SLEEPING WITH A COLD:
Sleep is a most welcome respite at the end of a busy day either at work or in school but while some finds it so easy to hit the sack, others are not so blessed with the facility and ease of slumber. It is bad enough that you have difficulty of sleeping, imagine the discomfort to try and sleep with a stuffed nose!
We catch the cold virus through inhaling air droplets from someone who just sneezed, talked or coughed or through direct contact(someone with colds touch his nose and then proceeded to touch you or indirect spread (you touch a door knob that was just used by an infected person). There are about 200 types of viruses that can cause a cold and these invade the lining of the nose and they swell the nasal areas. As the inflammatory condition worsens, more mucus is produced which in turn causes a stuffy nose and continuous sneezing.
It is this intermittent sneezing and the clogging of nasal passages that causes the periodic disruption of a fitful rest overnight. You toss and turn a dozen times or more because there is seemingly no way to get the recommended 7-8 hour sleep. You wake up the next day feeling even worse with the sleep deprivation. But don’t fret now- there are ways to get that much needed rest even with that troublesome cold.
The Position Matters - Because of the congested nasal passages, one needs to improve the sleeping position to be able to get your zzz’s. You can either place pillows or elevate the head of the bed. Placing one’s head in a relatively higher position than the rest of the body will keep the nasal sinuses open and patent.
The Answer Is In The Air! - To alleviate the stuffiness that inevitably comes with the common cold, you may turn on a warm humidifier. By doing this, you will avoid having your mucous membranes from being dried up which is usually the reason why you keep sneezing and continually disturbing an otherwise restful sleep. Just don’t forget to have your warm humidifier machines cleaned up regularly.
Be Fluid, Increase Liquids - Dehydration can worsen the cold symptoms and make you even more sleep deprived than ever so make sure you increase your oral fluid intake. The extra liquids will help thin out the mucous membranes and makes sleeping much easier.
Tea For (Two?) - Treating yourself to a warm, soothing cup of tea either alone or with a suitable partner can help ease the other symptoms of cold like sore throat. A dash of lemon or a touch of honey will make it even better! Remember, tea contains no trace of caffeine, which usually keeps one awake.
Comfort? Bring It On! – If one is resting in a warm, snuggly bed covered with the softest downy comforter and plush pillows strewn all over you, I am pretty sure you can sleep through the night even with a cold bothering you.
Make It Cold And Dark - Aside from having comfortable beddings, making your sleeping quarters cold and dark will help you achieve your suggested daily sleep hours. A dim environment will set the production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes sleep.
Full Steam Ahead - Giving yourself a steam treatment in the (warm) confines of your own bathroom can spell wonders to clogged nostrils and will set you to dreamland in no time at all. Turn the hot water in full throttle and sit comfortably letting the steam slowly ease your congestion.
If all these remedies fail, then try get some comfort and aid from decongestant medications but do so only with the advice of your doctor. But let taking in of prescription drugs be the last recourse for getting your much needed and most wanted rest from the common cold.