How To Get Rid of A Stuffy Nose – Tips and Tricks

by John Griffith

Having a stuffy nose, or nasal congestion, can often be annoying, painful and affect our day-to-day life. Even the simple act of breathing becomes a battle. Whether your nose is running like a waterfall, is clogged up real good, or in some cases both at the same time, it’s just plain uncomfortable. And dealing with a stuffy nose isn’t fun in any way, especially if it’s gotten to the point where it’s keeping you from sleeping or constantly reaching for tissues. So, let’s see what we can do. From chicken soup to over-the-counter medications, there are many ways to help treat a nasal congestion. We’ve put together some  of the best tips and tricks on how to get rid of a stuffy nose and be able to breathe again.

How to get rid of a stuffy nose

how to get rid of chest congestion fast woman with pretty nose

Why Does My Nose Get Stuffy At Night?

People often believe a stuffy nose is the result of too much mucus in the nasal passages. However, the truth is slightly different. A stuffed nose is the result of inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses. Our noses have a vast network of blood vessels and valves that open and close. When the nose gets stimulated by anything that irritates it (aka the cause), the nervous system also gets stimulated, causing the valves to open. Consequently, resulting in more blood entering the nose. This causes the nasal passages to swell and breathing becomes harder.

A stuffed nose is the result of inflamed blood vessels in the sinuses

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There are many things that cause a stuffy nose. Some more common than others.

Things like upper respiratory infections such as common colds and the flu are usually the number one irritations. But things like allergies, sinus infections and a deviated septum can also help in creating a blocked nose.

If you feel like your nose gets especially stuffy during the night, you are absolutely right! When a person lies down at night, more blood starts flowing to the head. This leads to an increased congestion of the nasal lining. A flat laying position also inhibits gravity. This means dependent nasal and sinus drainage can’t properly work and this can worsen nasal congestion.

Well, whatever the triggers are, the symptoms can get you quite annoyed. So, let’s see what we can do to fight them.

Noses tend to get stuffed more at night

natural decongestant man sleeping while hugginh a pillow

How To Get Rid of a Congested Nose?

Don’t worry, there are many things you can do to get rid of a congested nose! As this is a common issue, modern medicine had many remedies on how to get rid of a stuffy nose and relieve symptoms.


These types of medicines help reduce the swelling in your nasal passage and help ease that pesky stuffy feeling and the sinus pressure. You can find them most commonly under the form of sprays, however there if you don’t enjoy spraying things up your nose, there are also pills.

Keep in mind you shouldn’t take decongestants  by mouth more than a week, and nasal spray for more than three days. They are also known to raise blood pressure, so it’s best to check in with a doctor beforehand.

You can find decongestants in spray and pill form

how to get rid of a congested nose nasal spray


If allergies are what’s got your nose stuffy, controlling them will help them ease the nose symptoms. Look for allergy medication that have an antihistamine to relieve sniffling and sneezing alongside a decongestant for the stuffiness and sinus pressure. It can also be found in multi-symptom cold medicine, especially in nighttime medicine.


Ointments that have menthol or camphor in them help you to breathe easier. You can rub them on your chest or even upper lip. There are also versions that you place in warm water and breathe in the vapor to help clear airways.

Menthol and camphor can help you breathe easier

how to clear blocked sinuses menthol leaves

See Your Doctor

If your nose has been stuffy for more than a week it’s best to check in with your doctor. If the symptoms seem severe, you can call even earlier on.

Check in with a doctor if your symptoms aren’t going away

how to unclog nose at home doctor appliences

Home Remedies For Stuffy Nose

If you feel like tackling the problem without the help of medication, you need some relief, or you just want to give an extra hand in helping out the medication, here are some at-home remedies to try out.

Neti Pot

Neti pots are used to flush out the sinuses and relieve dry nasal passages. This teapot-shaped device may seem like a new trend in alternative medicine, however it has been around for centuries. Used by yoga and Ayurvedic practitioners in India, this nasal irrigation is a gentle and very effective way to help with clear mucus and allergens.


  • Neti Pot
  • Warm Distilled Water
  • Salt


  1. Fill the neti pot with a saline solution made of warm water and salt.
  2. Insert the spout into one nostril.
  3. Tilt your head to the other side, allowing the solution to flow up into the nasal passage and then out the other.
  4. Repeat to the other nostril.

The neti pot has been used for centuries 

how to relieve stuffy nose neti pot

Spicy Meals

The chemical found in spicy foods – capsaicin – can undoubtedly be of help when it comes to relieving a runny nose. However, it can’t really help if it’s caused by allergies. Even though it may seem as if the runniness is getting worse at first in the long run the heat will relieve your nose.

