Cold season is upon us, with many enduring a sore throat, hacking cough and aching muscles.
The NHS recommends “rest and sleep” to help sufferers beat the infection quicker.
While it may be sound advice, contending with a blocked nose can make it feel impossible to nod off.
Rather than spending a night tossing and turning, catching some shut eye may be as simple as lying in a different position.
“If you sleep on your back, try and sleep on your side,” Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, from Silentnight, told Yahoo UK. “If this isn’t a comfortable sleeping position for you, try raising your pillows.
“This will help keep your airways open by supporting your neck.”
Inhaling aromatic oils, like peppermint, may also clear blocked sinuses enough to nod off.
“My favourite hack in winter is to use a menthol stick and apply a dab to your forehead between your eyebrows,” Dr Ramlakhan said.
“This can really help when you’re struggling to breathe through your nose as it creates a feeling of coolness on the face, which helps you fall asleep.
“You can keep this handy on your bedside table and reapply if you wake during the night”.
Staring at the ceiling while trying to fall asleep can leave us feeling irritated, which only makes it harder to nod off.
The key to a peaceful night’s slumber while battling a cold may be finding a way to relax despite your symptoms.
“A perfect way to do this is with a hot bicarbonate of soda bath 60-to-90 minutes before bed,” Dr Ramlakhan said.
“Add two big mugs of bicarbonate of soda to comfortably hot water. Immerse yourself completely for 20 minutes.
“The bicarbonate neutralises the skin’s acidity, softens dry skin and is a good aid in detoxification.
“You will feel very tired, sleep well and find it much easier to get up in the morning, even with a blocked nose.”
Shaking off the day with a good book or relaxing music could also leave you feeling mellow enough to catch some Zzzs. If you still struggle to nod off, rest assured colds tend to pass within two weeks.
To help you feel better in the meantime, the NHS recommends keeping warm, drinking plenty of fluids and gargling with salty water to soothe a sore throat.
Drink fluids to ease symptoms of dry throat
If these fail to help, ask your pharmacist about decongestant sprays or tablets to relieve a blocked nose.
Painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen may also help ease any aches and pains, while lowering a temperature.
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