Dr Hilary says we must 'build up immunity to colds'
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No one wants to be up all night coughing and sneezing, but if you have a nasty cold it can really impact your ability to get a good kip. From putting your pillows in the freezer, to propping yourself up with extra pillows, these are the eight best tips to get a good night’s sleep when you’ve got the “worst cold ever.”
The “worst cold ever” is sweeping the nation, as many Brits suffer with rough symptoms that leave them feeling knackered.
If you have a nasty cold, the best thing you can do is get as much rest as you can.
However, when you’ve got a nose running like a tap, and an itchy cough jerking you awake, it’s not easy to get a good night’s sleep.
Here are eight tips from the experts at MattressNextDay to help you get enough rest when you’re bunged up.
1- Have a hot shower before you get into bed
Not only is a warm shower a great way to relax before bed but the steam of a hot shower can help thin out and drain the mucus in your sinuses, which makes it easier to breathe.
You could even take your steamy shower one step further by hanging a bag of lavender or peppermint around the showerhead to help add some essential oils to the steam, as this will help with your congestion.
2- Put your bedding in the freezer (yes, really)
The temperature of your bedroom is one of the most important factors that can affect the quality of your sleep.
MattressNextDay says your bedroom should be at a temperature of 16 to 18C.
If a cold is giving you a high temperature, those fresh cold sheets will make you feel much more refreshed.
Try putting your sheets and pillow cases in a bag and then into your freezer for a few hours before you go to bed to keep them lovely and cool.
3- Have a herbal tea before bed
Like the hot shower advice, a steaming cup of herbal tea can help clear your congestion.
Peppermint tea in particular has antibacterial and antiviral properties and has been proven to help clear sinuses.
Drinking tea about an hour before you hit the hay is recommended, as this way you’re less likely to wake up needing a wee in the middle of the night.
4 – Drink plenty of fluids
Staying hydrated throughout the day will help thin the mucus in your sinuses, meaning you won’t be struggling to sleep with a stuffed up nose.
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5 – Prop yourself up on pillows when you’re drifting off
It might sound uncomfortable, but propping yourself up will stop mucus from building up in your throat, which causes you to wake up coughing and spluttering.
Don’t stack your pillows too high as you can strain your back and your neck, but if your head is slightly elevated it could help you get to sleep.
6 – Gargle salt water before bed
When you’re brushing your teeth before bed, try gargling some saltwater to soothe your sore throat.
This can prevent infection, and stop a painful throat from keeping you awake.
Try dissolving half a teaspoon of salt with 250 millimetres of water, wait for the salt to dissolve then gargle it and spit it out.
7 – Listen to white noise
Shown to be more effective than counting sheep, listening to white noise can help you fall asleep faster.
If white noise doesn’t do it for you, try a sleep podcast: these audio stories tell relaxing, rambling tales to help you drift off.
8 – Tense your toes
If you’re struggling to get to sleep, you might consider trying a relaxation exercise.
This easy one makes a great starting point.
Just tense and relax your toes for 10 seconds at a time, this will help to focus your attention on one part of your body, helping you to focus and relax.
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