Spicy food can help in the long run 

spicy chili sauce, ketchup

Steam Inhalation

Steam is a classic way on how to get rid of a stuffy nose. You can use buy a steam machine, or you can do it with a bowl, or even in the sink. Steam from your shower-bath may also help. Taking a hot shower can help your breathing return to normal for a while.


  • Bowl or Sink
  • Hot Water
  • Towel
  • Optional: Peppermint, Chamomile or Eucalyptus Oil


  1. Pour hot water into a large bowl or into the sink.
  2. Cover your head with a towel and lean over.
  3. Breathe in the steam.
  4. You can also add some chamomile or peppermint oil.
  5. You can do this several times a day.

Steam is a classic way to treat a stuffy nose

how to clear a stuffy nose pot with steam

Warm Foods and Drinks

Food like soups are the golden when you’ve come down with a cold. Hot broths can help loosen mucus and chicken soup is definitely the best when it comes to fighting infections. It’ll help you feel less stuffy, feel you up with great nutrients, and it tastes delicious.

Warm drinks like tea are also a must-have when fighting nasal congestion.  Try peppermint or ginger tea. You can also boil two or three cloves of garlic and drink the water from it twice a day. But it’s not as yummy as other types of tea. It’s important to stay hydrated – especially if you’re not feeling well – and this is a great way to do it.

Enjoy some warm soup or tea for some relief 

constant blocked nose but no cold tea and teapot

Warm Compress

Applying a warm compress can help relieve some pain and can also increase circulation in the sinuses.


  • Washcloth
  • Warm Water
  • Bowl
  • Optional: Fresh Ginger


  1. Soak a washcloth in some warm water.
  2. Wring out any excess and apply it to the nose or forehead.
  3. If you want, you can also add some fresh ginger to the water before soaking the cloth.
  4. You can do this numerous times a day.

You can do a warm compress multiple times a day

how to get rid of clogged nose warm compress

Air Humidifier

A humidifier or a vaporizer is a great way to add moisture to your environment. This will help with nasal congestion. When the air is too dry, the mucus can get thicker and not flow very well. This means your sinuses can’t drain properly. Ensuring the air has moisture will prevent that. You can also add some essential oils for some added benefits.

Moisture in the air can help with nasal congestion

how to fix a stuffy nose air humidifier

Saline Spray

You can use a simple saline nasal spray to help clear congestion. It washes out the nasal passages from things like allergens, pollen, dust, and so on. It also loosens dried or thick mucus to make it easier to remove. The spray soothes dry and irritated noses.

Saline spray is a solution made with water and salt 

why does my nose get stuffy at night saline spray salt

How To Relieve Sinus Pressure

Clogged and congested sinuses are not only annoying, but they can also be very painful.  You can get some relief by doing targeted massages. Massages have many benefits and uses. Here is how to do all four of your sinuses for some headache relief and for nasal congestion.

Frontal Sinus

These sinuses are located in the center of your forehead and right above your eyes.


  1. Take both of your index and middle fingers. Place them above your eyebrows, toward the middle of your forehead.
  2. In a circular motion, gently and slowly massage outward toward the temples.
  3. Repeat the motion for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Maxillary Sinus

These sinuses are the largest and are found on both sides of your nose, just below the cheeks.


  1. Place each of your index and middle fingers on either side of the nose. Just between the cheekbones and upper jaw. Try using your thumbs instead of the index fingers for stronger pressure.
  2. Massage gently using a circular motion.
  3. Repeat the motion for about 30 seconds to a minute.

Sphenoid and Ethmoid Sinus

You can find these sinuses behind your nose and right between your eyes. The ethmoid sinuses are in the bone that divides the nasal cavity from your brain. So, these two are quite close together.


  1. Take each of your index fingers and place them on the side of your nose bridge.
  2. Feel around for the area between your nasal bone and the corner of your eyes.
  3. Put some firm pressure on that spot with your index finger. Do this for 15 seconds.
  4. Make a slow downward stroke down the side of your nose bridge.
  5. Repeat steps three and four once or twice.

Sinus massages may help relieve pressure

how to get rid of a stuffy nose in minutes sinus massage

Now you know how to get rid of a stuffy nose. You can take on the battle head on and win. We hope you find these tips and tricks useful!

No more stuffiness 

how to unclog your nose stuffy nose woman with blue sweater

John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.