Best Sleeping Position For Sinus Drainage

Best sleeping position for sinus drainage; woman unable to sleep

The sun is rising later and setting earlier; temperatures are dropping, and pumpkin spice is everywhere. Fall is officially upon us. Fall is the season for runny noses, which means it’s also the season for sleeping struggles.  Just when you think your sniffles are gone for the day, you lay down, and all of a sudden, your nose is so plugged up you wonder how you’ll be able to breathe throughout the night. 

Plugged sinuses can be a point of major frustration during the day but become even more of an issue as you’re trying to sleep. How can you sleep when you can barely breathe and when your nose seems to be dripping everywhere? If you feel like your sinus struggles become worse at night, you’re probably wondering why. 

Natural remedies for Sinus pain relief

Why are my sinuses worse at night?

There are a few different reasons your sinuses may be more stuffed up when you go to bed.

Your sleeping environment

Your bedroom says a lot about how good of a night’s sleep you’re going to get. If the air in your room is dry, it can make your sinuses flare-up. Also, if there is a lot of dust in your bedroom or if you have pet hair everywhere, those both can disturb your sinuses. 

If those sound like issues you’re dealing with, there are a couple of things you can do. First of all, you can keep your pets out of your bedroom. As tough as it may be, it is better for your health. You can also get a humidifier to help with the dry air in your room. This becomes especially important as the temperatures start to drop and the air gets even drier. 

woman sleeping with a humidifier for sinus relief

Your pre-bedtime activities

If you had caffeine or alcohol before bed, you might find that your sinuses suffer more. That’s because both of those things cause dehydration, which can cause your sinuses to act up. Thus, it is essential to hydrate before you head to bed and stay away from caffeine and alcohol for at least 3 hours before going to sleep. 

You may have allergies.

Allergies can cause all sorts of sinus frustrations, especially at night. Sometimes the issues get worse when you try to go to bed due to gravity and blood pressure. Your allergies may be a result of poor sleeping conditions (as mentioned above), but they could also be seasonal allergies as well.

Try taking an antihistamine before bed to see if that alleviates your issues. 

You may have a sinus infection.

It is typical for sinus issues to get worse at night if you have a sinus infection. If you notice this keeps happening and you’ve tried changing all the above things, then it’s time to head to a doctor to see if you have an infection and how you can go about treating it. 

You may be sleeping in the wrong position.

We’ve chatted before about the best sleeping position for neck pain and headaches, but what about for your sinuses? Sleeping in the wrong position may be what’s causing you trouble with your sinuses at night. 

Read below to learn how to sleep correctly to keep your sinuses happy. 

Best sleeping positions for sinus drainage

If you are in a constant battle with your sinuses and find that the issues only worsen at night, make sure you try the above remedies. One of the most important things you want to change is the position that you’re sleeping in. It may be as simple as switching that up, and your sinuses may be just fine. 

So, what position is best to sleep in to keep your sinuses clear?

You want to sleep with your head propped up. This allows gravity to do its work and naturally drains your sinuses. You may need to bring an extra pillow or two into the mix so that you can elevate your head above your heart. This helps to decrease your blood flow from pooling in your nose and instead allows it to drain. 

woman sleeping with extra pillows to aid with sinus drainage

The more flat you lay, the greater your chances of mucus building up, which can lead to a stuffed nose which means issues with breathing, which equates to a bad night’s sleep. 

Try propping your head up for a few nights and see how it helps. It may take some time to get used to having your head at a new angle, but it’s worth a try to see if your sinus drainage improves.

If you try that and find that you still have issues, it is time to head to an otolaryngologist. You may have something more severe than just clogged sinuses, and you need to sort out the problem early on so that you can find the remedy as soon as possible. 


Learning the cause of your sinus problems and sorting out how to get your nose to properly drain at night are two key things to your health and a good night’s sleep. A great place to start is switching up your sleeping position to one where your head is propped up, and you can go from there.

Read Next:

8 Natural Remedies For Sinus Pain

Is Menopause Affecting Your Allergies?


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