Now that cold and flu season is in full swing you may be trying to figure out some of the best ways to avoid a runny nose. One of the easiest ways to get through a cold season with a clear nose is to sleep. People who sleep fewer than five or six hours a night are four times as likely to come down with a cold, compared with people who get at least seven hours of shuteye nightly. Unfortunately, even if you do everything you can to avoid a cold they have a way of catching up with you. Even the best sleepers aren’t totally immune to every germ out there. And if you do catch a bug, your sleep may suffer. The good news: If a stuffy nose is keeping you awake, making a few amendments to your bedtime routine can help ease the sniffling and discomfort and help you get the sleep you need to get healthy again as quick as possible.

Use a humidifier

Common flu symptoms such as a runny nose, sinus congestion, coughing, and a sore throat often make breathing feel like hard work. Humidifiers help moisturize your nasal, throat, and lung passages, making it easier for air to pass through. Along with providing soothing moisture that eases your airways, humidifiers may make you feel more comfortable in your sleeping environment. This can help you to get the rest you need to fight off the flu faster and get back to your normal routine.

Elevate your head

Anyone who has experienced a simple cold or any respiratory ailment understands the uncomfortable sleep that lying flat can deliver. Symptoms of pressure in the sinus passages are heightened when not being drained by sleeping elevated. By sleeping elevated the mucus will be able to drain with ease and allow for a more peaceful sleep.

Eat honey

Drinking tea or warm lemon water mixed with honey is a time-honored way to soothe a sore throat. But honey alone may be an effective cough suppressant, too. In one study, children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons of honey at bedtime. The honey was reported to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep. Once your cough is suppressed with honey, you can get back to sleep.

Take a steamy shower before bed

The heat and steam from a hot shower does wonders for congestion and sinus pressure. Shut the bathroom door and run the shower on high heat for a few minutes, staying in the bathroom to breathe in the steam. Lower the temp and hop in, allowing the hot water to gently massage your sensitive sinuses. Steam loosens the dried mucus and can help the nose drain before bed, reducing pain and congestion.

Try a Neti Pot

A Neti pot is ceramic or plastic pot that looks like a small teapot with an extended spout. Although nasal irrigation using the Neti pot has been around for centuries as a part of Ayurvedic and yoga medical tradition, its use has been on the rise in the U.S. Many people with sinus symptoms from allergies and environmental irritants as well as those suffering from a cold use the Neti pot to alleviate congestion, and facial pain and pressure. Research backs up these claims, finding that nasal irrigation can be an effective way to relieve sinus symptoms with out over the counter medicines

Have Supplies by your Bed

Getting out of bed to blow your nose is a mega sleep disruption, so stash a box of tissues on your nightstand. It is also nice to have lots of water and a trashcan near by so if you do wake up from your rest you can fall back asleep quickly.

Try cold and flu medicines

Using cold and flu medicines with decongestant and other ingredients can make it easier to breathe. They may also help with other symptoms, such as achy muscles and headaches.

Ear Nose and Throat Consultants

Having a stuffy nose can make sleeping a challenge, but many simple home remedies can offer relief. Be sure to drink plenty of water and rest as much as possible to ensure that your congestion passes quickly. For more tips on how to keep your nasal passages clear visit us at Ear Nose and Throat Consultants.