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8 Cold Relief Tips To Help You Breath Easier At Night

8 Cold Relief Tips To Help You Breath Easier At Night

How to clear a blocked nose and sleep better at night…

For many of us, it’s that time of year when the sun starts to recede and the cold begins to creep up again. Unfortunately, the changing seasons don’t just bring colder weather and darker nights, it also creates an environment perfect for the onslaught of rhinoviruses – the viruses that cause most colds.

Battling the symptoms of cold and flu can be tough; the one thing we need the most is sleep, but thanks to those blocked sinuses, getting a good nights sleep quickly becomes a challenge. Fortunately there are several easy home remedies and tips you can employ to help clear your blocked nose so you can sleep better at night.

cold relief for good nights sleep 550x415 8 Cold Relief Tips To Help You Breath Easier At Night

Cold Relief Tips For A Better Nights Sleep

Image Credit: Sekushy, 2007.

8 Tips To Help Relieve Blocked Sinuses For A Better Nights Sleep

Use A Nasal Strip

Nasal strips are designed to relieve nighttime congestion. They come with a sticky adhesive on one side and a stiff plastic strip that gently pulls the strip outwards, opening the nasal passages. Nasal strips are not just great for those suffering from a blocked nose; they can also help people stop snoring.

Take A Hot shower Before Bed

A hot shower before bed is a great way to help clear those airways. The steam and humidity causes the sinuses to drain nasal passages, making it much easier to breath.

Drink Hot Tea Or Chicken Soup

Just like a hot shower, the heat from hot drinks also helps clear the sinuses. For nighttime relief tea is probably better than coffee since the amount of caffeine absorbed by the body is considerably less. Perhaps better still is a bowl of chicken soup. In small trials at Mount Sinai Medical Center, chicken soup was proven more effective at clearing sinuses than hot water alone.

Don’t Drink Cold Drinks Before Bed

The same study conducted at Mount Sinai Medical Center not only found that chicken soup is better than hot water for clearing sinuses; it also showed that drinking cold water before sleep was linked to increased congestion.

Use A Saline Rinse

One of the most effective ways to clear a blocked nose is to use a saline rinse. Available in spray bottle or neti pot with narrow spout, saline is applied in small amounts periodically to help ‘rinse’ out the nasal passage. The clean saltwater not only clears the passageway of mucus, it also helps the cells that move mucus work much better.

Elevate Your Upper Body Not Just Your Head

Propping your head up with pillows to help the mucus drain more easily is a common mistake people make when trying to get a good nights sleep with a cold. Elevating your head does indeed help, but bending your neck in unnatural positions makes it more difficult to breath. Instead of using a pillow to support your head, use a larger pillow to elevate your position from the waist up.

Apply Mentholated Gel Don’t Just Breath It

Another common remedy for a blocked nose is to use a menthol steam bath. While the steam from the hot water will help clear the nasal passage, menthol vapors don’t actually add to the effect. Bradley Marple, MD, professor of otolaryngology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas explained; “Studies have shown that menthol doesn’t actually open up the airways. Instead, the cooling sensation it causes makes people feel as if they’re breathing more freely,”

Sleep On Schedule

When it comes to clearing up cold and flu, experts say that maintaining good sleep hygiene can often be just as effective as prescription drugs. So not only is important to get a good nights sleep, it’s also important to maintain a steady sleep schedule. In tests conducted at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh involving volunteers who agreed to be quarantined and exposed to rhinoviruses, researchers found that those who slept less than 7 hours a night were three times more likely to develop cold and flu.

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  1. Peter Jaret: Cold Relief: 6 Sleep Tips to Help You Breathe Easier. WebMD, 2011.

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