Having a blocked nose is a horrible feeling, but it’s worse again when you go to bed! Not to mention the ultimate frustration when you notice that only one nostril is blocked, but that this prevents you from sleeping on your preferred side. More annoying still is that even if you do manage to fall asleep, you often wake up with a sore throat as well.
Given that having plenty of tissues to hand isn’t the solution (blowing your nose only makes congestion worse), here are 5 tips to help you unblock your sinuses, to help you fall into a deep and restful sleep, with healthy nasal passages!
1) A good clean
The idea is to clean the nasal passages with salt water. But firstly, you need to make the distinction between commercial products for cleaning the nose, and salt water, which works by decongesting the area, reducing the swelling of the sinuses.
You can buy salt water in the pharmacy, but there is nothing to stop you making it yourself, with one litre of hot water and two dessertspoons of coarse salt, and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Spray it into your nostrils and breathe it in, before blowing your nose.
2) Inhaling with essential oils
This ancient technique is only very rarely used, despite being very effective for the entirety of the respiratory system, which often gets infected. For this method, you simply need some very hot water, to which you add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, thyme/rosemary essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil. Take advantage of the strong scented vapours for around fifteen minutes, by inhaling deeply. This works even better if you cover your head with a towel over the bowl.
3) Tissues… but better!
When you have a cold, your tissues are never far from arm’s reach, and you spend a good part of the day with your nose buried in them. Make them work better for you by adding a few drops of Algerian Eucalyptus essential oil. Breathing in the scent when you are blowing your nose will help unblock your sinuses.
Bonus tip: rub some fresh mint between your hands and breathe in deeply -it will do you the world of good.
4) Sleep, but not just any old way
Even if it’s cold outside, stay in a well aired room for 10 minutes in the evening before going to bed. You can also lower the thermostat in your room to make sure it isn’t too warm, because microbes love the heat! You can disinfect the air by burning some Armenian paper or by diffusing essential oils, switching off the diffuser 30 minutes before going to sleep.
In terms of the sleeping position itself, don’t hesitate to add a pillow under your back, so that it is slightly raised. This will help you to breathe more freely. A drop of essential oils on the pillow under your head could also be a help.
5) Surprising exercises
These techniques could be tried as a last resort:
- Press your thumb in between your eyebrows and use your tongue to press upwards on the roof of your mouth at the same time. Hold it for 30 seconds.
- You can also hold your nose between your thumb and index finger, slightly bending them towards your eyes. After repeating this three times, do the following: inhale and exhale, tilting your head backwards.