Stuffy Nostril Solely at Night time: The Trigger and How one can Repair It


In case your nostril is at all times stuffy at night time, it is in all probability not a chilly or allergy symptoms accountable.

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You may breathe simple by way of your nostril all day lengthy, however with out fail, you at all times find yourself with a stuffy nostril at night time. What offers?

Congestion attributable to a chilly or allergy symptoms is unlikely to solely strike once you’re attempting to sleep, says Michael Yong, MD, MPH, a board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT) and fellowship-trained neurorhinologist at Pacific Neuroscience Institute in Santa Monica, California.

Usually these issues would trigger signs throughout different instances of the day too.

As an alternative, most individuals who’ve a stuffy nostril solely at night time have a situation referred to as inferior turbinate hypertrophy, Dr. Yong says. Here is easy methods to inform should you’re affected and what you are able to do to seek out aid.

The Most Widespread Reason behind Nighttime Stuffiness

Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is a benign situation that may trigger congestion once you’re attempting to sleep. The situation happens when your turbinates, the bony constructions contained in the nostril, change into enlarged or swollen, which may make it tougher to breathe by way of your nostrils, in response to the Mayo Clinic.

Your turbinates are lined with a delicate, blood-rich tissue, and so they’re extra more likely to swell once you’re mendacity down versus standing or sitting because of gravity, Dr. Yong explains. The outcome: A stuffy nostril solely at night time, once you lie down in mattress.

When you are inclined to sleep in your facet, you would possibly discover the stuffiness is worse on the facet of your nostril going through the pillow (as a result of once more, gravity!).

Together with the uptick in stuffiness once you get into mattress, you may also expertise loud night breathing, hassle sleeping, nosebleeds, a feeling of dryness in your nasal cavities and even a diminished sense of odor, say consultants at Nationwide Kids’s Hospital.

Generally bigger turbinates are merely the results of “regular anatomic variation,” Dr. Younger says (aka, you are simply born that method).

However a chilly, allergy symptoms or a sinus an infection may set off or worsen inferior turbinate hypertrophy, as a result of these points could cause nasal swelling on their very own.

Nasal blockages like a deviated septum or nasal polyps can compound the issue too, Dr. Yong says.

How one can Clear a Stuffy Nostril at Night time

The same old dwelling strategies you depend on to un-stuff your nostril are sometimes useful for managing inferior turbinate hypertrophy, particularly as a result of the issue might be triggered or worsened by colds or allergy symptoms.

Dr. Yong recommends attempting:

  • Nasal saline rinses:‌ A saline rinse might help scale back irritation of your delicate nasal tissues whereas rinsing away allergens or irritants (like mud mites or pollen) that could possibly be making the issue worse. Dr. Yong prefers rinsing with a nasal irrigation bottle (over rinsing with a neti pot), as a result of it sends extra saline by way of your nasal passages. Strive NeilMed SinuFlo ReadyRinse ($9.47, Amazon).
  • Nasal steroid sprays:‌ When used often, over-the-counter nasal steroid sprays like fluticasone (Flonase) assist scale back nasal swelling and irritation, easing congestion. “They’re protected to make use of regularly and work finest when used constantly over the course of a few months,” he says. Avoid nasal decongestant sprays like oxymetazoline (Afrin), although, which may truly make congestion worse when used for greater than a few days at a time.
  • Antihistamine nasal spray:‌ When you suspect allergy symptoms are making your nighttime stuffiness worse, an over-the-counter spray like azelastine (Astepro) might help scale back allergen-related irritation in your nasal passages. “They’ve fewer negative effects than oral antihistamines,” says Dr. Yong.
  • Surgical choices:‌ If at-home measures or medicines aren’t doing sufficient to handle the issue, an ENT could counsel surgical procedure to scale back the dimensions of your nasal turbinates, which might help make it simpler to breathe.

Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is not significantly dangerous, however it may have an effect on your sleep (which may in flip have an effect on your general well being). So let your physician know if at-home measures aren’t making a distinction to your nighttime congestion.

“Anytime you are feeling such as you want extra assist is an efficient time to see your main care physician or an ENT,” Dr. Yong says.

Contact base together with your physician, too, should you’re experiencing facial ache or stress, or irregular nasal discharge or bleeding. These could possibly be indicators of an an infection that require therapy.


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