Natural Remedies for a Stuffy Nose so you Can Breathe at Night
It’s bedtime. You’ve got a cold, and all you want to do is lay down and sleep but you can’t breathe. But is it possible to get some sleep with a stuffy nose?
One of the things I hate most about having a cold or allergies is not being able to breathe through my nose when I go to bed. Seriously, I’d rather have full blown flu than not be able to breathe.
I can handle when I’m up moving around during the day. But when it’s bedtime, I have to be able to breath through my nose.
I’d rather use natural remedies for a stuffy nose because they work with the body and don’t make me feel like I have a hangover.
Here’s a list of some of the most effective remedies I’ve used in the past to open my nose so I could breathe at night.
*Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose Using Acupressure
I actually learned about this from my chiropractor. I had came in for an adjustment on a day and I had a cold. I was laying there on the table face down barely able to talk and struggling to breathe. When he flipped me over I guess I looked blue or something, because he started putting pressure on different spots on my face.
What the heck, dude?!
He explained there are pressure points on your face that can help with congestion. I kinda thought he was nuts, but it turned out to be pretty darn effective. I often do these exercises when nothing else will let me breathe at night.
Sinus Acupressure Points for Nasal Congestion
Hold each of these points with firm pressure for two to four minutes at a time. Repeat as often as necessary.
- Pink: Press firmly where your eyebrows meet the bridge of your nose.
- Green: Press just under your cheekbones directly below your pupils.
- Blue: Press on either side of the corner of your nose where it meets your face.
If you’d like to go more in depth with acupressure and how it can help you breathe easier, I recommend the book, Acupressure’s Potent Points A Guide to Self-Care for Common Ailments. It has a complete section about nasal congestion and how to clear it.
How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose Using a Neti Pot
Neti pots rinse your nasal passages with salt water, and that salt water acts like a magic bullet so you can breathe better.
This means when you have a cold, a neti pot flushes out all the snotty gunk and then reduces swelling in your inflamed nasal cavities.
Think of it as a roto rooter. It cleans out the pipes, and gets air flowing again.
I cannot live without my neti pot when I’m sick and congested. I don’t just use a neti pot at night. I also use my neti pot several times during the day as well to clear my nose so I can breathe.
When using a neti pot to open your unclog your nose at night, I suggest doing it about an hour before you go to bed. For some reason when I do it too close to bedtime, I clog back up when I lay down.
How to Use a Neti Pot for a Cold
Traveller’s Neti Pot for Nasal Cleansing With 10 Sachet Neti Salt
It is important to keep the neti pot clean. Always wash with warm soapy water after each use. Also, ALWAYS use purified or boiled water in the neti pot. Never use tapwater.
Does the thought of running salt water through your nasal passages freak you out? You can bypass the pot altogether and use canned saline nasal spray. It won’t run in one nostril and out the other like a neti pot, but it will still clean the gunk out and reduce the swelling in your nasal passages so you can breathe.
How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose Using Essential Oils
I have been using this method for a stuffed up nose before I even knew what essential oils really were.
Back in the day, I used to boil water, put a couple of drops of my dad’s oil of oregano (he was really into natural healing) put a towel over my head and breathe in as much as I could until everything broke loose and opened up.
Now I know why that worked so well. Steam is great for congestion, but it was the essential oil that really helped to unstuff my nose.
And EO’s can be used for more than just congestion. After all these years, I finally learned how essential oils help sleep, too!
What are the Best Essential Oils for a Stuffy Nose?
The best way to use essential oils for a stuffy nose is with a bedside diffuser. Put the diffuser next to your bed, add 5-6 drops each or a combination of any of these oils so you can breathe in the mist all night:
- Tea tree
If you’re not sure which essential oil is best to use when you have a stuffy nose, I use the Breathe Easier Blend by Eden’s Garden. It’s not an overpowering odor, but it really works to open you up. My husband usually doesn’t like any kind of alternative remedies, and he swears by Breathe Easier.
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can still use the essential oils. Just do it the old school way like I did with a towel and a basin of hot water.
Alternatively, you can also mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil and rub it on your chest.
Rather than buying each essential oil separately, I’ve found it’s more effective and economical to buy an essential oil blend for colds.
Breathe Easier Synergy Blend Essential Oil by Edens GardenBreathe Blend 100% Pure, Best Therapeutic Grade Essential OilRespiratory Essential Oil Blend for Inhalation Problems, Nasal Congestion, and Cold
How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose by Eating Spicy Food Before Bed
Spicy food really gets the juices flowing. (sorry, bad pun!)
I like to eat spicy foods in the hours leading up to bed when I have a cold. That way I’ve got enough time for everything to settle, and I’m breathing free and clear.
Sorry, this is one I cannot stand. My dad swore by it, but I was stubborn and rebellious and refused to open my mouth.
If you want to try horseradish, you can either eat it plain like Daddy used to try to feed it to me, or you can eat it on crackers or in a sandwich.
Now, this is one that I actually like. Momma made me ginger tea, and next to tomato soup, was my favorite thing to have when I was sick.
To make homemade ginger tea, put 1 tbsp of fresh grated ginger and 1 tbsp raw honey in a mug. Add boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Remove the ginger and enjoy!
This is another one I approve of. I’m not one for putting hot sauce on my food, but I do love me some hot sauce on chicken ramen noodles when I’m all stuffy. It’s not too long before I’m breathing easy.
You can add hot sauce to whatever food you like, but just take it. The capsaicin in the Tabasco is what dries up mucus.
How to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose Once You’re in Bed
When you’ve used one (or more) of these natural remedies for a stuffy nose, make sure you’re setting yourself up to make it through the night once you’re in bed.
First, it’s almost always best to sleep with your head elevated. Layer a couple of pillows or use a pillow wedge to prop yourself up a couple of inches. This makes sure your, um, liquids are draining and not hanging out in your nasal passages and impeding air flow.
Also, it’s weird, but sometimes depending on what side I lay on one side of my nose will open up. When it does, this is a good time to inhale your essential oils straight from the bottle, or rub some Mentholatum under your nose and on your chest so you can breathe it in.
Finally, place a heated herbal face pillow stuffed with decongestant aromatic herbs on your face. The warmth will sooth your nasal passages and keep them open longer, and the herbs will make you breathe easier.
Hopefully by now you’re on your way to breathing easy, having a good night’s sleep, and waking up feeling better in the morning!
Jessyca Dahlin says
Absolutely horseradish! Even if you don’t want to eat, you can open up your sinuses by just opening a jar and taking a whiff! 🙂
Julia K says
I never thought about just sniffing it. But makes sense, that stuff is potent. 🙂
I have a super bad cold right now and I just put some peppermint essential oil under my nose now I can breathe perfectly!!! Try this one definitely
I’m so glad you’re breathing easier! Get well soon 🙂
Paula C says
I make a tent with a towel and put my head over steaming menthol and water mixture. It opens me up and lets me go back to sleep.
That’s awesome! I’ve used that method, too, but forgot to include it in this post. Thanks for sharing 🙂