We are approaching monsoon – the official time to catch a cold and flu. The most annoying thing about the cold or flu is that no matter how exhausted or tired you feel, it doesn’t let you sleep properly.
No matter how comfortable a mattress you have or what you try, cold does make it difficult to sleep. However, sleep is important to combat colds. Since sleep is the best medicine to boost your immune system, you need to take appropriate measures to improve sleep to fend off viral infections before they take hold.
When you sleep properly, your body produces infection-fighting antibodies that help you to quickly bounce back and recover faster. But what to do when you have a cough or stuffy nose that always keeps you up all night?
Well, here are the five smart strategies to sleep better when you have a cold or flu:
1. Try to change your sleep position a little or change your mattress
Most people like to stack extra pillows when they are not able to sleep with the flu or cold. But it may wilt your head forward and make breathing problems even worse. Therefore, it’s best to try a foam wedge to lift your entire body while helping respiratory passage drain out. You may even consider layering pillows in a triangular position for extra comfort.
2. Change your mattress
If you notice recurring cold even after flu season, your mattress could be the culprit. Old mattresses become the breeding ground of dust mites or allergens that make cold worse at night. You must buy mattress of high-quality and with hypoallergenic properties if you have a problem of seasonal flu or frequent cold. You will notice an improvement in colds once you get rid of old mattresses.
3. Follow your regular nightly routine
Cold can make it hard for you to stick to your regular bedtime routine. But following your bedtime schedule is important, as it not only makes you fall asleep faster but also helps in fighting off cold or flu. According to a study, those people who don’t get proper sleep are three times more likely to fall sick compared to those who regularly get 8 or more hours of proper sleep at night.
4. Soothe your respiratory passages with warm drinks and vaporub
While many people tend to lose their appetite when they catch a cold, it’s important to eat properly to get enough energy to your body to fight off the viruses. For proper sleep at night, you may try soothing your throat with a warm drink like herbal tea with honey or soup with herbs and other ingredients that may soothe your sore throat. You may even have hot chocolate before sleeping, as more calories also help you get better sleep during cold. For soothing your nasal passages, you may try some good balm, vaporub or nasal decongestant spray before sleeping. When the nasal passages are clear, you’ll be able to breathe properly and finally fall asleep quickly.
5. Use the right gadgets to help you sleep better
When trying to sleep with cold or flu, you need to make sure that the room temperature is optimum. Don’t try to overheat the room even when you have a cold. The right temperature for comfortable sleep is between 69F – 72F. But if you bundle up with too many blankets, your body will overheat and you’ll ultimately wake up at night in a sweat. So, instead of warming up your body, use the right gadgets that may help you sleep better.
Since dry air is bad for cold symptoms and can leave your nose and throat parched, it’s best to use a good vaporizer or humidifier to maintain humidity in your room. Using a humidifier will help in keeping the air moist. Meanwhile, steam can also help in loosening congestion while keeping your head from drying out. Besides, this gadget helps you breathe easier while soothing your irritated nasal and throat tissues. But make sure to disinfect the humidifier regularly to eliminate germs.
Always follow the given tips whenever you catch a cold or flu and find it difficult to sleep at night. If you cannot sleep, you may even get out of bed for a while and try reading a book, listen to some soothing music or sip hot herbal tea. After that, again hit the sack within the next 15 to 20 minutes. Plus, try any of these tips to make you fall asleep faster.