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Stuffy Nose At Night: Why Do I Get Nasal Congestion Before Bed

Stuffy nose at night can be discomforting and can result from an improper sleeping position, heat and humidity, allergy, and cold and sinus infection.

Varun Verma
Written by: Varun VermaUpdated at: May 22, 2023 20:00 IST
Stuffy Nose At Night: Why Do I Get Nasal Congestion Before Bed

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A stuffy nose at night is a common problem that many people experience. It can be frustrating to deal with, especially when it disrupts your sleep. In this article, Dr Diptarka Bhattacharyya, Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) Specialist/Otorhinolaryngologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Koramangala, Bengaluru, explains why you may get nasal congestion before bed and what you can do to prevent it.

Why Do I Get Nasal Congestion Before Bed

Sleeping Position

One of the main reasons why you may experience a stuffy nose at night is the position of your head during sleep. When you lie down, gravity can cause mucus to build up in your nasal passages, leading to congestion. This is true if you sleep on your back. In this position, mucus can accumulate in the back of your throat, making it difficult to breathe through your nose.

Heat and Humidity

Dr Bhattacharyya said, "Another reason for nasal congestion at night can happen due to heat and humidity." He added that repeated exposure to extreme heat and humidity can have long-term health impacts, including respiratory conditions, such as chronic sinusitis and asthma.

He said, "Prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity can cause inflammation in the respiratory system, leading to chronic sinusitis or worsening of pre-existing respiratory conditions."

Also ReadNot Only Cold Weather But Heat And Humidity Trigger Sinuses Too


Allergic rhinitis is another reason for a blocked nose at night. Dr Bhattacharyya said, "It is caused by an overreaction of the immune system to allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander." He added that when exposed to certain allergens, the immune system creates antibodies that cause the production of histamine, causing symptoms, such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy nose and throat.”


Colds and sinus infections can also cause nasal congestion at night. When you have a cold or sinus infection, your body produces more mucus than usual to help flush out the virus or bacteria. This excess mucus can lead to congestion, making it difficult to breathe through your nose.

How To Prevent Nasal Congestion At Night? 

Here's how you can prevent nasal congestion:

Change your sleeping position: If you sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side instead. This can help prevent mucus from accumulating in the back of your throat.

Protection from heat: Dr Bhattacharyya said, "It is essential to take precautions when exposed to extreme heat and humidity, such as staying hydrated, avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun, and seeking shelter in an air-conditioned environment whenever possible."

Also ReadSinusitis In Summer: Expert Weighs In Prevention And Treatment

Use a humidifier: You can use a humidifier and add moisture to the air to relieve congestion if it is caused by dry air.

Keep your bedroom clean: Make sure to vacuum and dust your bedroom regularly to keep allergens under control.

Use a saline nasal spray: Saline nasal sprays can help flush out mucus and relieve congestion. They are safe to use and can be used as prescribed by your doctor.

Take allergy medication: If you have allergies, taking allergy medication before bed can help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages and prevent congestion.


A stuffy nose at night is a common problem that many people experience. Dr Bhattacharyya concluded, "If you experience any symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness, seek medical attention immediately."

[Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided by a registered medical practitioner. However, we recommend you consult your healthcare provider for accurate diagnosis and treatment.]