What Causes My Nose to Run in the Morning?


Upon awakening, it is aggravating if the first thing you have to deal with is a runny nose, even before having your first cup of coffee. On the other hand, some people battle stuffed-up noses every morning, a state which often leads to headaches and, of course, an inability to breathe correctly.

Woman with a runny nose in bed
Woman with a runny nose in bed (Image: Stockbyte/Valueline/Getty Images)

Function of a Runny Nose

According to Npr.org, a runny nose is an example of self-correcting plumbing. When the nose runs, it is draining "gunk" out of itself, according to Dr. Robert Enberg, an allergist at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. The accumulation of "stuff" in your nose can be the result of a cold or allergy, or perhaps your body is merely flushing out your nose with a fluid composed of antibodies, salt water and proteins.

Woman with tissue
Woman with tissue (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Allergies, Sinus and Medication

If you virtually always awaken with a runny nose, this is probably the result of some sort of allergy. If you have a sinus infection, this too will most likely lead to a runny nose.

Man with sinus issues
Man with sinus issues (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Vasomotor Rhinitis

When a person has a condition called vasomotor rhinitis, this results in postnasal drip, a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion. Your nose will drip like a biological faucet in the morning when you get up. A drastic change in the weather can prompt vasomotor rhinitis. In addition, this condition can be brought on by fatigue, hormonal changes and stress.

Man about to sneeze
Man about to sneeze (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


Consider the medications you are taking. Ask your physician if they are responsible for your runny nose. Perhaps he or she can prescribe something else that won’t have this effect. High blood pressure and heart disease medications can cause a runny nose.

Pharmacist (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)


If a runny nose is a persistent problem or you, drink lots of liquids, as this will replace the fluids that you are losing through your nose. Put a humidifier in your bedroom so that there is moisture in the air. A dry room exacerbates your problem. You need to clean the humidifier on a daily basis, using vinegar, because this will prevent the development of fungus or molds.

Woman drinking hot tea
Woman drinking hot tea (Image: Vision SRL/Photodisc/Getty Images)

What to Avoid

When allergies are the culprit, you need to avoid that which is causing your nose to run. Buy a lint-free bedspread and sleep on pillows that are synthetic instead of feather pillows. Regularly dust your bedroom and put plastic covers over your box-spring and mattress.

Clean Bedroom
Clean Bedroom (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Irrigate Your Nose

Some people find that irrigating their noses helps both with nasal congestion and a runny nose. Saline irrigation may be the answer that you are looking for. Those who regularly rinse out their nasal passages report fewer sinus problems.

Man holding nasal spray
Man holding nasal spray (Image: Ian Waldie/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

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