Waking Up Sneezing In The Middle Of The Night? 8 Reasons & 13 Ways To Stop It

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Last Updated on January 12, 2023 by theworldofsleepstaff

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to find yourself sneezing? It can be a disturbing experience, disrupting your sleep and leaving you feeling helpless.

Luckily, there are some things you can do to help prevent nighttime sneezing episodes and get back to sound sleep sooner.

A good night’s sleep is essential for keeping the body healthy, so if you wake up sneezing in the middle of the night, check out our tips below to find some relief. Then, you can get back on track with a few simple changes and enjoy restful nights again.

Note: This content was only written as a reference, using third-party background information. It is not medical advice; as always, it is essential to research and speak with a healthcare provider if you have questions, or before taking any new supplement.


  1. Top 8 Causes Of Night-time Sneezing That You Need To Know
  2. Top 13 Ways To Manage Waking Up Sneezing In The Middle Of The Night
  3. Top 6 Essential Oils To Help With Nighttime Sneezing
  4. FAQs
Asian Women In Satin Nightwear Feeling Unwell And Sneeze Against White Background, Dust Allergies, Flu, People Caught Cold And Allergy

Top 8 Causes Of Night-time Sneezing That You Need To Know

There are several potential causes of nighttime sneezing. This section will explore the eight most common causes and explain how to identify each one.

1. Allergies

If you suffer from allergies, your body may react to an airborne allergen in your bedroom while you sleep. This could include pet dander, dust mites or pollen.

With allergies and sneezing, you may also have other symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes or throat irritation. If this is the case, speak to your doctor about treatments that can help control these symptoms.

An adult man covers his face struggling to wake up in the early morning after sleep while he sits in bed.
iStock.com/Meeko Media

2. Common Cold

The common cold is one of the most common causes of nighttime sneezing. It’s caused by a virus spread through contact with an infected person or object. Symptoms usually include a sore throat, headache, and runny nose.

If you have a cold, get some rest and stay hydrated. There are also over-the-counter medications available to help alleviate the symptoms of a cold.

3. Sinus Infections

Sinus infections are another common cause of nighttime sneezing. These can be caused by a virus or bacteria and may cause symptoms such as a headache, soreness around the eyes and nose, or a fever.

It is said that sneezing and sinus infections can be related, so if you are experiencing either, it is best to speak to your doctor.

In a study, researchers found that “nasal congestion and sneezing were associated with a higher risk of bacterial sinusitis”.

Young woman with headache,sniffle and sinus pain. Sinus ache causing very paintful headache. Unhealthy woman in pain. Young woman with sinus pressure pain

4. House Dust Mites

House dust mites are tiny bugs that can be found in your bedding, carpets, and furniture. They feed on skin flakes and can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes, and a stuffy nose.

Sneezing and dust mite allergies can be linked, as the mites trigger an allergic reaction which leads to sneezing.

If you suspect that dust mite allergies cause your nighttime sneezing, it is best to visit a doctor for an allergy test. They may prescribe medication such as antihistamines or a nasal spray to help reduce the symptoms.

5. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is when stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus. This can cause a burning sensation, coughing and sneezing.

GERD-related nighttime sneezing is thought to be caused by the acid irritating the throat and nasal passages. If you think this may be causing your nighttime sneezing, it is best to speak with a doctor about treatments for GERD.

Worried man in his 30s with a sore and irritated throat
iStock.com/Antonio Diaz

6. Asthma

Asthma is a condition that affects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. It can be triggered by various things, such as exercise or allergies; one symptom can be sneezing.

Sneezing caused by asthma usually occurs at night when you are trying to get comfortable in bed. This can be due to allergens, irritants, and pressure changes when lying down.

7. Pollutants In The Air

Air pollution can be a significant cause of nighttime sneezing. It contains tiny particles that irritate the nose, throat, and lungs and can cause the body to react with sneezing.

If you live in an area with a lot of air pollutants, try and reduce your exposure as much as possible by keeping windows closed and using air purifiers.

8. Pregnancy

Pregnant women often experience strong sneezing fits due to increased hormones. This is known as “pregnancy rhinitis” and can lead to sneezing during the day and night.

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Top 13 Ways To Manage Waking Up Sneezing In The Middle Of The Night

1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water helps to keep the mucous membranes moist, which can help reduce sneezing. In addition, when you’re dehydrated, the body produces more mucous to compensate.

If you want a more effective way to hydrate, try drinking warm liquids like herbal tea or clear broths.

Side view of elderly woman drinking water

2. Avoid Allergens

If you have allergies, try avoiding allergens that may trigger your symptoms.

For example, keep windows closed and use air purifiers to reduce exposure to outdoor allergens. Dust mite-proof covers can also help if dust mites are the cause.

It is extensively known that allergies can cause waking up sneezing in the middle of the night, so this should be avoided as much as possible.

3. Use A Humidifier

A humidifier can help keep the air moist and reduce your chances of sneezing. It is best to use one in the bedroom at night, and if you have allergies or asthma, consider using an air purifier.

Getting a humidifier is half the battle. The other half ensures it’s filled with clean water and turned up high enough to provide the necessary humidity for comfort.

4. Keep Bed Linens Clean

Dust mites can often trigger nighttime sneezing, so it is essential to keep your bed linens clean to reduce their presence. Wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week in hot water, and vacuum the mattress regularly.

What most use is a steam cleaner for mattresses. This will kill dust mites, not just remove them from the surface.

Portrait of young woman wearing sleep mask during sleeping on the bed.

