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How to get a good night's rest when you have a cold

You've made it through the day with your terrible cold. Now you need a good night's rest to make tomorrow easier. Rest is one of your body's best weapons to fight a cold. While you're enjoying a good night's sleep, your body is working hard to help you recover.

Here's how to get a good night's rest:

Use a nighttime cold remedy to relieve your cold symptoms so you can get the restful sleep you need. Avoid "daytime" cough and cold products, as they can keep you awake. If you're not sure which product to choose for nighttime use, check with your pharmacist.

Try a humidifier. Moist air can help ease your cold symptoms so you can breathe (and rest) easier! A humidifier can also help relieve a cough. Aim for a humidity of at least 50%. Just be sure to refill it with clean water every day and clean the humidifier at least every 3 days so that it doesn't fill up with harmful bacteria or mould.

Take a hot bath or shower in the evening. This can open up your nasal passages to relieve congestion. Plus, it may also help relax you so it will be easier to sleep.

Have a warm, soothing drink before bed. Try decaffeinated tea or water with lemon and honey. You may also want to try a "sleep tea" such as a chamomile blend. (Avoid chamomile if you are allergic to chrysanthemums or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.) But stay away from drinks containing alcohol or caffeine, as these can interfere with your sleep (see "sleep spoilers" below).

Make your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet. For a better night's rest, keep your room at a comfortable temperature (cool temperatures are best for sleeping), and avoid the distractions of light and noise.

Avoid "sleep spoilers." Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, and heavy or spicy foods about 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. These substances can sabotage your sleep.

Remember to "wind down" before bed. Don't work on stressful tasks such as work or paying bills and then head straight to bed. This is a recipe for tossing and turning. Instead, take some time to do something relaxing before bed, such as reading.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2024. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source:

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