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Don’t want to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose? 5 Easy Tips To Help You Sleep Better

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Don’t want to Sleep with a Stuffy Nose? 5 Easy Tips To Help You Sleep Better

A stuffy nose is keeping you awake. You toss and turn, trying to find a comfortable position where you can breathe. You need some quick ideas to help get you through the night.

Here are 5 handpicked easy and simple ways to help you sleep with a stuffy nose:

1. Steam It Up

Steam can be quite beneficial for a stuffy nose. [1] A small bathroom is a perfect place to set up a mini-sauna. Turn on the shower with the water at it’s hottest setting until the room completely fills with steam. The moist environment will hydrate and soften the stubborn mucus making it easier to breathe, bringing you some relief. Steam is a great decongestant.

If you have access to a vaporizer, setting it up with a drop or two of eucalyptus oil [2]will work to open nasal passages. Unfortunately, not all of us have a vaporizer waiting in the wings. In that case, simply use a pot of boiling water with a towel drape. Use caution anytime you are working with hot liquids and keep your face well above the water. Drape a towel over your head creating a tent to trap the rising steam and take slow even breaths.

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2. Raise your head, sleep with an extra pillow

Remember that gravity can work for you when you have a stuffy nose. By keeping your head slightly elevated [3]the nasal passages have a chance to drain naturally.

An extra pillow can lift your head enough to ease the pressure, letting you breathe a little easier. Sitting upright in a comfy armchair or recliner works in much the same way by allowing gravity to help drain your clogged sinuses. Caution is advised when sleeping on your back as the mucus could cause a choking reaction.

3. Sip Hot, Unsweetened Tea

A proper level of hydration is good advice for any ailment and good practice in general. A Dutch study [4]shows a correlation between dehydration and an increase in histamine production, resulting in allergy-type symptoms. Increasing your fluid intake helps to thin mucus, which lets your nasal passages start to drain. Clear liquids and juices are best, avoid dairy and dairy substitutes as they have been shown to increase mucus production.

Hot tea with honey and lemon is a great choice. The benefits of Vitamin C to alleviate a cold have been hotly debated lately, but the soothing pairing of lemon and honey and the moisturizing steam makes this a top remedy for many.

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Another tasty hydration option is an herbal tea of chamomile and peppermint. This refreshing tea can help ease your stuffiness with the peppermint and chamomile has been used for years to relax and drift off to sleep.

Bonus tip: Why not sip your tea while enjoying the benefits of the mini-sauna you created in the bathroom. The added stream plus the soothing effects of the tea may have you unstuffed and off to sleep in record time.

4. Chicken soup

Take your mother’s advice and opt for a hot cup of chicken soup. According to a recent report, there are a number of beneficial ingredients contained in a humble cup of this soup.

Science has confirmed chicken soup’s ability to ease some symptoms of the common cold and may also have mild anti-inflammatory properties that help fight off upper respiratory infections. Additionally, the steam rising from the surface moistens the nasal passages helping them to clear. Chicken soup really is a win-win.

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5. Set Up A Humidifier In Your Bedroom

Humidifiers work by adding moisture back into the air. A problem with a winter cold is that by heating your house, you remove moisture content from the air. This is the reason you experience static electricity during the winter months. The humidifier will add back that moisture and as we’ve already discussed, that helps to soften and unblock the mucus that is keeping you from sleep.

Try A Neti Pot

Ayurveda, the medicine of ancient India, suggests a neti pot which is a nasal flush with a mild saline solution.

Warm salt water is passed through one nostril to exit from the other, irrigating the nasal passages and flushing out excess mucus. Some caution is in order though, so be sure to use filtered water and ensure the neti pot is clean.

Usually, the purchased neti pot comes with pre-portioned saline solution packets, but if you are making your own saline solutions, it would be better to add in one-quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt for every 8 ounces of water.  Don’t overuse this method as it may decrease effectiveness.

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Since the neti pot’s popularity has seen such a rapid growth in the last few years, several enterprising companies have come up with more convenient options such as saline nasal sprays and salt inhalers. Check with your doctor to make sure these are safe for you to use.

Featured photo credit: skymetweather.com via images.skymetweather.com

Reference

[1] http://www.emaxhealth.com/11400/11-natural-remedies-sinus-congestion-and-stuffy-nose
[2] https://naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/about-aromatherapy/methods-of-application/
[3] http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/cold-relief-6-sleep-tips-to-help-you-breathe-easier#1
[4] http://press.endocrine.org/doi/10.1210/endo.136.5.7720668

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