5. Avoid Dairy Products

Dairy products can increase mucous production in some people, leading to sneezing. If this may cause your nighttime sneezing, try avoiding dairy for a few days to see if it makes a difference.

Sneezing can sometimes be triggered by things related to dairies, such as ice cream, cheese, and milk. Avoid these foods before bedtime if you have been experiencing nighttime sneezing.

6. Take An Allergy Medicine

If you suffer from allergies, taking an antihistamine or decongestant before going to bed can help reduce your chances of waking up sneezing. You should always consult your doctor before taking any medication, however.

Sometimes, allergies can cause sneezing in the middle of the night, so it is essential to take proper precautions by taking an antihistamine or decongestant.

7. Change Your Sleeping Position

Some people find that changing their sleeping position can help reduce the chances of waking up sneezing. For example, use a pillow to prop yourself up so you’re not lying flat on your back or sleeping on your side with your head elevated.

In severe nighttime sneezing, simply changing your sleeping position can make a huge difference. Therefore, it is worth trying different positions to find one that works for you.

A young brunette woman sleeping in white bed,

8. Avoid Irritants

Irritants like cigarette smoke, perfumes, and scented candles can irritate the nose and trigger sneezing. Try to avoid using these as much as possible, especially at night when you’re trying to get a good night’s rest.

If you are in an environment with certain irritants that can cause sneezing, try wearing a face mask or staying away from them until the symptoms subside.

9. Use Nasal Sprays

Using a decongestant nasal spray can help reduce inflammation in the nose and clear away mucus. This can make it easier to breathe and prevent sneezing.

However, it would help if you always talked to your doctor before using any over-the-counter medications.

Nasal sprays are great for reducing irritation and inflammation in the nose, which can help prevent sneezing. Make sure to talk to your doctor before using any medication, however.

10. Check For Any Reflux

GERD-related nighttime sneezing can be caused by acid reflux, so if you think this might be the issue, speak with a doctor about treatments.

The critical thing about reflux and sneezing is that the acid from your stomach travels back up your throat and into your nasal cavity, creating irritation.

Your doctor can help determine if this is related to GERD or another issue and provide treatments to reduce sneezing.

Asian Woman with Acid Reflux on her bed. Illness, Disease, Symptom.

11. Try Homeopathic Remedies

Homoeopathy is an alternative medicine that uses diluted substances from plants and animals to help treat various ailments, including sneezing. Try taking a small dose of homoeopathic remedies before bed, such as belladonna or allium cepa.

It is best to find a qualified homoeopath and consult with them before taking any homoeopathic remedies. This will ensure that you take the correct dosage and remedy your needs.

12. Change Your Diet

Eliminating foods triggering your symptoms and adding more anti-inflammatory ingredients like garlic can help reduce nighttime sneezing.

13. Try Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help to reduce stress levels and prevent nighttime sneezing. Taking time before bed to relax and clear your mind can also be helpful.

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Top 6 Essential Oils To Help With Nighttime Sneezing

1. Peppermint Oil – This oil has a soothing effect that can help reduce nose inflammation and relieve sneezing. In addition, it is known that the menthol in peppermint oil has a cooling effect, which can help to open up the airways and reduce sneezing.

2. Lavender Oil – This calming oil is excellent for relaxation and can help you get a better night’s sleep, reducing symptoms of nighttime sneezing.

Using lavender oil around your bed can help to soothe and relax you, making it easier to fall asleep.

3. Eucalyptus Oil – This oil has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties that can help reduce irritation in the nose, easing sneezing.

You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your pillowcase or sheets. This will help you breathe easier and reduce sneezing throughout the night.

4. Tea Tree Oil – This essential oil is known for clearing away mucous and reducing inflammation, which can help with nighttime sneezing.

In a study, participants inhaled tea tree oil for a few minutes and reported fewer symptoms of sneezing.

5. Rosemary Oil – This essential oil can help reduce inflammation and clear away mucous, making it easier to breathe deeply at night.

When using this oil, dilute it with carrier oil before applying it to the skin. Rosemary oil can be pretty intense, so it’s essential to be careful when using it.

6. Lemon Oil – This oil has antiseptic properties that can help reduce inflammation and ease irritations in the nose, helping to prevent sneezing at night.

Using a combination of these oils with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil, you can create an effective remedy for nighttime sneezing. Add a few drops of the essential oil blend to your pillow before you sleep, and enjoy a more restful night’s sleep.

Dried lavender with a bottle of essential oil isolated on white background.
iStock.com/Anna Kim


Q: Is there an underlying cause for nighttime sneezing?

A: Nighttime sneezing can be caused by allergies, asthma, a cold or flu virus, acid reflux, sinus infections, and other medical conditions. It is essential to speak with a doctor if you are having frequent nighttime sneezing to identify the underlying cause and receive the appropriate treatment.

Q: What if I am still having problems with nighttime sneezing?

A: If you still have nighttime sneezing problems, you must speak with your doctor to identify and address any underlying causes. They can suggest additional treatments or medications that can help you get relief from your symptoms.

Practising good sleep hygiene, such as avoiding caffeine in the evening, setting a consistent bedtime routine, and creating a comfortable sleeping environment, is also essential.

Sleeping Problem. Overhead above top view of stressed African American guy lying alone in bed touching grabbing head feeling depressed, suffering from insomnia or mental problems after breakup

Final Thoughts

Follow your doctor’s advice if your nighttime sneezing is persistent or severe, and consult them before taking any medication. With the right approach, you can reduce your nighttime sneezing and get back to enjoying a good night’s sleep.