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How to Sleep with a Cold

Jan 11, 2016

It is quite natural to find it difficult to sleep when you are sick. Even it is only a common cold, you are likely to toss and turn all night due to medicine and congestion. The thing is that your viral infection will not clear with antibiotics. You need to take plenty of rest to give your immune system time and power to clear the infection. Keep reading to learn more about it.

How to Sleep with a Cold

You can make some simple adjustments and take a few steps to help you relax and sleep better when you are sick. Here are some suggestions that may help you.

1.  Take a Shower

Steam is extremely beneficial when you have a cold. A hot shower will do the trick and it work wonders to relax your body. It relieves congestion and makes it easier to breathe. The best way to inhale steam is to run the shower before you enter the bathroom and let steam accumulate. Then enter the steamy bathroom and sit there with the door shut. Alternatively, you can simply fill a sink with hot water and bend over it to inhale steam. Putting a warm compress over your sinuses will also help a lot.

2.  Raise the Head of Your Bed

Keeping your head elevated will help deal with a cold. Propping up your head with several pillows is not a good idea because it bends your neck in a way that makes breathing difficult. The best idea is to raise the head of your bed keeping a few books under the legs of your bed. This creates a natural incline that will make your sinuses to drain more easily.

3.  Utilize Gadgets to Help You Breathe

Installing a humidifier in your room will add moisture to the air and make breathing easier. A vaporizer will work equally well because moist air relieves congestion and soothes irritated tissues in your nose. You will also find some relief from sore throat pain. It is important to disinfect your humidifier on a regular basis to eliminate germs.

4.  Manage Your Cough

One of the ways to learn how to sleep with a cold is to find a long-acting cough suppressant. Taking a 12-hour cough suppressant will work fine and help you sleep through the night. However, you should not use decongestants at night because they can make you jittery.

5.  Do Not Consume Caffeine Before Bed

Avoid caffeine at night. Many people do not understand that caffeine actually is a stimulant. It will keep you awake through the night. Moreover, caffeine has a dehydrating effect on your body, which in turn will aggravate your sinus pain and congestion. When you feel thirsty, you will be better off drinking herbal and decaffeinated teas in the afternoon.

6.  Keep Nasal Passages Moist

To understand how to sleep with a cold, you may have to take an OTC nasal saline spray. This will help keep your nasal passages clear. You can sleep better only when your nasal passages are not blocked. For this, you can also use a neti pot to rinse your sinuses. Keeping the air in your room moist will also help prevent your nasal passages from becoming clogged.

7.  Use an Antihistamine

If you are having a hard time sleeping because of allergies, you may consider taking an antihistamine. Take it before going to bed to make it easier to sleep. It is worth pointing out that some antihistamines actually make you feel sleepy, which in turn will also help your cause and make it easier to fall asleep.

When to Call Your Doctor

While taking some steps to learn how to sleep with a cold will help, you may have to talk to your doctor to deal with certain issues.

  • Go see your doctor if you have severe congestion that lasts longer than a week.
  • Call your doctor if you have fever with sinus pain and congestion.

Your ENT specialist will look into this and ensure that you do not have a sinus infection that requires a more aggressive treatment approach. You may require a combination of non-surgical treatment if you have sinusitis. It is important to receive appropriate treatment in a timely manner to prevent complications. Discuss everything with your doctor to identify the best treatment option as per your symptoms.