Nighttime Congestion

Tell your nighttime congestion to go stuff it!

Drifting off to sleep should feel as relaxing as floating on a raft in lazy waters. But for many, it feels like a rough ride on turbulent rapids—plunged underwater, gasping for breath, feeling suffocated. This is chronic nighttime congestion.

The toll of nighttime congestion goes beyond a minor annoyance that leads to crummy sleep. It can wreak havoc on your body, mental stamina and overall health. And the real surprise: finding relief doesn’t have to be a struggle. Let’s uncover the hidden dangers of this frustrating condition and guide you to much calmer waters.

What is nighttime congestion?

Put simply, nighttime congestion means you have trouble breathing at night due to a stuffy nose. When you lie down it worsens and makes restful sleep very challenging. Nasal congestion can be triggered by myriad things, including1:

  • Anatomical issue with your nose (like enlarged turbinates)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sinus infection
  • Rhinitis, swelling and inflammation in the nose
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Allergens that inflame the lining of your nose and sinuses
  • And more

How do I know if I have nighttime congestion?

If you know, you know. A stuffed nose is unmistakable. You might have slight daytime congestion, but at night – when you lie down – it gets unbearably worse. Environmental factors like allergens in the air and abnormalities in the structure or lining of your nose and sinuses, can trap mucus and cause inflammation. The result? A pile of half-used tissues that didn’t even make an iota improvement in clearing your nose.

When you can’t breathe well through your nose, you’ll resort to mouth breathing…which leads to snoring. If your bed buddy complains about you sawing logs or you get an angry smack on the arm at night, you might be keeping your partner awake with your nighttime symphony, courtesy of your congested nose.

Is nighttime congestion hazardous to my health?

Absolutely. Nighttime congestion negatively impacts your sleep quality. Thus, you’re not getting the healthy, restorative sleep your organs, brain and body are depending on. Now, temporary causes like a cold can be treated with over-the-counter medication, but the chronic nighttime congestion might signal serious Breathing Triangle issues like:nasal obstruction, enlarged turbinates, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic sinusitis, rhinitis or allergies. These not only deprive you and your household of restful sleep, but can also lead to long-term health problems:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Reduced focus, productivity, concentration, and cognitive function2
  • Increased risk of weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease3
  • Greater likelihood of high blood pressure4
  • Hormonal and sexual dysfunction5
  • Short-term memory impairment

Treatment options to get to the root of nighttime congestion

likeNighttime congestion impacts the quality of your sleep, which is vital for your overall health and wellbeing. Simple solutions exist to unblock your clogged nose so you can breathe freely day and night.

It all starts with your Breathing Triangle: the two sides of your nose and throat. If any one of these passages are compromised, it can make life miserable and lead to many other downstream issues like sinus headaches, snoring or sleep apnea.

Don't Ignore Nighttime Congestion

OSA Undiagnosed: 80% OSA undiagnosed
US Snorers: 50% of US adults snore
Nasal Obstruction: 20M suffer w/ nasal obstruction
92% of ADVENT patients left a 4- or 5-star review on Google
Nose OSA: 35% nasal complaint have OSA
Sleep Divorce: 1 in 4 couples are in a sleep divorce
How it works

3 simple steps to fixing your nighttime congestion:

  1. Calendar and scheduling icon with checkmark on date

    1: Get Your Breathing Triangle Evaluation

    First, we listen. At your new patient appointment, you’ll discuss your symptoms and goals with a Sleep & Sinus Specialist. You’ll also get a thorough Breathing Triangle Evaluation to help identify any underlying issues.

  2. Icon for Get your breathing triangle healthy

    2: Uncover the Root Cause

    Depending on your symptoms you may get an in-office CT scan or home sleep study to better understand the source of your nighttime congestion.

  3. Icon for unlock your potential

    3: Treat Your Nighttime Congestion with Simple Solutions

    We offer several simple in-office treatment options to ensure you have a healthy Breathing Triangle. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be a candidate for: Balloon Sinuplasty, Turbinate Reduction, Nasal Cryotherapy, Nasal Valve Repair, Septoplasty, Polypectomy or Allergy Drop Immunotherapy.

