I've referred to this thread a few times while I've been researching the congestion I have in the mornings so I thought I'd share an article that I've found quite interesting.
To give a bit of background: I'm a 30 year old male, in fairly good shape, have a mostly whole foods diet.
For the last 1 to 2 years I've been waking up most mornings with one nostril completely blocked. As in, if I cover the clear nostril and try to breathe through the blocked one, literally no air passes through it. It's not snotty, it just feels like a solid block of congestion. Some morning are worse than others, but I always have at least mild congestion. I'm a side sleeper, and it's the nostril on the side that I wake up on that is blocked the most.
The congestion clears fairly swiftly once I'm up on my feet, but sometimes lingers slightly for a few hours.
What I've described above fits in with what's posted in this article: www.hawaiireporter.com/heads-up-the-way-you-are-sleeping-may-be-killing-you
To very briefly summarise, it says that when you are lying horizontal, your heart has to work harder to pump the blood into your head. This creates intracranial pressure, which can lead to a variety of issues, including sinusitis / nasal congestion.
This seems to fit in with what I'm experiencing: I stand to work during the day, so pressure in theory should be low. I do not have congestion throughout the day. In the evening when I sit down, pressure in theory increases, and this is when the congestion begins. The congestion is then at its worst when I have been laying down horizontally for 6 hours+.
I have noticed that the morning congestion is at its worst when I've slept for longer periods, e.g 8 hours instead of 6. This fits in with the theory that pressure is causing the congestion - the longer I am laying horizontally, the greater the pressure, the worse the congestion.
I've started keeping a log of things like exercise, sleeping position, hours slept, etc to see if I can pick up on any other patterns.
The suggestion from the article is to sleep with your head elevated and to sleep on your back. I am finding this tricky because I have always been a side sleeper and sleep in the foetal position. I am gradually trying to change this, however.
I will report back once I have gathered some more data. If anyone has any suggestions for learning to sleep on your back and with your head elevated, I'd love to hear them. Or any opinions on the content of the article - the science discussed in it sounds convincing but it doesn't seem to have been covered that extensively elsewhere.
Here's a link to the article again: www.hawaiireporter.com/heads-up-the-way-you-are-sleeping-may-be-killing-you