Nose Is Blocked Up When I Lie Down

Q: Why Does My Nose Get Blocked Up/Stuffy When I Lie Down Only?

Answer: There are several reasons for a stuffy nose when lying down at night. During the day, there is less blood flow and pressure to the head (when you’re standing up.) But at night, excess blood and mucus rush to fill the nasal cavity, due to gravity. It could also be due to enlarged nasal blood vessels.

What causes enlarged blood vessels

There are several reasons for an enlarged nasal lining, including sinusitis/rhinitus, cold and flu, and allergies to environmental factors. Other causes are nostril growths, like deviated septum, nasal polyps, or a crooked nose due to accident/birth defect.

Curing Your Stuffed Up Nose

The cure for a blocked up nose when lying down depends on the cause. After ruling out deviated septum (a deviation of the nasal cartilage which blocks one nostril) the most likely cause is dust, or allergies to dust and dust mites.

1.) Vacuum your pillow to kill dust mites. Dust allergies are most active when you lie down, because dust and dust mites (along with dead skin cells, dandruff, and hair oil) collect in your pillow, meaning you breathe them in all night. Additionally, dust and dust mites collect in bedroom carpet, sheets, mattresses, and mattress pads, making the stuffy nose worse.

2.) Invest in a sleep apnea machine. Sleep Apnea is a chronic condition that causes excessive snoring every night, and causes you to stop breathing at periods in the night.

3.) If you already have a sleep apnea machine: If you breathe with the help of a CPAP machine (for sleep Apnea sufferers) dust can collect in the filter and mask of the machine, triggering night time dust allergies, stuffy nose, and blocking your nose when you lie down. Clean the mask and filter of your CPAP machine at least weekly with a mild soap solution to eliminate dust in the machine.

4.) Eliminate allergy triggers. if your blocked nose at night is caused by dust allergies, vacuum the carpet daily or move the bed to a carpet-free room. Vacuum the sheets between washes, and change your pillow every six months – the best is a hypoallergenic or synthetic variety (down pillows collect dust, and can make your blocked up nose when lying down worse.)