Home / Blog August 25, 2023

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Discover Quick Relief: 23 Easy Tips to Sleep Soundly with a Stuffy Nose

Taking a steamy shower and elevating your head as you sleep can help you clear your stuffy nose. Dark and cozy rooms help you sleep better too, as do over-the-counter medications. Your nose will thank you for also keeping your bedding clean and trying an air humidifier.

how to sleep with a stuffy nose


Reasons for a stuffy nose range from diseases and pregnancy to dander and dust mites.

To sleep soundly with a stuffy nose, consider taking a steamy shower and elevating your head as you sleep.

You may also want to keep clean bedding and an air purifier to avoid getting a stuffy nose. 

Did you know?
At any given time, about 12% of the U.S. population has nasal congestion aka stuffy noses.

Falling asleep with a stuffy nose can be challenging. The difficulty in breathing and the pain that your own nose will betray you is hard enough to steal your sleep away. So, if you’re wondering how to get rid of a stuffy nose… we’ve got you

The most helpful tips are elevating your head, taking a steam shower, and using nasal sprays. For the foodies, eating honey, spicy snacks, and drinking calming teas also works great. These are only a handful from the 23 remedies we curated for you to get the ZzZs you need

Read on to see why these tips work and how to care for yourself as you nudge your blocked nose to clear.

What Causes a Stuffy Nose?

We all get a blocked nose once in a while. Curious about why this happens? The following are some of the most common sources of stuffiness.



  • Eating extra spicy food that can also cause a runny nose
  • Certain medications like those for depression, seizures, and high blood pressure
  • Allergies such as reactions to pollen, mold, dust, and pets
  • Reactions to substances like tobacco smoke and other air pollutants
  • Inhaling air that is too cold or dry 

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How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose

We've gathered the most efficient tips from trusted sources just for you.

For the best outcome, you may want to try as many of these tips as you are able to. It is important to note that some of these stuffy nose remedies may work for you, others may not

What to do for Quick Relief from a Stuffy Nose

Dealing with a stuffy nose at night? The tips we have are for when you wonder, “How can I get rid of a stuffy nose?” or “How can I unblock my nose naturally?”

1. Elevating your head

Let gravity take care of nasal congestion by draining the stuffiness away. You may want to try propping yourself up with some pillows, which can help reduce the likelihood of other issues like snoring and sleep apnea. A full body pillow like our Cuddler will not only elevate your head but also spoon you up for calming cuddles.


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2. Taking a steamy shower

Consider taking a warm and steamy shower because the steam can thin out the undrained mucus in your nose. You may want to stay in the shower for a little longer and inhale the steam for a few minutes. If this is too hard to do, you can try preparing some warm water in a bowl and carefully move closer to inhale some steam gently

3. Eating something spicy

Foods with chili contain the compound capsaicin, which makes mucus thinner. Although this means you will have a runny nose, capsaicin in foods like salsas and currys will help clear out a blocked nose. However, only consume spicy food if you do not have an upset stomach or if you have no history of a bad reaction to spicy foods.

4. Eating honey

Grabbing a teaspoon of honey and licking some can help you scoop up honey’s medicinal benefits. The Advanced Allergy and Sinus Center (AASC) reports that rinsing your nose with Manuka honey, for instance, can kill bacteria that causes certain sinus infections.

5. Taking a Ginger Shot

A study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that oral administration of a diet with 2% ginger reduced symptoms like severity of sneezing and nasal rubbing. This is ascribed to ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties. Simply boil 2 cups of water with chopped ginger in it and make your own compressor at home.

6. Gargling with salt water

Simply mix ¼ to ⅛ teaspoon of salt in a warm glass of water (8 oz.). Using this sort of saline solution will help improve nasal discharge. Gargling, especially, can help in draining excess mucus from an inflamed throat, which may accompany your stuffy nose.

7. Chicken Noodle Soup

Cook up your favorite recipe of chicken soup because as it turns out, chicken soup contains mild anti-inflammatory effects. Besides containing essential nutrients, chicken soup also helps keep you hydrated.

8. Drinking hot tea

A steamy cup of tea can help you feel better as your body wrestles with a blocked nose. Tea in itself has special antiviral and antioxidant properties which may provide relief from the feeling of having a stuffy nose. To make this even better, you may add a teaspoon of honey or some lemon

9. Trying acupressure

You may consider stimulating your acupressure points to relieve nasal congestion. This is an easy and complementary way that does not come with potential side effects like ingesting medications. Massaging your acupressure points will give you quick relief from a clogged nose, ensuring you sleep with less pain.

Items and Home Remedies to Help You Sleep Even With a Stuffy Nose

Below are items that answer all your questions around, “What home remedy is good for a stuffy nose?”. We’ve included resources detailing stuffy nose medications.

10. Over-The-Counter (OTC) medications

You may want to have with you OTC decongestants or antihistamines that decrease inflammation. Here is a list of 7 excell+ent nasal decongestants for you, which you can pair with any pain relievers if need be.

