How to get a good night’s sleep when you have a blocked nose
When you have a blocked nose the only thing you can think about is how much you took breathing through your nose for granted.
It may seem like a minor ailment, but being stuffed up is one of the most annoying symptoms of a head cold – and it can really affect your sleep.
When you’re stuffy, sniffly and miserable, rest can be the best remedy. But if you’re struggling to breathe, sleep can be elusive. Leaving you more exhausted and prolonging your illness.
We asked Natalie Armstrong, sleep expert at Sealy UK, for her advice on how to snooze better when you’re suffering from a blocked nose.
Take a shower
A hot shower is a great way to ease nasal congestion – the steam helps to thin out the mucus in your nose and reduce inflammation.
‘While it might not rid your blocked nose completely, it can relieve symptoms for a significant amount of time, allowing you to drift off into a deep slumber,’ Natalie tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Alternatively, you can achieve the same effect by inhaling steam from a pan of hot water, which can also be easily repeated throughout the day to help stave off symptoms.’
Just be careful putting your face so close to boiling water – make sure you let it cool down a touch before getting in there.
Natalie says fluids are essential for fighting a blocked nose – so make sure you’re hitting the fluids throughout the day.
‘Water, in particular, helps to thin mucus and decrease the pressure in your sinuses,’ says Natalie. ‘This helps to reduce inflammation and irritation, as well as headaches, all of which make it easier to sleep through the night.’
Sleep with a hot compress
‘Applying a hot compress to your forehead can ease your blocked nose, as it can decrease inflammation and sinus congestion by improving blood flow,’ she says.
But don’t worry if you don’t have a hot compress at home, Natalie says you can simply place a folded towel or flannel, that has been soaked in hot water, on your forehead for a similar effect.
Eat spicy food
Because we barely need an excuse to order a spicy curry.
‘If you can brave the heat, eating spicy food is a surprisingly good way to combat your blocked nose ahead of bedtime. While it may not be the obvious remedy, eating spicy food is a natural way to induce mucus flow,’ Natalie adds.
‘This is because the compound capsaicin, which gives chilli peppers their heat, widens your nasal passages and reduces instances of inflammation and sinus pain.’
She says spicy food also produces mucus, which can leave you with a runny nose, but without any pressure from blockage or congestion
Use another pillow
You probably notice that your blocked nose gets much worse the moment you lie down – so elevation is key to helping you breathe easier.
‘Sleeping with your head propped up slightly can help to keep your blocked nose at bay during the night,’ adds Natalie. ‘Using another pillow or two will encourage the mucus to flow from the nose and take some of the extra pressure away from your head, helping you to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.’