5 Ways to Sleep Better When You’re Battling a Cold, Cough, or Flu
When brisk temperatures and blustery weather keep us indoors, they’re often accompanied by an uptick in the types of illnesses that make life miserable. If you feel like the past couple months are marked by shaking off one cold just to get hit by the next, you’re not alone. Getting adequate rest is important to trying to recover, but that may seem impossible if your sinuses are clogged or if you’re continually coughing. Here are some tips for improving your odds of getting a good night’s sleep when you’re battling a cold, cough, or the flu:
- Take your medicine: Over-the-counter medicines may not directly combat the viruses that cause a cold or flu, but they will alleviate the symptoms, such as a runny nose or a fever, that can keep you up at night. Choose medicines that address the symptoms you’re experiencing and take them slightly before bedtime, so they have a chance to take effect before your head hits the pillow. If you are taking multiple medications, read the labels carefully to make sure you are not inadvertently duplicating active ingredients.
- Take a hot shower before bedtime: Congested sinuses can make it hard to breathe comfortably, especially as the pressure increases when you’re laying down. Taking a hot shower before bedtime can help loosen up mucus, and the steam can soothe a throat that is irritated from post-nasal drip and coughing. Bonus: warming your body up right before bed helps set you up for the natural core temperature dip that helps you get to sleep.
- Drink something hot: Having a cup of (non-caffeinated) tea or another hot beverage can soothe your throat, help break up nasal congestion, and promote healthy hydration. Adding some honey to that tea can also help suppress a cough, and can help you get some needed calories if being sick has killed your appetite.
- Use a humidifier: Indoor air can be punishingly dry, especially in the colder months when we’re constantly running the heat. Adding moisture to the air through the use of a humidifier when you sleep helps loosen congestion and eases the irritation of your sinuses and throat. Make sure you clean your humidifier regularly, though, as they can harbor mold and germs over time if not properly disinfected.
- Raise the head of your bed: When you sit or stand, congestion naturally drains out of your sinuses, but when you lay down, it can build up uncomfortably, making it hard to sleep. Elevating the head of your bed slightly can help promote natural drainage. Rather than simply sticking an extra pillow under your head, which can put your neck at an uncomfortable angle, add a foam wedge or use additional pillows to support your entire upper body at a gentle incline.
Getting some quality sleep will get you on the road to recovery that much faster, so don’t hesitate to throw everything you’ve got at improving your chances of getting a good night’s rest. At IDLE Sleep, we know that great sleep is a critical part of a healthy lifestyle. Our selection of luxury mattresses offers supportive, comfortable options for every type of sleeper. Click here to find out which IDLE Sleep mattress is right for you.