Stuffy Nose at Night? 6 Ways to Reduce Nighttime Congestion Without Medication

I always had a stuffy nose at night as a child.  My medication was never strong enough, even the Benadryl.  Certain seasons were worse than others, and my mother did her best to help me cope and feel more comfortable.

Little Sammy Sneeze (1904 06) by Winsor McCay

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Over the years, my medications have improved significantly, and I have less trouble with nighttime congestion.  However, there are times, whether I have a cold or my allergies are acting up from increased exposure to allergens, giving me the dreaded stuffy nose at night while I’m trying desperately to sleep.

If you are already taking medication daily, like I am, taking more medication to treat nighttime congestion can be a gamble.  You could risk over-medicating yourself, which is never good.

However, there are ways to decrease symptoms of nighttime allergies and congestion without using medications.

5 Ways to Ease the Discomfort of a Stuffy Nose at Night

  1. Shower before bed. Showering cleanses away all the things you’ve come in contact with during the day, including any allergens such as pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and animal dander.  Wash your hair and body thoroughly before bed each night while nighttime congestion symptoms persist.  This is especially important during the spring when the pollen counts are high.
  2. Clean Your Nose Use a Neti Pot or Saline Nasal Spray before bed if you are experiencing any allergy symptoms.  If your nose tickles, or if you’ve been sneezing all day, going to bed like that could make you congested or keep you from getting adequate rest.  Wash out your nose to clean out all the allergens and pollutants inside that are irritating your sinuses.
  3. Use Vaporub or some other form of menthol or eucalyptus to help you breathe easier.  Ask your doctor before using it if you have asthma or other conditions that might make this bothersome for your body.
  4. Use a cool mist humidifier while you sleep.  Sometimes, nighttime allergy symptoms are caused or exacerbated by the heat running in the house, which dries out the air.  If this is the case, or you live in a particularly dry climate, try using a cool mist humidifier.  It will moisten your nasal passages, bringing some relief.
  5. Breathe Right Nasal Strips are a real help.  I first discovered them while I was pregnant with our first child, as my congestion was so horrible I couldn’t swallow anything without temporarily losing my ability to breathe.  I couldn’t breathe through my nose at all.  The breathe right strips helped me get some relief from my symptoms.  There are many different kinds, and some actually have menthol in them to help get rid of that stuffy nose.
  6. When all else fails, shove tissues up your nose.  This is my tried and true method, and I did it a lot as a child.  It’s not sexy, but neither is feeling miserable and tired.  If I wake in the middle of the night congested, I will shove tissues up my blocked nostril(s) and go back to sleep.  I will breathe through my mouth the rest of the night, and the tissues relieve the pressure in my sinuses.  If you’ve never tried it, I highly recommend it, especially if the above don’t bring you any relief for your stuffy nose at night.

Question:  What are your secret home remedies for a stuffy nose at night?

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