Best sleep position for getting to sleep if you have a cold or flu – expert tips

Colds and flu: Symptoms and treatment

Our immune system relies on a good night’s sleep for it to function properly.

If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, it means it will take longer for you to fight off the virus and get back to good health, warned White.

His “top tip to remember” if you have a cold or flu is to “elevate your head, neck and shoulders” to reduce post-nasal drip.

He explained: “You want a raised sleeping position so that your mucus drains more effectively and reduces any post-nasal drip.

“Where possible you should raise the head end of your bed so your entire bed is tilted up, but your spine is better supported by your mattress.”

White added: “If you can’t do this because perhaps your bed is too heavy, then you will have to try as many different cushions or folded-up blankets as possible to create a supportive posture for your neck.”

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Many would have experienced the unpleasant moment when lying in bed, trying to sleep, and you can hardly breathe out your nose.

To help mitigate the effects of a viral infection, White recommended a quick, five-minute facial steam before bed.

“Steam can help relax your airways, loosening up mucus and helping you breathe better,” he said.

White instructed: “The simplest way to do this is to fill a sink with warm to hot water, but never boiling or hot enough to scald.

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“Grab a bath towel and lean over the sink, keeping your face out of the water, and let the steam and warm air get into your nose and lungs by breathing slowly and deeply.”

This five-minute hack should help a lot, White testified but, contrary to popular belief, inhaling steam while showering could make you feel more ill.

“Don’t take a hot shower or bath before going to sleep,” White cautioned.

“Whilst the steam from this can help with congestion and your airways, it can also raise your core body temperature.

“If you already have a temperature because you are sick, this might actually make you feel worse.”

In fact, most people will experience a high temperature when ill, so it’s vital to keep the bedroom cool at night.

“Keeping your bedroom dark and cool is a hack for good quality sleep at any time,” said White.

“So making sure you’re not disturbed by light and are at the right temperature is key.”

He added: “Make sure you open a window and circulate fresh air, this will help get rid of your germs.”

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