Sleeping With a Cold
Sleeping With a Cold
No one likes being sick and sleeping with a cold is the worst, but there are some things you can do to make sleeping with a cold easier. You've heard of doctors recommending people drink lots of fluids, and get plenty of sleep when you're under the weather. This is because a lot of the body's natural processes that promote healing from sickness and injury happen while we sleep. This is a major reason that getting a good amount of quality sleep is critical for getting over a cold.
Even though sleep is good for getting over a cold, sometimes symptoms from a cold can prevent us from getting enough sleep.
The American Sleep Association has recommendations for the number of hours we should each get based on age. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to fully benefit from the natural restorative process of sleep.
Not being able to sleep because of coughing, having a sore throat, or other symptoms from a cold can cause sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep is shown to harm our immune system. This makes it very important to prioritize sleep as a go-to prescription for keeping our immune system healthy so we can get over a cold as fast as possible.
Since having a cold can disrupt sleep, which we need to heal, we've gathered some tips for sleeping when you're sick to make your next cold easier to get through.
Tips for Sleeping With a Cold
Mucus and congestion can build up while you're lying down. It can cause coughing and difficulty breathing. Stacking your pillows to elevate your head at a slight angle can encourage drainage to help decrease that build-up and help you sleep. Use just enough pillows to slightly elevate your head to avoid any sort of neck pain.
If you can't sleep because of a cough, trying something like an over-the-counter cough or other cold medicine to help stop you from coughing so you can start sleeping. Some cold medicines have nighttime versions that also help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you're trying to sleep with a runny nose or a nose that's stopped up, it's no fun. Taking a nasal decongestant spray or tablet, using a saline nasal rinse, or even something like nasal strips and vapor rubs, all of these are ways to help with nasal congestion to make sleeping easier.
Warm beverages are known to help people sleep. The next time you're sick, consider drinking a tea made for colds. A lot of these teas will have ingredients in them like ginger, peppermint, or elderberry. All of these ingredients have medicinal properties that can help relieve your cold symptoms. Several of them will also have ingredients like chamomile and valerian, two plants known for helping people relax and fall asleep.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycles. We produce it naturally, but you can also purchase melatonin supplements that science shows can help people sleep. You can also get melatonin from your diet by eating foods high melatonin, like fish, eggs, nuts, and kiwi.
All of these are great tips for sleeping while you're sick. Having the best mattress with the comfiest sheets, or cuddling up with your favorite blankets and pillows while you eat soup can also provide you with some much-needed comfort.