How To Make Yourself Sneeze Easily

A few simple tips and tricks to get rid of that pesky feeling and help you sneeze on cue.

Medically reviewed by Dr. Zeel Gandhi, BAMS Dr. Zeel Gandhi Dr. Zeel GandhiBAMS
Written by , MSc Shaheen Naser MSc Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English) Dipti Sharma MA (English) Experience: 2 years
 • 

If you are familiar with a tickling sensation in your nose with the inability to sneeze when you want to, it can make you feel frustrated. Sneezing is one of your body’s ways of getting rid of dust, pollutants, bacteria, and irritants out of your nasal passages. Since it is an involuntary reaction, it will only happen when it has to. how to make yourself sneeze in such a situation? Don’t worry, there are several ways to make yourself sneeze on command? In this article, we explore natural ways to get yourself to sneeze easily.

protip_icon Did You Know?
A single sneeze can spread 100,000 germs into the air and travel approximately 100 mph.

10 Easy Ways To Make Yourself Sneeze

  1. Exposure To Sunlight
  2. Sniff Some Pepper
  3. Use A Tissue
  4. Rub The Roof Of Your Mouth
  5. Eat Chocolate
  6. Chew Gums
  7. Pull Out A Nose Hair
  8. Sniff A Strong Perfume
  9. Inhale Cold Air
  10. Drink Carbonated Soft Drinks

What Causes A Sneeze?

Sneezing is a natural reflex that removes air from the lungs by expelling it through the nose and mouth. It usually occurs due to irritation of the nasal lining and can be triggered by factors such as bright light, allergies, having a full stomach, or specific health issues like epilepsy, posterior inferior cerebellar artery syndrome, or psychogenic issues (1). Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of persistent or frequent sneezing (2). Sneezing is also a part of cultural significance and superstitions across different cultures and historical periods.

Though it is an involuntary reaction, you can make yourself sneeze easily. Read on to know how to do it.

Home Remedies To Help You Sneeze

1. Exposure To Sunlight

Woman standing under the sun to induce a sneeze
Image: Shutterstock

If you are wondering “how to make myself sneeze”, get some sunlight. Yes, sunlight is known to induce sneezing in about 18-35% of the population in the U.S. This phenomenon is more commonly termed as photic sneeze reflex. And if you are already on the verge of sneezing, exposure to sunlight can solve your problem in a jiffy – as about 1 in 3 people who were about to sneeze already were found sneezing soon after being exposed to sunlight.

Why This Works

Although the exact reason sunlight exposure causes sneezing is unclear, the number of induced sneezes is observed to be mediated genetically and can be easily predicted within a family (3).

Brad, a blogger, shared his experience about dealing with photic sneeze reflex in his blog. He said, “A sunny day in the 60s (Fahrenheit) can make you feel so good after a long winter. So often I make a point of escaping my office for a moment, just to take it all in. And sure enough, if it’s so bright that I can barely keep my eyes open, I instantly feel that little tickle in my nose, and…Gesundheit! Works every time (i).”

2. Sniff Some Pepper

Sniff some ground pepper, be it black or white, to stimulate sneezing. When you inhale a small amount of this spice, it can irritate the lining of your nose, causing you to sniffle and sneeze.

Why This Works

Pepper contains a compound called piperine, which can irritate your nose by triggering the nerve endings inside the mucous membrane within. This, in turn, can cause you to sneeze as your nose tries to get rid of the foreign substance that has entered it (4),(5).

3. Use A Tissue

Woman using a tissue to sneeze
Image: Shutterstock

Wiggling anything inside your nose is another sure shot way to stimulate a sneeze. Just take a tissue and roll it into a point before inserting it into your nose and wiggling it a bit. You will sense a ticklish feeling inside your nose and start sneezing almost immediately.

Why This Works

When you wiggle a tissue in your nose, it triggers the trigeminal nerve within. This trigger is sent to the brain, and as a result, your brain prompts you to sneeze (6).

4. Rub The Roof Of Your Mouth

You can also trigger a sneeze by rubbing the roof your mouth with the tip of your tongue. All you have to do is press the tip of your tongue to the top of your mouth and slide it as far as possible until you find the exact spot that triggers a sneeze.

Why This Works

The trigeminal nerve also runs along the roof of your mouth (7). And rubbing the roof of your mouth with your tongue can stimulate this nerve and induce sneezing.

5. Eat Chocolate

Woman having dark chocolate to induce a sneeze
Image: Shutterstock

This is one of the best ways to induce sneezing while enjoying it. Eat a piece of dark chocolate (or any other chocolate with extra cocoa) and watch yourself sneeze. Those who do not eat much chocolate might have more success through this method than those who eat more of it.

Why This Works

Although the exact cause of why chocolate with extra cocoa induces sneezing is unknown, it could be a natural reaction of your body to the extra foreign particles (cocoa) entering your body.

6. Chew Gums

Chewing on one or two gumsticks, which are mint-flavored, can also stimulate sneezing. Inhalation of the strong mint flavor from a gum is what induces the sneeze.

Why This Works

Sneezing induced by inhalation of a strong mint flavor is a result of the overstimulation of any of the nerves close to the trigeminal nerve. And as already discussed before, triggering the trigeminal nerve can prompt one to sneeze.

7. Pull Out A Nose Hair

The mere thought of pulling out a hair from your nose can make your nose feel itchy. So, the next time you are unable to get yourself to sneeze, just go ahead and pull a hair out of your nose.