Nighttime congestion FAQs:

Everything you need to know about:
Nighttime Congestion
Why do I experience congestion only at night?

A stuffed up nose results from inflammation to the lining of your nose and sinuses, a blockage in the nose, or both. Mucus builds up and the sinuses can’t drain it out, so you’re left with congestion. Lying down, especially flat, makes the fluid buildup feel worse.

What are the health risks associated with untreated nighttime congestion?

For starters, you won’t get the consistent, quality sleep you need each night for optimal health. Your blocked nose may also mean that you snore, which can keep others around you from sleeping soundly at night, too. Not getting enough sleep or fragmented sleep can cause cognitive, productivity, metabolic, and hormonal issues.

If the root cause of your nighttime congestion is something more serious like sleep apnea, your risk for chronic health issues like diabetes and high blood pressure increases; you could also suffer from erectile dysfunction, anxiety, stroke, and higher overall mortality rate.

Do allergies cause nighttime congestion?

Allergies can cause nighttime congestion. Our nose is the first-line defense of our immune system, as it filters everything we breathe in and out of the body. We breathe in allergens when we inhale, and this happens during the day and at night. If the pollutant that you’re allergic to gets inhaled at night (for example, dust mites in your bedroom), you’ll experience nasal congestion, runny nose, and possibly a cough from postnasal drip.

What treatments are available for nighttime congestion?

Treatment depends on the cause of your nighttime congestion. If you have a temporary condition that causes congestion like a cold, flu, or infection, you may experience enough symptom relief from medication, irrigating the nose and sinuses, or a nasal decongestant so you can rest. 

If you have an ongoing issue like allergies, enlarged turbinates, sinus infections or a nasal obstruction that’s causing your nighttime congestion, you’ll only know for sure if you see a medical specialist. At ADVENT, we have simple in-office solutions to help relieve your nighttime congestion. Potential treatments for nighttime congestion include Allergy Drop Immunotherapy, Nasal Cryotherapy, Balloon Sinuplasty, Turbinate Reduction, Nasal Valve Repair, and Septoplasty might help you breathe freely.

How does ADVENT's approach to nighttime congestion treatment differ from other ENT clinics and doctors?

ADVENT is the only medical practice of its kind that focuses solely on The Breathing Triangle®: the two sides of your nose and throat. We look at and correct both anatomical and lining issues in these areas and we’ve pioneered simple in-office solutions to ensure long-term relief from nighttime congestion.

"Many people are not aware of their nighttime congestion. If you are waking up with a dry mouth or throat, you are probably sleeping with your mouth open because your nose is congested. ADVENT offers in-office procedures to help improve nighttime congestion"

Hillary Hinkson, PA-C

Physician Assistant

"Many times patients have tried over the counter nasal sprays to help with nighttime congestion. Sometimes these provide temporary relief but most often patients continue to struggle to breathe out of their nose at night. We evaluate what the nose looks like by physical exam, scope, and imaging. Many times the turbinate structures in the nose are enlarged. These structures have blood vessels in them. When you lay down at night, blood pools in the nose and these structures enlarge. When this happens, the airflow through the nose is decreased and you feel congested. We can shrink down these structures to get patients more space in their nose. That way when you lay down at night there will still be some swelling that will happen but it will not shut off the nose."

Megan Berendes, PA-C

Physician Assistant

"ADVENT approaches the treatment of nighttime congestion differently than other ENT clinics by addressing the root-cause. Instead of offering band-aid fixes like nasal sprays and nasal strips, we are able to perform turbinate reduction, a simple in-office procedure that addresses the anatomical issue causing the congestion in the first place."

