Do you often find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with a blocked nose, struggling to breathe? Nasal congestion or a blocked nose is a common problem that affects many people, and it can be especially frustrating when it disrupts your sleep.
While there are various reasons why your nose might get blocked at night, understanding the underlying causes can help you find relief and enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. In this blog post, we’ll explore the common reasons why your nose might get blocked at night and provide some tips and remedies to help you breathe easier and sleep better.
What causes a blocked nose at night?
A blocked or stuffy nose at night is a common problem that affects people of all ages and can make it difficult to breathe, sleep and can lead to other symptoms like headaches and snoring. Some of the most common causes of blocked at night include:
- Allergies: Allergies to dust, pollen, or pet dander can cause inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages, leading to congestion. During the night, your body’s natural defence mechanism against allergens can be compromised, causing nasal congestion.
- Dry air: Dry air can also irritate the nasal passages and cause them to become dry and inflamed, making it difficult to breathe.
- Nasal deformity: you may be unaware that you have a nasal deformity which is not always obvious externally. An assessment by a specialist is required most of the time to diagnose this. This will be a possible cause of a blocked nose if it is worse on one side.
- Sleeping position: Changes in body position, such as sleeping on your back, can cause the nasal passages to become congested. This is because gravity can cause fluids to accumulate in the nasal passages and sinuses, leading to a blocked nose.
- Infections: Viral infections, colds, or flu can also cause swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages and obstruct airflow, making it difficult to breathe.
- Medications: Certain medications, such as blood pressure medications and birth control pills, can cause nasal dryness and congestion as a side effect, leading to a stuffy nose at night.
Identifying the underlying cause of your blocked nose at night can help you find the right treatment and improve your quality of sleep.
How to treat a blocked nose
A blocked nose at night can make it difficult to breathe and get a good night’s sleep. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to alleviate your symptoms and breathe easier. One of the simplest ways to relieve nasal congestion is to use a saline nasal spray or nasal irrigation system. These products help to flush out mucus and other irritants from the nasal passages, reducing inflammation and making it easier to breathe.
Another effective treatment is to use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air. This helps to keep the nasal passages moist and can reduce inflammation, making it easier to breathe. Elevating your head with an extra pillow can also help to relieve congestion by reducing the amount of fluid that accumulates in the nasal passages.
Over-the-counter decongestants or antihistamines may also provide temporary relief from nasal congestion, but it’s important to check with your doctor before using them, especially if you have high blood pressure or other medical conditions. The long-term use of nasal decongestants is also counterproductive most of the time.
Finally, if your nasal congestion persists or is accompanied by other symptoms such as facial pain, fever, or difficulty breathing, it’s important to see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. A nasal deformity many times requires a surgical correction.
If you have been getting a blocked nose at night regularly, it’s worth talking to an ENT specialist who can advise you on a potential treatment plan. Mr Olarinde of ENT Sheffield offers consultations to suit your busy schedule, often at short notice. You can book a consultation online or get in touch on 0114 321 6522.