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

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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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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