Spring allergies, colds, the flu, and other common causes of a stuffy nose can make it tough to get a good night’s sleep. Related symptoms including post-nasal drip, itchy, watery nose and eyes, sinus pain and congestion can be bothersome enough to keep you up at night.
In the sleeping position, gravity increases blood flow to the nose which increases sinus pressure, leading to congestion in the nasal passages.
According to Dr. Subinoy Das, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Tivic Health and CEO and Medical Director, U.S. Institute for Advanced Sinus Care and Research, “The holes in our sinuses that allow for drainage are very small, so a small amount of swelling from a sinus infection can clog the sinuses, create mucus buildup, and lead to congestion and sinus pain.”
Here are 9 natural ways to soothe your symptoms without medication, so you can get the rest you need to recover quickly:
- Sleeping on your back is the best position, with an extra pillow to elevate your head. This can help drain mucus and relieve sinus pressure. Avoid sleeping on your side, since it may make one or both nostrils even more congested.
- The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) recommends keeping humidity in your bedroom at less than 50% with a dehumidifier or air conditioner, to keep offending allergens like pollen and dust mites away.
- Take a hot shower before bed, or try a facial steam in your kitchen or bathroom.
- Right before bedtime, you may also place a hot towel over your forehead and sinuses to help widen your pathways and loosen up mucus.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking lots of fluids. Hot, caffeine-free tea is full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can clear nasal congestion. And chicken soup is famously known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Foods containing capsaicin, such as chili peppers, curries, and hot sauces, have a thinning effect on mucus and can offer mild, temporary relief of nasal congestion.
- Try nasal breathing strips which lift the sides of the nose to help open nasal passages at night.
- Stress can trigger seasonal allergy flare-ups so practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditating, or take time to do activities you enjoy.
- Consider alternative non-invasive treatments like ClearUP® Sinus Pain Relief – a 100% drug-free therapy device that uses gentle microcurrent technology to relieve sinus pain and nasal congestion from allergies, colds, and the flu.
Dr. Das adds, “Over 75% of my patients experience both sinus pain and congestion symptoms. In some cases, these are chronic conditions lasting for weeks. ClearUP’s gentle microcurrent technology can turn off signals from the autonomic nerves in the face, and break the cycle of chronic inflammation, providing fast, effective pain and congestion relief.”