Tips for Sleeping When You Have a Cold

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The dreaded cold and flu season is upon us, and chances are, you may be affected by a cold or flu at some point, no matter how vigilant you are at washing your hands and disinfecting the area around you. Many cold and flu symptoms also tend to make sleeping incredibly uncomfortable, which is the last thing you want to be able to fight it off. Here are a few tips for getting a good sleep when you have a cold.

Get lots of rest: you may have heard this many times already but giving your body a chance to rest is truly the best medicine for fighting off colds. Going to bed a little earlier and waking up a little later than normal is okay. You may also consider a mid-day nap as well. Lounging on the couch and binge-watching your favourite show is okay too, but don’t overdo it.  

Take over-the-counter cold medicines: be sure to keep some Advil or Tylenol on hand to help you sleep better, especially ones geared towards alleviating cold and flu symptoms. There are lots of cold & flu medicines available for “nighttime” use that will help you sleep, but be sure to read the labels carefully and don’t take more than the recommended dosage.

Keep the room humidified: the cold air outside can dry out the air in your bedroom, which has a counter-intuitive effect on alleviating cold symptoms. Using a humidifier to help moisten the air will help you sleep better.

Stay hydrated: your body will need lots of liquids to help fight your cold off. Drink lots of water, and herbal tea with honey is especially beneficial. As a bonus, add a small slice of lemon. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they will both leave you dehydrated.  

Alleviate any sinus discomfort: Blocked sinuses are common when you have a cold, and this can make sleeping very uncomfortable when you can’t breathe properly. Try propping your head up slightly with a pillow to help you breathe a bit easier.

Take a hot shower or bath: the heat from doing either of these things will help to relax your muscles and reduce your cold symptoms before bed.

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