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Everyone hates being sick.
And everyone gets angry when they can’t sleep well.
Which is a common issue when you have a cold.
But don’t worry, as I’m just about to share with you some tips on how to sleep with a cold. They literally save me every time I get sick, so I hope they will prove to be as helpful to you!
#1 Use Chest Rubs and Warming Creams
In my experience, the best way to sleep with a cold is using a special warming cream or gel before bed. Do you remember how your mom used to do that for you when you were little? Well, this method is just as effective now as it was then.
You see, those rubs and creams have special components that relieve some of the cold symptoms like coughing, chest pain, muscle pain, stuffy nose, etc (1). They often contain essential oils, menthol, tea tree oils, eucalyptus, etc. Not only can they help with cold symptoms but they also make you feel calmer and relaxed.
#2 Use Air Humidifier
Did you know that you have higher chances of catching the common cold or flu virus in the colder months because viruses transmit better in the dry air than they do in the humid air.
According to a study performed by the CDC, 70-77% of flu virus particles were able to cause an infection at humidity levels of 23%. But when humidity was raised to 43%, the number of active virus particles dropped to 14% (2).
That’s the reason why using a humidifier is recommended, especially during the cold season. This will not only help you breathe more easily when you have cold but may also prevent you from catching it in the first place!
#3 Elevate Your Head
Your nasal congestions might get more noticeable at night not only because there are no distractions but also because of the changes in our blood pressure (3). When we lie down, the blood flow to the upper part of the body increases, so the blood vessels in our head and nose may swell, causing trouble breathing.
Plus, the gravity impact is less pronounced in the lying-down position, which means the excess mucus will accumulate in the sinuses (3).
To prevent this, try to sleep with your head elevated.
You see, when your head is placed a bit higher than the rest of your body, the pressure in the sinuses drops. This reduces the swelling and allows you to breathe more freely. It will be much easier to fall asleep like that.
- Ian M. Paul, MD, MSc, Jessica S. Beiler, MPH, Tonya S. King, Ph.D., Edelveis R. Clapp, DO, Julie Vallati, LPN, and Cheston M. Berlin, Jr, MD (2010, November 8). Vapor Rub, Petrolatum, and No Treatment for Children With Nocturnal Cough and Cold Symptoms. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3600823/
- Rachael Rattner (2013, February 28). Higher Humidity Lowers Flu Transmission. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/27533-flu-transmission-humidity.html
- Kristin Hayes, RN (medically reviewed by Sania Jelic, MD) (2019, November 21). Why Congestion May Get Worse at Night? Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/why-do-i-get-congested-at-night-1192188
- Um Safia (n.d.). Mleko z Miodem — Polish Milk and Honey Bedtime Drink. Retrieved from https://www.food.com/recipe/mleko-z-miodem-polish-milk-honey-bedtime-drink-288861
- James M. Steckelberg, MD (2018, May 2). Honey: An Effective Cough Remedy? Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/expert-answers/honey/faq-20058031
- Jung San Chang, Kuo Chih Wang, Chia Feng Yeh, Den En Shieh, Lien Chai Chiang (2012, November 1). Fresh Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) Has Anti-Viral Activity Against Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Human Respiratory Tract Cell Lines. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23123794/
- Shannon Wongvibulsin (n.d.). A Guide to Natural Ways to Alleviate Allergy and Sinusitis Symptoms. Retrieved from https://exploreim.ucla.edu/wellness/a-guide-to-natural-ways-to-alleviate-allergy-and-sinusitis-symptoms/
- Kazunari Satomura, Tetsuhisa Kitamura, Takashi Kawamura, Takuro Shimbo, Motoi Watanabe, Mitsuhiro Kamei, Yoshihisa Takano, Akiko Tamakoshi, Great Cold Investigators-I (2005, November 1). Prevention of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections by Gargling. Retrieved from https://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797%2805%2900258-8/abstract