It can be very difficult to sleep with a cold. Symptoms such as a stuffy nose can make breathing difficult while coughing, and muscle pain can keep you awake.
Quality sleep, on the other hand, is critical for recovery. Sleep and rest are necessary for your body to heal.
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate your symptoms and get the rest you require. Continue reading to find out how to sleep with a common cold.
1. Drink a Warm Beverage
A warm, steamy drink before bedtime can help soothe a sore throat while also loosening congestion.
A good option is a decaffeinated tea with honey. Chamomile tea, peppermint tea, and ginger tea are all excellent choices. All of them have properties that can help you relax, breathe more efficiently, or fight infections.
If you don’t want to drink tea, try these alternatives:
- Hot water with lemon juice and honey
- Hot soup
- Low-sodium broth
Drink a warm beverage 60 to 90 minutes before going to bed. Drinking liquids too close to bedtime may cause you to wake up to use the restroom during the night sleep.
2. Take an NSAID
If you’re experiencing aches and pains, an over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) may be of assistance. Some cold symptoms, such as headache, muscle aches, ear pain, and fever, can be relieved with these medications.
NSAIDs that are commonly available without a prescription include:
Check the label for the recommended dosage, just as you would with any OTC medication. Pay close attention to the instructions.
If you have a fever, don’t take NSAIDs for more than three days in a row. Similarly, if you are in pain, do not use them for more than ten days. Consult a doctor if your symptoms persist.
3. Use A Nasal Decongestant
A nasal decongestant works by reducing swollen tissue in your nose, which can reduce mucus production. This can help you breathe easier, especially if you’re trying to sleep.
Nasal decongestants are sold over the counter in pharmacies. They are available in the following formats:
- Nasal sprays
Nasal decongestants are generally not recommended for children under the age of three.
Avoid using decongestants for an extended period of time, as this can result in rebound symptoms that make you feel worse than before you started the treatment.
4. Try Cough Medicine
Coughing from a common cold can keep you awake all night and leave you exhausted. Over-the-counter cough medicine may provide temporary relief.
Consider using an expectorant if you have mucus. This medication loosens mucus in your lungs, making it easier to cough up. Expectorant cough medicines include Mucinex and Mucinex DM.
An antitussive, which suppresses the cough reflex, is another option. Antitussives may be ideal for providing relief at night. An example of antitussive cough medicine is Robitussin DM.
Decongestants, pain relievers, and antihistamines are all ingredients in some cough medicines. Because of these ingredients — which can be dangerous in higher doses — it’s best to avoid taking other medications when taking cough medicine.
5. Gargle With Saltwater
Gargling with salt water before going to bed can help soothe a sore throat and prevent an infection from worsening. It’s a natural, low-cost way to relieve pain.
To use a saltwater gargle for a good sleep, follow these steps:
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz. warm water
- Gargle the mixture in the back of your throat for as long as you can tolerate it once the salt has dissolved.
- Then, before spitting out the saltwater, swish it around your mouth.
6. Use A Saline Nasal Rinse
A saline rinse is a type of nasal irrigation in which saltwater, or saline, is used to flush your nasal passages. It is critical to use only sterile, distilled, or previously boiled water. Infection-causing organisms may be present in tap water.
Saline rinses can be combined with:
- Neti pot
- Squeeze bottle
- Nasal bulb
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends the following steps for using a saline rinse:
- Begin by hunching over a sink. Tilt your head sideways and try to keep your chin and forehead at the same level to prevent the solution from dripping into your mouth.
- In your upper nostril, insert the spout of the saline-filled squeeze bottle, neti pot, or nasal bulb. This allows the solution to drain from your lower nostril.
- This procedure should be repeated. Tilt your head the other way and insert the saline solution into the other nostril.
Nasal rinses are not recommended by the FDA for children under two unless prescribed by a paediatrician.
7. Stack Your Pillows
Lying down can cause mucus to accumulate in your throat, resulting in coughing and restless nights.
This does not imply that you must sleep sitting up. Simply stack your pillows to slightly elevate your head. This can help to reduce mucus buildup in your throat.
Using too many pillows may result in neck pain and discomfort. Just two standard pillows will most likely be sufficient to elevate your head.
8. Apply a Vapour Rub
A vapour rub is a medicated ointment that is applied topically to the neck and chest. It frequently contains the following ingredients:
- Oil of eucalyptus The main component of eucalyptus oil, cineole, has the ability to loosen thick and sticky mucus.
- Menthol. Menthol has a cooling effect that may make breathing easier.
- Camphor. Camphor has been shown to reduce coughing and thin mucus.
Although these ingredients will not cure your cold, they may help you breathe easier and sleep better.
Apply the vapour rub only to your chest and throat. It should not be used inside your nose because it can be absorbed into your body via the membranes inside your nasal passages.
Some people may experience skin irritation from vapour rub. Before attempting to use a new product, test it on a small patch of skin.
9. Turn On a Humidifier
Dry air can irritate your sinuses, exacerbating your symptoms. A humidifier, which adds moisture to the atmosphere, may be beneficial.
According to 2017 research, humidifiers do not provide significant benefits in the treatment of colds. However, the increased moisture in the air may help you breathe better.
In a humidifier, always use distilled or purified water. To prevent bacterial and mould growth, change the water every day and clean it on a regular basis.
10. Take a Hot Shower
The steam from a hot shower may help thin and drain mucus in your sinuses, making it easier to breathe. A warm shower is also a great way to unwind before going to bed.
Make sure the water is hot but not too hot. Keep the bathroom door closed to allow the steam to build up.
Aromatherapy shower tablets containing peppermint or eucalyptus oil can provide a relaxing spa-like experience. The cooling effects of these ingredients may help you feel less congested when inhaled.
11. Prevent Alcohol Intake
Although alcohol can cause sleepiness, it is best to avoid it before going to bed. Drinking alcohol may interfere with your ability to sleep well.
Furthermore, alcohol is a diuretic. It inhibits the antidiuretic hormone, preventing your kidneys from overproducing urine. When this happens, you will most likely pee more frequently.
This can result in dehydration, making it difficult for your body to recover. Stay hydrated by avoiding alcohol and instead of drinking plenty of water.
12. Keep Your Bedroom Temperature Cool
According to a 2012 study, one of the most important factors that can affect your quality of sleep is the temperature of your bedroom. This is especially important if you’re fighting a cold and have a fever.
Keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 67°F (15.6 and 19.4°C) to create a comfortable sleeping environment. You can keep your room at this temperature by doing the following:
- Set your house’s thermostat to stay between 60 and 67°F (15.6 and 19.4°C) while you sleep.
- If the temperature rises, open the windows or turn on the air conditioning.
- To keep the air circulating, place a fan near an open window.
The majority of cold symptoms last 7 to 10 days. In some cases, congestion, coughing, or a runny nose may make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
Fortunately, there are treatments available to help alleviate your symptoms. Medication, such as NSAIDs, cough suppressants, or nasal decongestants, is one option. Natural remedies such as warm beverages, saltwater gargles, a hot shower, or stacked pillows are also options.
Some tips may be more effective than others, depending on your symptoms. If your cold worsens or lasts longer than three weeks, make an appointment with your doctor.