11. A humidifier

Humidifiers are great at dealing away with the dry air that can irritate your nose. By keeping the air humid, you will have greater ease with breathing even with nasal congestion. More research is needed to clarify whether warm or cool humidifiers work best

12. Essential Oils

There’s been evidence that essential oils have cold-fighting properties. So, if your stuffy nose is a product of a cold, you may want to add some peppermint or eucalyptus to your humidifier. You can also consider creating a chest rub, just ensure you use a carrier oil to avoid skin irritation. Check out this list of top 7 essential oils for sinus congestion.

13. Nasal strips and sprays

For an easy and affordable way to relieve your nose, try nasal strips and sprays. They have been proven to aid in not only clearing nasal pathways, but also alleviating issues caused by other sleep-related issues like sleep apnea. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions that using these devices, along with neti pots must be done with care. Improper use may lead to potential infections.

14. Menthol chest rub and lozenges

Most vapor rubs contain menthol or camphor, which can help improve your sleep. Having a menthol chest rub can help you fall asleep much more smoothly when you are dealing with a blocked nose. Although menthol cannot cure nasal congestion, products like menthol lozenges can deal with other accompanying symptoms of stuffy noses like coughs and sore throats, which might make it harder for you to fall asleep.

What Not to do When you Have a Stuffy Nose

15. Nose blowing

While blowing your nose may seem to clear your nose for a moment, it actually creates pressure in your nasal passages. Research has shown that this pressure can force the mucus to move into your sinuses, which makes your stuffy nose even more difficult to deal with. Instead of blowing aggressively, you may want to try dabbing a runny nose or if you must, gentle blowing should help.

16. Drinking coffee

The caffeine in your coffee has a diuretic effect, meaning that it aids the removal of water from your body. Drinking coffee when you have a stuffy nose can, therefore, lead to the production of thicker mucus, which will worsen nasal congestion.

17. Saying yes to alcohol

Just like coffee, alcohol triggers urine production, which makes it harder to stay hydrated. And low hydration leads to the secretion of thick mucus - the very source of a stuffy nose. A study reported by the National Institute of Health (NIH) also details how alcohol consumption can induce or worsen nasal blockage.

18. Keeping pets around

While pets are absolutely adorable, dander from cats and dogs, for instance, can be potential allergens. Keeping them in your bedroom can therefore affect the air quality around you. This could trigger a reaction that brings with it a blocked nose

General Tips for Dealing With a Stuffy Nose

19. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water helps loosen mucus, hence making it easier to drain your nasal pathways. Staying hydrated is especially important if you are experiencing other symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea along with your stuffy nose

20. Keep your medicine and supplies by your bed

You may want to collect all your medicine, teas, nasal strips, tissues, and all the nasal-unblocking goodies with you. For ease, keep them next to your stand, so you do not have to move a lot when you wake up and need some quick relief from a blocked nose.

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21. Keep clean bedding

Washing your bedding in warm water for at least once a week can deal away with irritants that cause nasal congestion. This is also true for your carpets and carpets and furniture that is made of fibers which can pick up dust and pet hairs

22. Using an air filter

When you have a stuffy nose, even the tiniest dust particles can cause even more irritation to your nasal passages. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) recommends seeing an allergist if you have recurring instances of a stuffy nose. In the meantime, an air purifier can help reduce particles in your home that can irritate you

23. Stay cool and cozy in a dark-lit room

Sleeping in a cool and dark room will help you stay comfortable as you deal with a stuffy nose, whether in the day or at night. You might want to have with you a trusty weighted blanket to give you all the warm hugs you need to feel better. Our Cotton Napper is evenly weighted to support deep sleep and is perfect for all seasons

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Why is Nasal Congestion Worse at Night?

So what causes a stuffy nose at night? Well, it is harder for your nose and sinuses to drain mucus as you lay down. Environmental factors like allergens can cause swelling in your nasal tissues. Abnormalities such as nasal polyps can also worsen this swelling, leading to difficulty to drainage of mucus. At night, especially, your sleep posture can make it even harder to clear mucus from the nose and sinuses

Luckily, you can fix your sleep posture by lying with your head elevated. This way, your sinus cavities will have a better chance of getting clear. Fingers crossed and you will wake up without a sinus headache in the morning, which is a typical companion of a blocked nose.

When to See a Doctor Because of a Stuffy Nose

If you are concerned about the progression of a stuffy nose, you may want to see a medical professional. This is especially important if a blocked nose lasts beyond 10 days.

And if the following unwanted visitors tag along with your stuffy nose, it may be best to seek medical assistance:

  • Blurry or compromised vision
  • Cough that produces mucus and lasts over 10 days
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge that is neither white nor yellow, e.g. green or black or bloody
  • Sore Throat
  • Swollen face or tonsils
  • White or yellow spots in the throat/ tonsils’ area 


Whatever you call it, stuffy nose, clogged nose, blocked nose, or nasal congestion… it is possible to get relief. You may want to consider the most tried-and-true tips for clearing your nose such as elevating your head, steam inhalation, and eating something yummy and spicy. Getting to the source of the stuffy nose is just as important, so consider seeing an allergy specialist.

As you do your best to clear your blocked nose, remember to look out for unwanted tag-alongs. These include a fever, cough, unusual fatigue and blurred vision. Also, if the stuffy nose lasts longer than 10 days, you may want to visit a medical facility for a detailed diagnosis of any underlying causes of the stuffiness.