To keep mucus from draining down the throat during the night, taking an antihistamine or decongestant can dry the sinuses. Other options include taking a mucus-thinning medication to reduce irritation from the drainage or propping pillows at night to keep mucus out of the back of the throat, notes WebMD.
Antihistamines and decongestants serve to dry up mucus and keep postnasal drip from being an irritant at night. Older antihistamines, such as chlorpheniramine and diphenhydramine, thicken mucus to dry it, which can be irritating. The newer antihistamines, such as loratadine, levocetirizine, desloratadine, certirizine and fexofenadine, do not have the same effect and are also less likely to disturb sleeping patterns. Choosing the right medication involves a talk with a physician about potential side effects and interactions with other medications, according to WebMD.
Another way to treat sinus drainage at night involves thinning the mucus so that it continues to drip but does not irritate the throat or cause sleep disruptions. Drinking more water is an easy way to thin the mucus, but there are also mucus thinners available over the counter, such as guaifenesin. Other ways to control sinus drainage at night involve using nasal irrigation or saline nose sprays to flush any irritants from the sinuses as well as turning on a humidifier or vaporizer to boost moisture in the air. Propping up pillows at night keeps mucus from gathering in the back of the throat, leading to less irritation, states WebMD