You may wonder why you wake up with a blocked nose in the morning when you have been sleeping soundly all night. It is because the nose acts as a filter for the air we breathe and slows down the airflow to prevent particles from entering the lungs. The nose is also responsible for producing mucus, which moistens and cleans the air we breathe.
At night, when we are lying down, the air we breathe is more likely to become blocked. This is because gravity pulls the mucus down into the nose, which can block the air passage.
Here are 8 ways you can do to prevent a stuffy nose in the morning.
1. Sleep with Your Head Elevated
When you sleep with your head elevated, it allows the mucus to drain more easily out of your nose. This will help to prevent the mucus from accumulating in your nose and blocking the air passage.
You can do this by placing an extra pillow under your head or by sleeping with your head on a wedge pillow.
2. Use a Humidifier
If the air in your home is dry, it can contribute to a stuffy nose. To help moisten the air and prevent a stuffy nose, use a humidifier in your bedroom at night.
Dry air can make the mucus in your nose thicker and harder to drain. HVAC systems make the air dry, recycled air can quickly dry out your home, which can irritate the lining of your nose and throat, then lead to inflammation and congestion. This is more likely to happen in the winter when the air is drier.
A humidifier will add moisture to the air and help reduce inflammation and congestion. You may also want to try using a saline nasal spray to help moisturize your nose and reduce congestion.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of fluids will help to thin the mucus and make it easier to drain. Water, juice, and warm liquids like soup or tea are all good options. Avoid alcohol and caffeine as they can dehydrate you and make the mucus thicker.
When your body is dehydrated, the mucus in your nose becomes thick and difficult to drain. This can lead to a buildup of mucus, which can then cause a stuffy nose.
To stay hydrated, aim to drink eight glasses of water per day. You can also get fluids from eating fruits and vegetables, as well as from drinking herbal tea. Don’t drink sugary drinks at night, as they can actually contribute to dehydration.
4. Clear Allergens In Your Room
The most common reason for a stuffy nose in the morning is allergies. If you have pets, are allergic to dust or pollen, or live in an area with high levels of air pollution, these allergens can build up in your bedroom overnight and cause you to wake up with a stuffy nose. To help prevent this, try to keep your bedroom as free of allergens as possible.
This means vacuuming regularly, dusting with a damp cloth, and washing your bedding in hot water at least once a week. If you have pets, try to keep them out of your bedroom as much as possible.
You may also want to consider using an air purifier in your room. Meanwhile, take a shower at night to remove allergens from your skin and hair before going to bed.
If your house is located near the main road with many traffic, traffic pollution could be the reason for your morning stuffy nose. The nasal symptoms of colds and seasonal allergies may become worse due to air pollution.
To help reduce your exposure to traffic pollution, try to avoid being outdoors during rush hour. If you have to be outside, wear a mask to help filter out the pollution particles. You may also want to keep your windows closed at home and in your car to further reduce your exposure.
House Dust Mite
House dust mite is a common allergen that can cause a stuffy nose in the morning. These tiny creatures thrive in warm, humid environments and are often found in bedding, clothing, and upholstered furniture. If you’re allergic to dust mites, coming into contact with them can trigger symptoms like a stuffy nose, sneezing, and watery eyes.
To help reduce your exposure to dust mites, wash your bedding in hot water at least once a week and vacuum regularly. You may also want to consider using allergen-proof covers for your mattress, pillows, and duvet. If you have upholstered furniture, vacuum it regularly and consider using allergen-proof covers as well.
You might have an allergy to pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. Pollen is released into the air when plants bloom and can cause a stuffy nose. Pollen can spread long distances as it is light enough to be carried by the wind.
To help reduce your exposure to pollen, check the pollen counts for your area and try to stay indoors when they are high. Keep your windows closed at home and in your car, and shower and change clothes after being outdoors.
If you have a ceiling fan, run it on low to help circulate the air without stirring up pollen. You may also want to consider using an air purifier in your home.
Mould thrives in warm, humid environments and can often be found in damp areas like basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. If you suspect that mould is causing your stuffy nose, you can try cleaning the affected area with a bleach solution. You can also use an air purifier to remove mould spores from the air.
If you have pets, pet dander could be the reason for your stuffy nose. Pet dander is a type of skin flake that comes from animals with fur or feathers.
Keep your pets off upholstered furniture and out of your bedroom to help lower your exposure to pet dander. To get rid of pet dander from your home, vacuum frequently and wash your bedding in hot water.
5. Quit Smoking
Cigarette smoke is made up of tiny particles that can irritate your nose and throat, causing a stuffy nose. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to reduce your symptoms. If you don’t smoke, try to avoid being around smokers as much as possible.
6. Use A Neti Pot
A neti pot is a small teapot-like device that you can use to flush out your sinuses. To use it, fill the pot with saline solution and tilt your head over the sink. Then, insert the spout of the pot into one nostril and allow the solution to flow through your sinuses and out the other nostril.
Not only will this help clear out any allergens or irritants that may be causing your stuffy nose, but it will also help to moisturize your sinuses and reduce inflammation. Neti pots are available for purchase online or at most drugstores.
7. Avoid Irritants
There are a number of things that can irritate your nose and cause a stuffy nose, such as perfumes, and cleaning products. If you can, try to avoid these irritants as much as possible. This may mean using unscented laundry detergent, and avoiding heavily perfumed personal care products.
8. See Your Doctor
If your stuffy nose is severe or if you’ve tried these home remedies and haven’t found relief, it may be time to see your doctor. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your stuffy nose and recommend treatment options.
In some cases, a stuffy nose may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a sinus infection, so it’s important to see your doctor if you’re having persistent symptoms.