Sleeping with a cold can be taxing. You struggle to find the most workable breathing dynamics and sleeping position for your cold. Yet, quality sleep is vital for recovery since it gives your immune system enough time to heal.
Remedies for sleeping with a cold are taking a hot drink before bed and using a nasal decongestant. Others include taking a hot shower, turning on a humidifier, using a sinus flash, and taking cough medicine.
Thankfully, you can still get a good night's sleep even with a cold. Finding remedies for the symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, fever, headaches, nose congestion, and itchiness promotes sleep.
Here are eleven effective remedies to help you get to sleep with a cold:
Taking Hot Drinks and Beverages
A hot drink sixty to ninety minutes before sleep decongests your nasal openings while soothing your sore throat. It does so by loosening the secretions in your sinuses and chest, promoting the ease of their expulsion. Such then promotes ease of breathing and makes you sleep better.
We advise taking decaffeinated tea plus a spoonful of honey. Taking this leads to relaxation, ease of breathing, and fighting infections. Some of the teas you could take are chamomile, ginger, and peppermint teas.
However, taking hot soup or hot water with lemon, ginger, and honey yields similar results if you dislike tea. You could also take a low-sodium broth.
Use a Sinus Flush
Also known as a saline nasal rinse, a sinus flash uses salt water flushing to decongest your nasal openings. Clearing out germs and mucus allows someone with a cold to breathe easily, leading to quality sleep.
Follow the following steps to do a sinus flash:
Step One: Prepare your Saline Rinse
Use distilled water, boiled and cooled water, or sterile water for your rinse. Avoid tap water since it could contain harmful organisms that could trigger further infections.
Add three teaspoonfuls of iodine-free salt to your jar containing a cup of clean water. Proceed to add one teaspoonful of baking soda, then stir. Now, transfer your solution to a squeeze bottle.
Step Two: Lean Over Your Sink
Position your head sideways as though you are trying to align your forehead and chin. Doing this will prevent your saline rinse from dripping into your mouth.
Step Three: Insert the Nozzle of the Squeeze Bottle into The Upper Nostril
Put the nozzle of the squeeze bottle containing the solution into the upper nostril. Such will allow it to come out via your lower nostril.
Step Four: Repeat
Tilt the head in the opposite direction and spray the saline solution into your upper nostril. The solution will drain out via the now lower nostril.
Before doing a nasal rinse, ensure that you do not have medical conditions that could discourage the flash. Also, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discourages sinus flashes in children under two unless pediatrician-approved.
Turn on your Humidifier
A humidifier adds moisture to the air, soothing your sinuses and helping you breathe better. Even though studies show that humidifiers do not treat colds, it improves breathing, leading to better sleep.
For best results, use distilled water or purified water. We also encourage cleaning the humidifier and changing the water daily to promote good hygiene.
Consider a Salve or Vapor Rub
Topical application of a medicated ointment to your neck or chest aids with nasal decongestion, improving breathing, and sleep. The main ingredients of a vapor rub include eucalyptus oil, camphor, and menthol.
Apply the vapor rub on the throat or chest only. Avoid applying it inside your nostrils since it could get absorbed into your body or cause irritation. We advise prior patch testing on your skin to test for the possibility of irritation.
Take a Hot Bath or Hot Shower
The steam that accumulates in your bathroom during a hot shower or hot bath decongests your nasal passage. It does this by thinning out and draining the sinuses' mucus, promoting ease of breathing. In addition, taking a hot shower is an ideal way of relaxing your body, nerves, and muscles before bed.
You can improve the whole shower experience by incorporating aromatherapy into it. For instance, adding eucalyptus or peppermint oil relaxes your nerves, leading to nasal decongestion.
However, we discourage scalding-hot water as it can be dangerous and uncomfortable. Also, keeping your bathroom door closed allows for steam accumulation.
Dedicated Steam Inhalations
While steam from a hot shower or bath helps, having dedicated steam inhalations work better at opening the nasal passages. To prepare steam inhalations, boil water and add a few drops of menthol or eucalyptus oil. Cover yourself with a blanket and stoop over the basin containing the water forming an umbrella. Ensure that no steam escapes.
Since there is no escape from the steam, you inhale the steam and then decongest your nasal passages.
Practice Side-sleeping with a Raised Head
Finding the ideal sleeping position and neck angling helps one to breathe better and easier. For instance, sleeping on your back could lead to difficulty breathing and choking since it worsens the congestion.
We advise sleeping on your side with one or two pillows propping your head. Also, position your head, so it tilts downwards, not upwards. It will lower the mucus buildup in your throat, making you breathe easier.
While it is essential to raise your head, avoid using too firm pillows with very high lofts. Sleeping on such may cause joint and neck pains, making sleeping harder and more uncomfortable. Since quality sleep or rest is essential in treating a cold, ensure that your pillow is comfortable and supportive.
Use a Nasal Decongestant
Nasal decongestants are fast, easy, and effective ways of opening up congested nasal passages. They relieve the swollen tissue found in your nose, hence decreasing mucus production. Such then decongests your nasal passage, leading to improved breathing, which then helps you sleep better.
You can find nasal decongestants in most drugstores that give Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. These come in pill form (Pseudoephedrine), nasal spray (Afrin), or drop forms.
Most nasal decongestants work immediately, while some could take up to thirty minutes for you to feel relief. For instance, Afrin begins working immediately, while Pseudoephedrine starts working within fifteen minutes. Nasal decongestants are ideal for sleeping since their effects last up to twelve hours.
However, doctors do not recommend it for children below three years old. They also discourage its extensive use since it could recoil the cold symptoms, worsening your situation.
Avoid Consumption of Alcohol Before Bed
Taking alcohol before bed might help you feel tired and sleepy, which most think helps with sleeping with a cold. However, it dehydrates your body, making it difficult for your body to recover from the cold.
Instead, sip warm water to hydrate and decongest your nasal passages for easier breathing.
Take Nighttime Cold Medicine
Cold medicine relieves symptoms or side effects of the cold, such as coughs, headaches, and body aches. Expectorants like Mucinex help loosen the mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough out. Alternatively, antitussives like Robitussin DM overpowers coughing, leading to better sleep.
If you are experiencing ache and fever-related symptoms like headache and ear pain, use a Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Such include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. However, if you are going for OTC drugs, get the proper prescription to avoid symptom rebound.
Cool Your Bedroom
Cooling your bedroom during sleep helps you sleep better with a cold. Keep your room temperature at about 60 degrees and sixty-seven degrees Fahrenheit. However, avoid lowering the temperatures too much to shivering since it will worsen the cold.
Quality rest is essential when dealing with a cold. If you struggle to sleep with a cold, look for remedies like steam inhalations, hot drinks, or OTC nasal decongestants. These will help you sleep better while combating the cold and its side effects.
Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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