostrils. The last thing you want when you have a stuffy nose is to clog your nose further. Instead, your sleeping position should allow mucus to flow smoothly.
Sleeping upright, although weird and tiresome(and not the choice for most people), is what I consider the best sleeping position for stuffy nose. Another position is laying on your back and then elevating the head using a pillow. When you do this, you enhance the force of gravity to work in your favor and assist promote drainage. It goes miles to not only drain the mucus but also relieve any pressure from the nose.
All you need to do is utilize a pillow with arms or just a stack of pillows to bolster yourself.
In addition to observing the right sleeping position, the other thing you need to do to improve your nose stuffiness is using appropriate beddings. This is especially true if you are grappling with dust mite allergies. Instead of using beddings, use wool pillows and duvets.
The hypoallergenic nature of wool makes it ideal for allergic people which goes miles to reduce nose stuffiness as allergies contribute immensely to congestion. Wool is also effective when it comes to releasing humidity and moisture into the atmosphere.
By doing this, wool creates a hostile environment for allergens and dust mites. This makes it a great choice for those suffering from a stuffy nose because of household allergens.
2. Installing A Humidifier
One of the most important things you need to know is that humid air is necessary for the optimal performance of the lungs. Because of their elastic nature, they expand when we breathe in and contract when we breathe out. While particulates such as pet hair and mold spores are filtered via the nose, most of them get to the lungs.
Our bodies respond to this by forming a coat around the particulates. The coat is popularly known as mucus. Although it is necessary and normal, whenever the air becomes too dry, our lungs start to dry, reduces their elasticity rendering them non-performers.
All these results to more mucus. More mucus means more congestion meaning your nose will be stuffy.
Now that we have established how a stuffy or congested nose comes about, the million-dollar question that then begs is, how does a humidifier help with a stuffy nose?
By installing a humidifier in your room, it helps provide more humidity and moisture inside your nose. Humidified air is ideal for the nose, particularly during winter. The air counteracts dryness inside your nose.
Some of the available choices in the market include:
- Evaporative humidifiers – These usually release cool air to the atmosphere via a moist filter.
- Impeller humidifiers – They disperse cool mist via a fast-rotating disc.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers – They utilize ultrasonic vibrations to release cool mist to the air.
- Vaporizers – These are simply warm-mist humidifiers that cool hot steam before it finds its way into the room air. When using this, you need to be very careful especially if you have children as they can get burnt. Make sure you keep them out of the reach of your young ones to be on the safe side.
Note: When using a humidifier to help you manage or get rid of a stuffy nose, it is prudent to maintain an indoor humidity of not more than 50%. Too much moisture inside the house encourages an escalation of dust mites within the home.
This development can be a cause of not only allergies but also congestion or stuffing of the nose.
3. Using Decongestants Before Sleep
One of the reasons we have a stuffy nose is informed by swelling of blood vessels and subsequent blocking of the airways. Having used decongestants at different times when I had a stuffy nose, I can authoritatively state that they are magical when it comes to alleviating the stuffiness in the nose.
What you need to know is that decongestants are vital in shrinking the swollen blood vessels hence assisting you to breathe easier. The two most important ingredients that you need to be on the lookout for are pseudoephedrine (more facts ) and phenylephrine(more facts). These are highly effective when it comes to clearing your nasal passage.
Note: Avoid using them continuously for 4 – 5 days. Doing this can make your nose stuffier. In addition to that, they can make you more irritable and nervous.
4. Using Nasal Dilator Strips
Based on a study from NIH, This is another effective strategy that I have come to appreciate its prowess every time I have a stuffy nose (and snoring). Let me first explain how their usage comes in …
With some folks, like myself, we have a narrow space between the nostrils and nasal septum. With others, theirs tend to shrink or collapse completely or partially during the process of inspiration. Another group naturally has floppy and thin nostrils. All these are common cases with many people.
Nasal dilator strips come in handy to solve most of the aforementioned issues. Simply put, they help you breathe better by either holding your nostrils or clearing any blockage.
If you don’t find the strips effective, you can try spraying some nasal saline. With some people, this too might not work. Tropical spray decongestants are another alternative you can consider. With the tropical sprays, avoid using them for long as you can be addicted to them.
What we recommend: Breathe Right Nasal Strip
5. Take Plenty Of Fluids
One of the secrets that I have discovered is effective with my stuffy nose is taking plenty of fluids. Doing so goes miles to getting rid of the congestion in the nasal passage. It is also magical when it comes to preventing your mucus from being too thick.
Taking fluids is handy at preventing dehydration and making sure your throat remains moist. Some of the fluids you can take comprise of:
- Ginger ale
- Fruit drinks
- Herbal teas
- Sports drinks
- Water (lots of water)
When it comes to liquids, it is prudent to avoid caffeinated ones such as coffee and cola. Often, these are counterproductive as instead of increasing moisture inside the body, they raise urine output.
You can also consider inhaled steam. It is also efficient at easing the stuffiness in your nose. Steam, whether you are enjoying it from a hot cup of tea or even a hot shower can be magical at thinning our mucus hence being of great importance in helping you remove it from your nose. If you opt for this option, you should do it from a distance to avoid skin scalding.
If you want to enjoy real quick reprieve, you should put some hot water inside a big bowl. Once you do that, use a towel to cover your head, then lean on the bowl. The final step entails allowing the steam to get into your nose. To enjoy impressive results, repeat this process 3 – 4 times every day, several hours before you head to bed.
Hot soups or broths can also be handy at helping loosening mucus. If you desire to drink the golden standard that is also tasty, you should try the chicken soup.
What about herbal teas like chamomile? Are they efficient? Can you trust them to help with a stuffy nose? Yes, they can! The one I have used and I’m pretty sure works is tea containing peppermint. Peppermint’s primary active ingredient, menthol is great when it comes to getting rid of all the gunk inside your chest.
When it comes to taking peppermint tea, all you need to do is mix one teaspoon of peppermint (dried) inside one cup of boiling water for roughly ten minutes. Take one cup five times per day for impressive results.
Note: The strategy of taking plenty of fluids, needs you to do it several hours before going to sleep. This will ensure that by the time you’re stepping into bed, your nasal passage has cleared or is not stuffy.