Cold and flu season has arrived. You may be a winter-child or loving lower temperatures, but you must admit that no one loves feeling weak, cold, or having the flu – no matter how passionate about winter you are.
Plus, the winter season can severely affect your sleep cycle if you don’t manage it right.
Sleep is a crucial part of kicking the flue and the cold, even though it may feel more stressful than healthful.
You know that when you are sick, symptoms tend to worsen as bedtime approaches – it’s just how it goes.
The runny nose and coughing have pushed people to search for better and smarter ways to enhance sleep while battling with a runny nose and strong coughing.
Here are the most effective solutions to help you sleep better.
1. Drink A Warm Beverage
Sometimes, the easiest solutions are the best ones. A warm and steamy drink can do wonders for your overall health, especially during the flu season.
Nothing like a warm beverage to soothe a sore throat. Plus, when you take a warm beverage, you are actually pushing the steam to loosen up your congestion.
Not sure what warm beverage to drink? You can never go wrong with decaffeinated tea with honey.
Other options include:
- Ginger tea
- Peppermint tea, and
- Chamomile tea
Each of these listed teas has properties to help you relax, fight infections, and breathe easier.
If you can’t drink tea, you can choose:
- Hot soup
- Low-sodium broth
- How water with lemon juice and honey
Try to drink a warm beverage about 60 to 90 minutes before you go to bed. Drinking liquids too close to bedtime may push you to use the bathroom during the night more frequently, which can disturb your sleep and lower your energy the following day.
2. Use Gadgets to Help You Breathe
Gadgets can help you sleep better. Technology isn’t strictly related to the work area, but it can help us in other life areas as well.
For example, during the flu season, it can be helpful to use a vaporizer or a humidifier all night to release moisture into the air.
Steam can help you keep your head from drying out and even loosen congestion. Not only that vaporizer or a humidifier can help you breathe easier, but it can also soothe irritated tissues in your nose and ease sore throat pain as well.
Make sure to clean and disinfect your humidifier regularly – this way, you will keep germs away.
3. Shower Before Bed
Just like a warm beverage before bed, taking a long and warm shower can help you beta the flu and cold. Steam from a hot shower can help you breathe easier.
You can also try to sit in the steamy bathroom with the door shut. Bend over a sink filled with running hot water, or simply put a warm compress over your sinuses.
A warm shower is also a great way to relax your body before bedtime and have it as a part of your sleep routine.
You can even use aromatherapy and use shower tablets with peppermint or eucalyptus oil. These ingredients may help you feel less congested when inhaled.
4. Avoid Alcohol
You may believe that a nightcap can’t cause much harm, but in reality, drinking alcohol before your bedtime can put a lot of stress on your body.
Some people claim that alcohol makes them sleepy, but in fact, alcohol can seriously disrupt your ability to get quality rest.
On top of that, alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it suppresses the antidiuretic hormone, which stops your kidneys from overproducing urine.
When this happens, you will likely pee more often. As expected, this can lead to dehydration, making it hard for your body to recover. So, avoid alcohol and stay hydrated. Always choose to drink a lot of water.
5. Keep Your Bedroom Cool
When you are under the flu or cold, you may think that the warmer the sleeping area will be better. However, your bedroom should always be under the same temperature, because it’s much healthier to sleep in colder rooms.
Did you know that the temperature of your bedroom is one of the most important factors that can affect how well you sleep? This is even more important when it comes to fighting a fever or an acold.
Is there a perfect room temperature? Yes, there is!
To sleep in a perfect area, you should keep your bedroom between 60 and 67°F (15.6 and 19.4°C). To keep your room at this temperature, you can:
- Open windows if the temperature goes up
- Set your home’s thermostat between 60 and 67°F (15.6 and 19.4°C) while you’re sleeping
- Run a fan near an open window to keep the air running
6. Try a Decongestant Spray
If you feel like you can’t get the air into your nose, you should think about trying a decongestant spray.
This type of nasal spray is specially designed to help you open up your nasal passages and ease the stuffiness.
You should be extra careful with this product -using one for more than three days in a row can make things worse, and can even lead to nasal spray addiction.
7. Try Cold And Flu Medicines
Over the counter, medicine can always help, but you need to be careful. Some cold medicines may treat one problem and affect something else, while there are medicines that can help you treat many problems at once.
With that in mind, you should choose your medicine carefully, and choose the medicine that most closely matches your symptoms.
For example, decongestants can keep you awake, while antihistamines can make you drowsy.
You probably know this, but it can’t hurt to repeat: if your child is under 4, don’t give him cold medicine, and talk with the doctor first.
8. Raise the Head of Your Bed
You may have heard that raising your head may help you sleep better when your nose is messy. Stuffing on pillows should let your sinuses drain more easily, but this is something that doctors describe far from being a good idea.
According to doctors, using many pillows to sleep on isn’t a good idea, because it bends your neck ion a way that can make it harder to breathe. Instead, raise the head fo the bed.
You can place large books under the legs of your headboard and secure them. This way, you will have a more gentle and natural incline.
9. Sleep Alone
You may be a snuggler and sleeping close to your bed partner, but in times of cold and flu, you may rethink this habit. When you’re sick, you should sleep away from your partner. That way, you won’t spread the sickness.
By sleeping alone, in a room of proper temperature, you can cough, blow your nose, and get out of bed without waking someone else up.
What If You Can’t Sleep?
Sometimes, when you have the flu or a cold, you can’t get enough sleep. So, if you can’t sleep, try something else, and simply get up.
Sit in a chair and read, or make yourself a tea with honey and lemon. Listen to music. Have an extra shower. Then get back into bed when you feel sleepier.
There are some other things that you into incorporate into your routine to help you sleep better:
- Rethink your regular sleep position. Try using a foam wedge that lifts your upper body, and helps you breathe better. Your sleep position matters.
- Have a night routine. A cold can make it hard to stick to your routine and your regular bedtime. So, its the best to water up and head to bed, every day, at the same time, like when you aren’t sick.
- Stay hydrated. Water can do wonders for your health, and overall body strength. Instead of coffee, choose tea. This way, you will stay hydrated, and your sore throat will have some relief at bedtime. Hot beverages can always help you relieve symptoms of runny noses, sore throats, chills, and noses – this may not be a long-term solution, but it can ease symptoms for a short while.
Make Sure You’re Sleepy
No matter how healthy or of poor health at the moment, unless you go to bed when you are really sleepy, you won’t have a good night’s sleep.
If you find yourself tossing and turning in bed, it means that you are forcing your body to sleep, and it won’t get you anywhere.
The bedroom area should be used only for sleep-related activities, so if you can’t sleep and you need to get more comfortable – stand up! Listen to music, read a book if possible, or any other low-intensity activity until you feel sleepy.
Luckily, cold and flu can last only a few weeks. Yes, they are mostly uncomfortable and irritating and sometimes painful, but they are mandatory to make your body stronger and remind it that it needs to be more active, stronger, and better.
In a way, the flu and cold are just a part of life.
Prevention is the best thing that you do for your health. Take proper steps to avoid getting sick like washing your hands often, eating healthy, going outdoors, and having enough sleep.
Make sure that you have proper clothes for every season and don’t stay long in wet shoes.