When you’ve battled through the day with a heavy cold, all you want to do at night is collapse into a solid sleep. Frustratingly, sleep can be hard to come by when you are sniffling and snuffling through the wee hours. Here’s some good advice on how to set yourself up for a decent sleep – in spite of your cold.
- Elevate your head Propping your head up with extra pillows will only give you a stiff neck. The trick is to use a wedge-shaped pillow that raises your upper body from your waist up. Alternatively, stick books under the head of your bed to raise it. These small but effective measures let the blood flow away from your head, reducing inflammation of the air passages.
- Check your night-time medication Taking cold and flu medication at bedtime will give you a break from symptoms overnight and an opportunity to catch up on rest, but do choose your product carefully. Some medications contain ingredients that will cause sleeplessness and agitation. Usually these are labelled “non-drowsy”, but check with your GP or pharmacist if you’re not sure which product to use. One reliable option is Lemsip Max Cold & Flu Hot Drink Lemon Sachet, which contains paracetamol for relief from aches, pain and fever, with the added benefits of a hot drink, which can open nasal passages and soothe a sore throat.
- Use a nasal spray If you have been suffering from a stuffy nose or blocked sinuses, think about using a nasal decongestant at bedtime to loosen up and clear out the congestion. You can get medicated nasal sprays, but saline sprays made from plain old salty purified water can be very effective. They are also highly unlikely to cause any troublesome side effects, even for the most sensitive patients.
- Say no to a nightcap If you’re tempted to have a little alcoholic tipple before you hit the sack, resist. Alcohol can have a short-term settling effect, but it tends to disrupt your natural sleep rhythms, making it harder to fall into truly deep sleep overnight.
- Use light bedding You may feel like snuggling down into bed, but try not to overload yourself with doonas and blankets. It’s easy to overheat at night, especially if you’re feverish, so to avoid more frequent night-time waking, opt for lighter bed coverings.
- Breathe easy with steam A humidifier will keep the air in your room moist, which can make breathing easier and tends to settle a cough. Otherwise, try this DIY steam treatment: Before bedtime, fond somewhere to sire comfortably in your bathroom. Turn on the hot water in the shower to fill the room with steam. Ten minutes or so should do it. After that, tuck yourself into bed and settle in for a good night’s shut-eye.
LIVE WELL RECOMMENDS
Lemsip Max Cold & Flu Hot Drink Lemon Sachet
A soothing hot drink with paracetamol for the temporary relief of headaches and fever, sore throat and body aches and pains. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist consult a healthcare professional.