As a ‘super cold’ is currently making the rounds, it should come as no surprise that the number of Brits Googling ‘how to sleep with a cold’ has increased by 17% in the past month alone.
To help, MattressNextDay have shared their top eight tips for sleeping with a cold…
1 Take a hot shower to clear your sinuses
Not only is a warm shower a great way to relax before bed, but the steam of a hot shower may help thin out and drain the mucus in your sinuses, which makes it easier to breathe. To reap the full benefits, make sure the water is hot but comfortable. You could even take your steamy shower one step further by hanging a bag of lavender or peppermint around the showerhead to help add some essential oils to the steam, as this will help with your congestion.
2 Keep your pillowcase or bedsheets in the freezer before bedtime
The temperature of your bedroom is one of the most important factors that can affect the quality of your sleep, especially when you are dealing with a cold. To create a comfortable sleeping environment, keep your bedroom between 16 to 18°C. Naturally, you can use a fan to achieve this lower temperature or alternatively, if you feel yourself burning up, there are some hacks to achieve a cooler room. Firstly, you could fill a hot water bottle and put it in the freezer before you go to sleep, or you could place your pillowcase in the fridge before bedtime. Another great tip is to put your bed sheet in a zip-lock bag before placing it in the fridge or freezer so it’s perfectly chilled before bed.
3 Sip some tea before bed (but make sure it’s at the right time)
A warm, steamy drink before bedtime can not only soothe your sore throat, but the steam will help loosen up your congestion. Peppermint tea has antibacterial and antiviral properties and has been proven to help clear sinuses. Or, alternatively, you can try some chamomile tea as it is known to help those who suffer from insomnia. Just make sure to drink your tea 60-90 minutes before you go to bed so you don’t wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.
4 Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day to help eliminate mucus
Another fluid you should drink lots of is water. Whilst you’re aware that staying hydrated has lots of health benefits, did you know that it can also help combat a stuffy nose at night? That’s because staying hydrated helps keep the mucus inside your nose thin and moist. Aim to drink at least two litres of water per day.
5 Stack your pillows the right way when going to sleep
Lying down can make mucus build up in your throat, leading to coughing and a restless night. To stop this from happening, you should simply stack your pillows so that your head is elevated. In turn, this shifts the blood flow down and promotes sinus clearing. Just make sure to not use more than two pillows as this could lead to back pain and discomfort.
6 Create this homemade medication using just water and salt
This is a natural, low-cost way of easing discomfort before bed as not only does it help soothe a sore throat, but it can prevent an infection from getting worse. To use a saltwater gargle, mix ½ teaspoon of salt with 250 ml of warm water. Once the salt dissolves, gargle the mixture in the back of your throat for as long as you can tolerate it. Then, swish the saltwater around your mouth before spitting it out.
7 Struggling to sleep? Don’t count sheep
If you’re struggling to sleep and think that counting sheep is the answer, you’re wrong. University of Oxford researchers found that it’s too mundane to keep your anxieties away so, instead, they suggest thinking of a more relaxing image – such as a sandy beach or a waterfall – whilst listening to relaxing white noise.
8 Tense your toes to reduce tension
If you’ve had a few nights of bad sleep, chances are that you’ll be feeling more tense than usual. If this is the case, try alternately tensing and relaxing your toes for a count of 10 each time. Sleep experts at the University of Maryland found that this draws attention away from the rest of your body, and helps you torelax more quickly.