We’ve all experienced sinus symptoms that we think are getting better, then when we go to bed all of a sudden our throats hurt, we can’t stop sniffling, and we can’t breathe well again. This is infuriating, it can make it feel like the sinus infection is never going to get better, and it can affect our quality of life (if we can’t sleep well, we can’t function well).
What’s behind this nocturnal nuisance, and what can we do to stop it?
Fewer distractions means it’s easier to notice symptoms
Another factor might just be distraction—during the day, you’re busy at work or school, taking care of the family and household, and doing all the various things that make up our daily activity. But after dinner, we usually have more of an opportunity to relax, and there are fewer things competing for our attention. Without all these demands, we may suddenly notice that our sinuses aren’t working as they should be. This can give the impression that the condition is worse. This is not to say that it’s “in your head,” or that your symptoms aren’t genuine, and it is definitely not the whole story. It’s just one of several possible explanations.
How to handle the issue
Sleeping with a humidifier near the bed (because dry air can contribute to sinus problems) and taking over-the-counter nighttime decongestants may help with sinus symptoms.4 However, in the case of a serious infection, they may not completely resolve the problem.
If you have a sinus infection, or any sinus symptoms that are severe or that persist for longer than a couple of weeks, then you may want to see a doctor. They will have the ability to diagnose the problem, recommend a solution, and get you breathing correctly—day and night.