The chilly winter months are known to breed flu, common cold, and other annoying infections and viruses. If you are one of those unlucky ones to contract one or more of these winter illnesses, you know how difficult it is to get some sound sleep while you are constantly getting those sniffles and coughs. Well, there are some simple solutions to get a peaceful night’s sleep while battling with common cold and cough.
Take a Steamy Hot Bath
Taking hot steam in the shower can prove to be effective in opening your nasal passages while loosening the dried mucous and cleaning the airways. It is also a good way to relax and wind down before hitting the bed. The body becomes cold when you have a cold, and a steamy shower can help you to energize and reduce the symptoms of a blocked nose and running sinuses while making the nasal muscles relaxed.
Sip Some Tea with Honey
Just like a bowl of hot soup, a hot beverage can also loosen the mucus from your sinuses. But not all hot beverages will give out the same results as some hot tea with honey. Adding honey to tea not only helps in soothing a sore throat but can also prove to be effective as a cough suppressant to help you get rid of that sore throat.
A Humidifier or Vaporizer Can Work Wonders
Dry air and the cold season go hand in hand. Under such weather conditions, a good vaporizer or humidifier can add the required moisture into the air and soothe the sinuses. But it is necessary to clean the humidifier regularly to avoid making it the breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Change the water daily and clean the tank every couple of days to keep it clean. If there is a child inside the room, use a cool-mist vaporizer as warm mist units can cause burns to children who get too close to it.
Maintain an Optimal Sleep Environment
Just because you have a cold, don’t be tempted to overheat the room. Keep the room temperature at normal levels and stack up blankets so that you can remove them if you begin to overheat. It is also important to maintain the humidity of the room. Combine that with a good humidifier and you are sure to get a problem-free sleep at night.
Reconsider Your Sleep Position
Some people think that stacking an extra pillow under their head can provide relief from the cold and flu and help them get better sleep. But this can make the situation even worse by causing the head to sag forward and worsening the breathing problem. Instead, you can use a foam wedge that will help to raise your upper body, letting the nasal packages drain. Don’t lay on your back as it may worsen postnasal drip. Sleep on the side opposite to that of your blocked nose.
Depriving the body of adequate fluid can make your nasal cavities dry. It is necessary to keep the body well-hydrated so that the entire respiratory system stays wet and prevent any breathing problems. You can also sip a hot caffeine-free beverage to give your throat some relief during bedtime. It will provide you with a short relief period during which you can slip off to slumber.
Try Out Some Over-the-Counter Remedies
Whether you are feeling hot, stuffy, and achy or any uneasiness due to cough and cold, you can always reach out for some over-the-counter medications. If the condition is severe, consider seeking medical advice from a doctor or an ear and teeth specialist. Some medications can escalate the problem if not taken at the right dosage. You can also ask a pharmacist to get the right solution for your cough, cold, or sinus problem.
Prepare Yourself for the Night’s Sleep
If you find yourself maintaining a relaxed posture, tossing and turning in bed, get out of your bed, and engage in some other activity. You can read a book by dimming the room lights or listen to some soothing music. Get into some low-intensity activity unless you feel sleepy. Don’t go to bed until you are feeling sleepy to promote healthier sleep habits throughout the year.
Things to Avoid
Besides the effective tips for sleeping with a cold, there are some don’ts that you should keep in mind to avoid making the situation even more complicated.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol as it will dry out your breathing passage and making it difficult for you to breathe. Also, it can swell up your sinuses and react adversely with your cold and flu problems.
- Don’t engage in any high-intensity activity as it will interfere with your sleeping routine and make it difficult for you to sleep.
- You cannot force yourself to sleep. So, don’t lie down forcefully expecting that sleep will come off naturally. Read a book or listen to some soothing music.
- Don’t use any gadget or digital device that will impact the release of melatonin by the body. Devices that are known to emit blue light can severely interfere with your sleep routine.
- Many people think that overheating the room will help them combat the common cold and get a better night’s sleep. But that is a complete myth as it might lead to night sweat and make you wake up in the middle of your sleep. Maintain normal room temperature to set the stage for a relaxed night’s sleep.
The good news is that common cold and flu will not last for more than a few days, or at most a week. Although they are irritating and uncomfortable, they are your on-and-off companion. Just make sure that you take some precautionary measures and necessary steps to help you combat the irritation when they occur. It will improve your health condition and help you to get rid of such problems quickly for a calm and relaxed night’s sleep.