Getting Sleep When You’re Sick: Follow These Cold-Fighting Steps

When you’re fighting off a cold, getting a good night’s rest can help you speed up recovery and better manage symptoms. However, a stubborn cough or persistent congestion can sometimes make it hard to fall asleep—even when you’re feeling exhausted. If you’re wondering how to sleep with a cold, MD Now Urgent Care wants you to be aware of the best cold medicine for sleep and how natural sleep remedies can help.

Why Does Sleep Help a Cold?

Those with busy schedules may wonder, “Does sleep help a cold?” Without a doubt, the answer is “yes.” Slowing down and giving your body time to fight off the virus is essential to a speedy recovery. In fact, research has shown that sleep deprivation results in poorer immune function. When you learn how to sleep with a cold, you’ll also establish good sleep habits that protect you from future viruses. Make sure you get plenty of rest while sick, but don’t skimp on ZZZs when you’re healthy, either.

What Is the Best Way to Sleep with a Cold?

Creating a comfortable, warm environment is the best way to sleep with a cold. Add several blankets, and use pillows to keep your head elevated. Raising your head can ease sinus pressure, making it easier to breathe. Avoid watching TV before bedtime, and limit use of smartphones and tablets. Steer clear of caffeine after 3 p.m., as it can sometimes disrupt your sleep. Keep a glass of water on your bedside table in the event your throat feels sore overnight.

What Is the Best Cold Medicine for Sleep?

There are several over-the-counter options that can help ease cold symptoms. Decongestants can help relieve sinus pressure, while cough suppressants and expectorants may stop you from coughing as frequently. Some cough suppressants last up to 12 hours, keeping symptoms at bay while you snooze.

When determining the best way to sleep with a cold, read medication labels carefully and try to match the drugs to your symptoms. At bedtime, avoid any medications labeled “non-drowsy” or “daytime,” as these may contain ingredients that will keep you awake.

How Can I Sleep with a Cold without Medicine?

Even if you’re aware of the best cold medicine for sleep, there may be times where you prefer a more natural approach. Here’s how to sleep with a cold without medicine:

  • Take a Shower: When you’re suffering from a cold, your sinuses may be filled with mucus, which makes it more difficult to breathe. If you’re wondering how to sleep with a cold without medicine, a steamy shower might be a solution. The steam may help clear your sinuses, easing pressure and discomfort. Plus, taking a shower is a great way to unwind and relax before settling into bed.
  • Use a Humidifier: During the cooler months, dry indoor air can exacerbate cold symptoms. Fortunately, it’s easy to add much-needed moisture to rooms by using a humidifier. Clean your humidifier regularly to avoid the growth of mold and bacteria.
  • Soothe Your Throat: Looking for a soothing before-bedtime treat? Try a cup of hot tea with honey. Not only will the warm liquid relieve a sore throat, the tea’s honey also contains cough suppressant properties. With its healing antioxidants, hot tea is one of the best choices for people wondering, “Does sleep help a cold?”
  • Use a Saltwater Rinse: Rinsing your nasal passages with saline (saltwater) can make it easier to breathe and relieve a sore throat. Before bed, use a neti pot to thoroughly rinse your nasal passages. A neti pot has a spout that goes into a nostril to flush away mucus.
  • Try a Vapor Rub: A tried-and-true cold remedy, vapor rubs can improve coughs and ease congestion, which can help you fall asleep. Rub vapor on your chest and neck, and put a small dab under your nose. Vapor rubs often contain eucalyptus oil, which is a good option for those considering how to sleep with a cold without medicine.

What Should I Do When I Can’t Fall Asleep?

While learning how to sleep with a cold is possible, there are times where even the best remedies aren’t working. When this happens, don’t try to force sleep to come. Instead, get out of bed and relocate to another area of the home. Prepare a cup of tea, read a book, or listen to quiet music. Before you know it, you may feel relaxed enough to enjoy a night of healing sleep.

To learn more about our urgent care centers, call 888-MDNow-911 or visit www.MDNow.com.

MD Now® Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Centers is the leading provider of fast and affordable urgent care to adults and children in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Our state-of-the-art, walk-in medical centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to deliver an affordable and convenient alternative to long emergency room wait times and the limited hours of family physicians. No appointment is necessary and major insurance plans are accepted. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of urgent care services to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, our multiple locations offer digital x-rays, EKG, lab testing, physicals, immunizations, vaccines, physical therapy, occupational medicine, travel medicine and selected primary care services. Find the medical care you need with the convenience you want at MD Now. Call: 888-MDNow-911, online: www.MDNow.com.