Why This Works

Plucking a hair out of your nose stimulates the trigeminal nerve, and this is what makes you sneeze almost instantly. You can also stimulate a sneeze by plucking your eyebrows (due to the same reason) (8).

8. Sniff A Strong Perfume

Woman sniffing perfume to induce a sneeze
Image: Shutterstock

Most of you might have experienced sudden waves of sneezing by being exposed to any strong perfumes or sprays. Simply spraying a strong perfume or spray around you can irritate the lining of your nose and cause you to sneeze.

Why This Works

When the droplets of a strong perfume and its overwhelming aroma come close to your nostrils, it can irritate the lining of your nose and trigger the trigeminal nerve, hence prompting you to sneeze.

Caution

Do not spray the perfume directly on your nostrils.

9. Inhale Cold Air

One tends to sneeze more when it is cold. Hence, if you want to induce a sneeze, just turn on your air conditioner and inhale some cold air.

Why This Works

Inhaling cold air, yet again, stimulates the trigeminal nerve and also irritates the lining of your nose. As a result of these, you may begin to sneeze almost instantly (9).

10. Drink Carbonated Soft Drinks

Carbonated soft drink may induce a sneeze
Image: Shutterstock

That itchy feeling inside the nose soon after opening a soft drink is something many of us can relate to. Inhaling the carbon dioxide from carbonated drinks or even drinking them can stimulate sneezing. All you have to do is get hold of your favorite carbonated soft drink and drink it as soon as you open it.

Why This Works

When you open a can of carbonated drink, the carbon dioxide in it enters your nostrils and causes you to sneeze.

protip_icon Trivia

Exercise can make you sneeze. As you overexert yourself, your nose and mouth dry out. Consequently, your nose drips to deal with the dryness, making you sneeze.

Infographic: 5 Easy Ways To Make Yourself Sneeze

A tickling itch in your nose can prove to be an annoyance, especially when you want some relief in the form of a long-awaited sneeze. But the good news is that you can get that sensation out of your system through some quick, easy ways. Check out the infographic below to know more.

5 easy ways to make yourself sneeze (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

By now you must have gotten an idea of how to sneeze on command. There are ways to make yourself sneeze when you want to get rid of the tingling sensation in your nose. For example, exposure to sunlight, sniffing pepper, using a tissue, and rubbing the roof of your mouth can trigger sneezing. Chewing gums, eating chocolate, pulling out nose hair, drinking carbonated drinks, inhaling cold air, and sniffing a strong perfume can also help in inducing sneezing. Many a time, flu, certain allergic reactions, sinus infections, and hay fever also trigger sneezing. The inhalation of pollen may also cause sneezing. However, you must practice caution as some may act as irritants. Visit your doctor if you experience any severe side effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does sneezing feel good?

Sneezing usually feels good because it causes your body to release chemicals called endorphins. These react with the receptors in your brain and trigger a positive feeling in your body

What causes one to sneeze?

Sneezing is your body’s way to get rid of a foreign particle that has entered your nose. If the lining of your nose is irritated by something, a message is sent to your brain regarding the same, and this prompts you to sneeze.

How to make a baby sneeze?

Babies are usually made to sneeze by spraying some drops of a saline solution into their nostrils. This clears the mucus build-up in their noses and makes them sneeze. You can also tickle your baby’s nostrils using a tissue or handkerchief to induce sneezing.

Should you hold a sneeze?

Sneezing is a respiratory reflex that helps us eliminate irritants in the nasal tract, such as bacteria and viruses. Therefore, never try to hold a sneeze.

Can you sneeze in your sleep?

No, sneezing is involuntary and usually happens when you are conscious. You cannot sneeze in a deep sleep ( also called REM sleep). However, there is a possibility if you are in a light sleep.

Key Takeaways

  • You can tickle the nose walls to induce sneezing.
  • Sniffing some pepper or something similarly strong can trigger sneezing.
  • Some home remedies to trigger sneezing include eating dark chocolate, chewing gums, and drinking carbonated soft drinks.
  • You can pull out nose hair to stimulate the trigeminal nerve and sneeze almost instantly.


Unlock the secrets of sneezing effortlessly with this informative video. Click on it to explore practical tips and techniques to induce a satisfying sneeze.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Sneeze reflex: facts and fiction
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19617285/
  2. Sneezing
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8028070/
  3. [Photic sneeze reflex or autosomal dominant compelling helio-ophthalmic outburst syndrome]
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16525923/
  4. Black pepper and its pungent principle-piperine: a review of diverse physiological effects
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17987447/
  5. Antiallergic effect of piperine on ovalbumin-induced allergic rhinitis in mice
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.3109/13880209.2014.982299
  6. Trigeminal afferences implied in the triggering or inhibition of sneezing in cats
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2027512/
  7. Cranial Nerve V: The Trigeminal Nerve
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK384/
  8. Sneezing induced by sexual ideation or orgasm: an under-reported phenomenon
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2625373/
  9. Cold weather increases respiratory symptoms and functional disability especially among patients with asthma and allergic rhinitis
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6031646/
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
Dr. Zeel Gandhi is an Ayurvedic doctor with 7 years of experience and an expert at providing holistic solutions for health problems encompassing Internal medicine, Panchakarma, Yoga, Ayurvedic Nutrition, and formulations. She graduated as a top ranker from Dr. D.Y.Patil College of Ayurveda and Research Centre , Navi Mumbai, and is a specialist in Panchakarma therapies. She believes that Ayurveda...read full bio

Latest Articles