Everyone we know right now has the sniffles.
It seems that there’s a ‘super cold’ going around, thanks to a combination of mixing with more people and the change of seasons.
People are reporting that they are laid up with headaches, feverishness, coughs, sneezes and feeling generally rubbish.
So, if you’ve caught this nasty bug, and you’ve had a negative Covid test to confirm it isn’t something more serious, there are ways to ease your symptoms and make things a little more bearable.
Typically, sleeping is an issue when you have a really nasty cold. Whether you’re being kept awake with chills, or you just can’t breathe properly when you lie down, cold symptoms can make it really hard to get enough rest.
Which is particularly annoying when you consider that rest is one of the key things that will help you recover faster.
So, the experts at MattressNextDay have shared their top tips for drifting off and sleeping soundly, even when you’re bunged up:
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.
Chill your sheets
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.
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 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.
Sip 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 it 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.
Keep hydrated throughout the day
Another fluid you should drink lots of is water.
While you will be 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.
Stack your pillows the right way
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.
Try homemade medication using water and salt
This is a natural, low-cost way of easing discomfort before bed. Not only does it help soothe a sore throat, but it can also 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.
Don’t count sheep
If you’re struggling to sleep and think that counting sheep is the answer, you’re wrong.
On old University of Oxford study found that this archaic trick is 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.
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 relax more quickly.
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