Causes of Nosebleeds while Sleeping

What Causes Nosebleeds While Sleeping?

About Nosebleeds

A nosebleed also referred to as Epistaxis is a condition of bleeding from the nose. During a nosebleed, blood drains out through one or both nostrils.Though nosebleeds are common and can be easily controlled, nosebleeds at night can be scary and overwhelming. Most nosebleeds can be easily managed from home.

Studies claim that only about 60% of people experience nosebleed which in most cases last from a few minutes to 15 minutes or more and can occur at age. Most bleeds are usually light and self-limiting, where only about 10% are serious. According to the American Academic of Otolaryngology, nosebleeds are common in children between ages 2 and 10 and in adult between age 50 to 80.

What Causes Frequent Nosebleeds?

Epistaxis is common during dry climate or winter due to the increased use of central heating (causes irritation and dying) and increased in the incidence of respiratory tract infections. Below are some of the general factors that cause nosebleeds.

  • Trauma

    One can have a nosebleed as a result of an injury. For example, if you get hit in the nose, bleeding may occur. Though this can be alarming, in most cases it doesn’t necessarily mean that the nose is seriously damaged or broken.

  • Blood Clotting Problems

    Though this is rare, some chronic diseases such as kidney diseases and liver disease among other underlying health conditions can affect your blood clotting ability causing your nose to bleed. It’s important to consult your doctor in case the nosebleed is as a result of serious health conditions.

  • Bacterial Infection

    The nasal lining inside the nose is vulnerable to infections from bacteria and other viruses. Bacteria can cause nasal lining congestion and irritation in the nose which can result in a nosebleed.

  • Infections

    Colds and sinus infections among other respiratory infections can harm the lining of the nose. If the sensitive part of the nose irritated, it can break open and bleed. Also blowing your nose often as a result of a cold can cause nosebleeds.

  • Blood:

    Thinning Medications- aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and anticoagulant medications, can cause epistaxis. This is because any drug that interferes with the blood ability to clot can result in a bloody nose or difficulties in the treating of the nosebleed.

What Causes Nosebleeds While Sleeping

Generally, it’s common to have nosebleeds at night. Commonly this can happen due to different reasons which are not usually serious and in most cases stop on its own. If the nosebleed is frequent or persist, you should get emergency care or visit a doctor. Below are some of the factors that cause nose bleedings while sleeping.

  • Dryness: Dry air especially in a heated room can dry the nasal lining causing it to crack causing bleeding and pain. During winter the air tends to be drier, this exposes the nasal passages making them vulnerable which may result in bleeding.
  • Nose Picking: Nose picking or accidental scratching of the blood vessels in the nostrils can cause irritation and nosebleed. Though this is more common in children, some adults also experience itching and scratching of the nose which can result in bleeding.
  • Allergies: Allergies can cause aggressive picking and rubbing of the nose which can result in bleeding. Some allergy medications like nasal sprays and antihistamines can cause the nasal lining to dry out creating a perfect situation for a nosebleed. Also, allergies can cause sneezing, watery eyes, and be sniffing making your nose to bleed.

How to Prevent Nosebleeds While Sleeping

What do you when your nosebleeds every morning or how do you prevent bloody nose while sleeping child displays such a condition. Below are some of the things that you can do to prevent nosebleeds.

  • Avoid frequent picking and rubbing your nose
  • Keep your fingernails short to prevent scratching when cleaning or picking the nose
  • Nose bleeding as a result of dry can be prevented by using a humidifier when sleeping
  • Use nasal sprays to moisten the nostrils. You can also apply petroleum jelly in the inside of the nostrils to help moisturize the nose and avoid cracking
  • Strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using nasal decongestants and sprays, misuse of such products can cause nosebleeds
  • Always blow your nose gently
  • Use a pillow when sleeping
  • Don’t smoke

What Should you do If you Woke Up Nosebleed Middle Night?

  • Stand or sit up. Tilt your head slightly forward; tilting your head back causes the blood to run down your throat.
  • Use a soft cloth or tissue and gently press the nostrils closed
  • Grip the pressure for about 5 to 15 minutes
  • After 15 minutes check if the bleeding has stopped, if not repeat the steps.

Despite the encouraging statistics that nosebleeds are not that dangerous, it should be noted that some are very serious and fatal if not effectively treated. Consult a doctor in case of an alarming nosebleed.

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad