7 Ways to Sleep Better with a Cold

sleeping with a cold

Trying to sleep with a blocked nose?

We’re now in November and as the nights draw in, so too does the temperature, so it’s an opportune time for folks to catch a bout of the sniffles and the age old common cold.

It’s crazy how a change in the seasons brings on the very worst of the common cold. It’s expected at this time of the year with the elderly even vaccinated against it with their annual flu jabs. 

Trying to sleep with a stuffy nose can be incredibly tiring and frustrating. After all, when you’re feeling groggy all you really want to do is get some rest. Whilst there is no exact science here, there are remedies and relief products that can aid your sleep quality even if your cold is a full pelt. They won’t cure your cold completely but they may speed up the process of your body trying to expel the infection caused by the blasted common cold!

  1. Steam, steam and more steam

Full steam ahead basically. The introduction of steam into your nasal passageways can loosen mucas and soothe your sinuses. Using steam is one of the most effective ways of easing a nasty head cold. We’re not saying inhaling steam will 100% cure your cold but it can relieve the pressure in your head and make you feel a little bit less like your stuck in a goldfish bowl. You can actually buy purpose built steam inhalers online, otherwise, boil the kettle, put a tea towel over your head and stick your head into the bowl, preferably with a drop of olbas oil (caution – the water is boiling, use your common sense!)steaming a cold

2. Prevention is better than cure…

By keeping yourself healthy and your immune system topped up by eating healthy fruits and vegetables, perhaps even supplementing with vitamin C, echinacea or garlic capsules you stand a good chance of not getting a cold in the first place! When all around you are suffering from a nasal mucus invasion, you need to stay strong; get an early night regularly, exercise, eat well (and drink well – get a juicer!)  and ensure you wash your hands before eating and don’t go kissing or sharing cups with a loved one who might be a walking snot machine.

echinacea to fight colds

3. Do the Drugs Work? Sort of…

Richard Ashcroft reckons they don’t work but then again he’s probably not singing about decongestant. We’ve all heard of the brands like Lemsip and Beechams, and yes, they do a job and you can take their product every 4 hours but they won’t completely remove your head cold, just alleviate it a little. Paracetomol can also help but be aware, Lemsip/Beechams or any cold remedy capsules/powders contain paracetamol so please, please read the doses carefully.

lemsip cold remedy

4.  Keep Yourself Hydrated

There’s a common theme here around water, vapour, hydration… we’ve already reviewed the best teas for getting you to sleep and there’s a lot of cross-over. Bottom line here, is concurrent with what any GP will tell you, drink plenty of fluids when you have a cold and flush it out of your system.

herbal teas hydrate from a cold

5. Rise Above It…

We don’t mean, try to ignore your cold, but rather elevate your head a little more than usual when falling asleep with an extra pillow or two. Nasal congestion is worse when you’re lying down so use a chunky pillow or fold a towel under your usual pillow and see if that makes a difference.

slumber down new pillows - elevate head cold

6. Aerate your Room…

There’s not a great deal of effort required here, but try not to let your room get too stuffy and open the bedroom window. Central heating can dry out a room, including your mouth, especially when you’re breathing through it due to harbouring an annoying cold. 

7. Vapour again?

Yes, but this time it’s in the form of a vapour rub which works remarkably well when not just rubbed around your chest and clavicle area but also across the top of your back. Even more effective (and a reflexologist can probably tell you why) but rubbing vapour rub on the soles of your feet works wonders especially for children!! Give it a try.

vapour rub for a cold

So there you have it, aside from prevention and trying really hard not to catch a cold in the first place, it’s clear that there are no quick cures for relieving a head cold. So how do you sleep better with a cold? It’s more a case of experimenting with what works for you from the remedies and recommendations above.


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