The common cold is a miserable illness to deal with during the day, but it can be even worse at night as symptoms keep us awake and make us feel terrible. To tackle the problem of being unable to sleep properly with a cold, let’s break the problem down into smaller issues. It is not just congestion that keeps us up at night. These sleep suggestions can help to provide relief from all angles for a better night’s sleep.
1) Difficulty breathing
This can be the worst problem when dealing with a cold at night. We may finally get comfortable and at the right temperature but our blocked up noses and passages make it difficult to breathe comfortably. Nasal strips can help to open up the nasal passages and it can also help to use a humidifier. Not only does this aid breathing, dry air can make a sore throat feel worse and keep sufferers up with a cough.
2) Finding the right sleeping position
The trick to better breathing can also be a better sleeping position. Many of us naturally lie flat on our backs to sleep but that can cause problems. A postnasal drip can cause a build up of mucus in the throat and the pressure to the blood vessels in the nose also increases, adding to the discomfort. The best solution here to prop your head up to lessen the pressure and try and sleep on your side. This can take some getting used to, which is why it helps to try the other sleep aids.
3) Dealing with all that mucus
A difficulty breathing can also be caused by mucus build-up so it helps to break it down as much as possible before going to bed, use something like Mucinex or generic equivalent. Nasal sprays are another way to deal with a stuffy nose.
Also, a good old-fashioned steam is much cheaper, easier and can really get to work through the nose and chest. A hot shower before bed can loosen the mucus and relax you before you sleep.
Alternatively, you could try inhaling the steam from a bowl of hot water and some medicated menthol products, like Vicks, to really give the mucus a kick.
Others swear by a soothing cup of tea and this has additional benefits as it can replace lost fluid.
4) Dealing with the pain of blocked sinuses and congestion
At their worst, colds can become quite painful and there are different medications that can be taken before bed to ease the problem. Ibuprofen is always helpful but you can also try antihistamines and specialized decongestants.
It helps to take the dosage as close to bedtime as possible for a prolonged effect and to check for night-time formulas that may help to promote drowsiness. An alternative approach to dealing with pain is the classic chicken soup remedy. Studies have shown that there really is a physical effect when eating chicken soup and it can act as a form of pain relief.
5) Difficulty sleeping through a poor sleeping pattern
Once the cold starts to affect the way we sleep, it can have an effect on our sleeping patterns and the likelihood of falling asleep the following night. While it pays to get as much rest as you can to fight the cold, you need to observe good sleep hygiene even if you are sick. This means spending your days curled up on the couch and only using the bed for sleep.
Other sleep aids for a good night’s rest can help here too. Herbal teas can provide the ideal alternative to caffeinated drink and essential fluids while aroma-therapeutic oils, like lavender, can be added to the steam treatment.
There are lots of helpful tips that could help you get a better night’s sleep when dealing with a cold.
The complex nature of the common cold means that there are lots of little problems to deal with that can all have an impact on how we sleep. By looking at all the issues and trying these simple, natural approaches, you could find that the nights become easier and more comfortable, leading to a much better sleeping pattern and perhaps a faster recovery.
Look into the best solutions for the pain, keep the room at the right humidity and enjoy the healing properties of tea, steam, and chicken soup.