You’ve woken up with that dreaded tickle in your throat. The cold you’ve been trying to fight off for the past week has finally made an unwelcome appearance – but rest assured Snoozers, it’s not all doom and gloom. Our 5 steps will help you with sleep hygiene, to manage your symptoms so that you can get the rest you need to make a full recovery.
1. Up the fluids
The old adage ‘feed a cold’ rings true. Having a mug of your favourite Chicken noodle soup for dinner can help steam up a dry nose according to the National Sleep Foundation. Further to that, the Australian Healthy Food Guide emphasises that this can help to loosen mucus and keep your throat moist, making you feel a bit better before you start hitting the hay. If you have a cough, try tea with honey as this can be an effective way to quieten a cough which has the intention of keeping you up all night long.
2. Take a warm shower
There’s nothing nicer than a warm shower before bed to help you wind down and relax, especially in times of stress. When you take a warm shower, you’ll aid in the process of regulating the ideal temperature for sleep. Sleep Advisor explains that while you may get a temporary spike when you’re in the warm water, your body will cool down as soon as you get out and towel dry. What’s more? The National Sleep Foundation suggests that a steamy shower also helps to loosen dried mucus and can clear your airways.
3. Use a humidifier and vaporiser
Dry, indoor air and the viruses go hand in hand. Healthline says that by investing in a humidifier you can battle this, as it adds moisture in the air and soothes dry sinuses. Add a few drops of essential oils or medicated vapor rub for improved antiviral and antioxidant benefits. Just ensure you replace the water daily and clean the tank every few days to prevent mould and bacteria build-up. If you don’t own a vaporiser, don’t despair! breathing in steam from a warm (not boiling) pot of water will achieve the same results.
4. Don’t forget pillows
If you feel like your symptoms are made worse by laying down, you’re probably right. That’s because when you do, mucus can collect, which can in turn cause a cough and sore throat. You can target this issue by propping yourself up with pillows. The organised housewife also suggests washing your pillowcase daily when sick just because you have such close contact with it and the last thing you want is to put your head on a sweaty, snotty pillow when you’re already feeling under the weather. For added pillow protection, use a pillow protector which can be easily washed when you’re feeling better.
5. Refresh your bedding and linen
When sick, you’re likely to sweat more as you sleep, so opt for lightweight cotton or TENCEL® bedding and linen. We love TENCEL® for its improved breathability and lighter feel. Another benefit according to Karin Wilkinson from Bambi is that TENCEL® as a fabric can absorb up to 50% more moisture than cotton, and because bacteria likes moist environments, this makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. Invest in a TENCEL® waterproof mattress protector too (if you don’t already have one) because you don’t want your mattress to become home to sweat build-up and bacteria, including E.coli which isn’t great for your health.
You don’t need to wash your bedding and linen every day, but if you try and change your linen every few days, your sleeping partner will fare better. Run your bedding and linen through a hot washing machine cycle (approximately 60°) with your regular washing detergent. The organised housewife suggests adding 1 cup of vinegar and 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to the washing machine as it’s filling with water to help kill germs. Also don’t forget to wash it all after you’ve finished your bout with the lurgy, as it can help prevent you contracting the illness again.
Sleep as we know it, is one of the best natural medicines for your body to fight off a cold or flu according to the National Sleep Foundation. This is because it is proven to boost your immune system, allowing you to bounce back faster by maximising the infection-fighting antibodies that your body produces. We hope these tips will lead to a faster recovery and a better night’s sleep. Stay well Snoozers, after all, it’s amazing what a little Snooze can do.