Jacob Daniels, PA-C

Physician Assistant
Nighttime Congestion

Real patient reviews:

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This place has literally changed my life. I have been a lifelong sufferer of sinus problems. Through the years, I have tried multiple over the counter remedies, seen several ENT specialists, and had a majorly invasive sinus surgery. None of it has ever really helped, and the surgery made it worse. I went to ADVENT...and I'm breathing more clearly than I ever thought possible. They truly delivered significant results. I am and will forever be grateful for the major improvement in the quality of my life.
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It's been a couple of months since the procedure and I can breathe 100% out of both nostrils! I could not have picked a more welcoming clinic to change my life.
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Every step of the process was seamless and I felt like they legitimately cared about me the entire time. Unlike what other ENTs offered, my total surgical procedure was a 30min out-patient procedure and I was back on my feet the same day. I’m six weeks post-op and I can 100% say that this procedure fixed my breathing issues and improved my quality of life. I’m sleeping more soundly (I have the data to prove it), my energy levels are better and I haven’t been congested or had to mouth breathe once.
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I am so glad that my wife handed me the number to call. I can breathe from my nose for the first time in 25 years and the staff is amazing!
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I had balloon sinuplasty...The procedures were minimally invasive and with minimal pain. I have to say a dentists' injections have caused me more pain than these ADVENT procedures. Immediately after surgery, I was able to breath better and this has continued during the healing process… Amazing!
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I'm so grateful I could cry. I'm one year post sinus surgery and normally a rainy April would make me miserable. I've barely had any headache days despite the miserable weather.
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Dr. Adams was great. He listened to me, didn't dismiss my concerns & explained everything to me…the first ENT made me feel like I was crazy by saying my nose was fine.
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I’ve had longtime problems with allergies, sinuses, breathing/respiratory issues…Everything is in one place (assessments, allergy testing, CT scans, procedures)...They are very knowledgeable to deal specifically with these issues. The setup and methods are modern and efficient. I can even do a sleep study at home with a simple device connected through a phone app. It is amazing that such a clinic like this exists!
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Fixed my nose! I had sinus surgery about 15 years ago... It did nothing but empty my wallet. ADVENT fixed my deviated septum & I am happy to be able to breathe better!
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Fixed my nose! I had sinus surgery about 15 years ago... It did nothing but empty my wallet. ADVENT fixed my deviated septum and I am happy to be able to breathe better!
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Today was my first week follow up after my procedure and let me tell you I'm so glad I did it. Only the first week and finally feel the difference. Staff is very friendly, and they definitely make sure to find the root of any issue you may have to help you!
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I am 1 year out from my procedure now and am so thankful for how much better I can breathe! ADVENT is doing great things for many people!
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"I went to ENT's for years and they did very little to help my sinus issues. They just prescribed nasal sprays for years, one after another. Advent was great. All appointments were very detailed and informative. They spend a lot of time looking into my sinus problems. My breathing is so much better but not perfect after my procedure. I will take the improvement they gave me any day over the ENT doctors I saw before."
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My husband had balloon sinuplasty here at the Loop location on Jackson 12 weeks ago. All the P.A.'s and staff that we dealt with were wonderful. Had great results with no more snoring or breathing issues since the surgery. I would highly recommend this facility in particular and this surgery for anyone suffering from sleep apnea and failed rhinoplasty's. His breathing is so much better and getting a much better night sleep along with his energy back from breathing properly. GET IT DONE! ITS WORTH IT


  1. Corey, J, Houser, S, Ng, B. Nasal congestion: A review of its etiology, evaluation, and treatment, ENT Journal, 79, 9 (2000).
  2. Michael H. Bonnet, Donna L. Arand, Clinical effects of sleep fragmentation versus sleep deprivation, Sleep Medicine Reviews, 7, 4 (2003).
  3. Lutsey, P, McClelland, R, Duprez, D et al. Objectively Measured Sleep Characteristics and Prevalence of Coronary Artery Calcification: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Sleep Study, Thorax, (2015).
  4. Marin, JM., Agusti, A., Villar, I., et al. Association Between Treated and Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Risk of Hypertension. JAMA: National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2012)
  5. Orzel-Gryglewssa, J. Consequences of Sleep Deprivation, Int J of Occup Med and Environmental Health, 23, 1 (2010).
The Breathing Triangle logo over a woman's face to show the key to breathing well is in your nose and throat
Nighttime Congestion

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