Health and Wellness

Sleep comfortably on a cold night:

Written by Banani Chakraborty

Sleep comfortably on a cold night is very challenging. You face symptoms like stuffy nose, runny nose that causes breathing difficulty. Coughing and muscle pain also add to the difficulty. But quality sleep is necessary to recover daily damages.

In the first place, the human body’s ideal sleep temperature is in between 160C to 210C(600F-700F). When you sleep, your body heat goes down. If the ambient temperature is too low than this, then it impedes your body from comforting and drifting off.

Sleep comfortably on a cold night:

It’s well worth preparing your sleeping environment for the chilly nights to ensure you have everything you need to sleep soundly. Generally, your sleeping area remains too cold at night due to cold outside. Therefore, you find difficulty in balancing ideal body temperature.

In the first place, the human body is a highly-complicated machine. The sleeping process is also very complex.  However, most researchers suggest that seasons and temperature have an enormous effect on rest quality and duration.

Some minor adjustments in your sleeping arena, as well as your pre-sleep routine, may help you to sleep comfortably on a cold night.

Based on various expert opinions, researches and studies, below are a few tips to sleep comfortably on a cold night. You may follow these tips during winter months.

Use humidifier on a cold night to help you breathe:

Due to cold, sometimes at night your nose or skin may feel dry. In such a case, use a humidifier throughout the night as you are looking to sleep comfortably on a cold night. It will release moisture in the room. As the vapour will loosen congestion, therefore it will keep your nose and skin away from dryness. Besides, moist air will help you breathe easily as it soothes the tissues in your nose. Further, it can ease the sore-throat issue.

If you use this, then try to use distilled water. Moreover, you should change the water daily and disinfect it frequently to prevent germs.

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Take a hot shower before sleep comfortably on a cold night:

A warm shower 1-2 hours before bedtime is another way to sleep comfortably on a cold night. You may take steam from a hot shower to facilitate breathing. It drains the mucus in your sinuses and eases breathing.

Otherwise, you may spend some time in the bathroom closing the door and allow the steam to accumulate in the bathroom.

Moreover, you may use peppermint or eucalyptus oil with aromatherapy shower tablets to have a soothing experience. As you inhale, you feel less congested due to the cooling effect.

Drink a warm beverage to sleep comfortably on a cold night:  

If you wish, then take a warm beverage before bedtime to sleep comfortably on a cold night. At first, it will give you a warmth feeling by increasing your body temperature. Besides, this will soothe a sore throat. Additionally, it may ease your congestion.

You may take decaffeinated tea. If you wish, then you may add honey. Peppermint tea, ginger tea, herbal tea or chamomile tea are also some good alternative. In fact, this will help you to relax. It will help you to breathe easily as well as fight infections.

Otherwise, you may take warm water with honey and lemon juice. You may also drink low-sodium broth or hot soup.

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Take an NSAID:

In fact, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) help to relieve various pains, headaches, inflammations. Even, these medicines can lower a high temperature. They are also helpful in alleviating colds and flu. As a result, they can help you to sleep comfortably on a cold night.

If you feel achy, then you can use an over-the-counter(OCT) NSAID. Common NSAIDs without prescription are

  • Aspirin.
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin).

If you use these drugs, then follow the recommended dosages in the label as well as the directions. Do not follow them for more than 3-5 days at a stretch without consulting a physician.

Use a vapour rub:

Actually, it is a medicated ointment. You have to apply it topically to your neck, throat area and chest. It generally contains menthol, eucalyptus oil and camphor. These ingredients help to loosen sticky mucus and give you a cooling effect. Therefore, it will help you to breathe easily and sleep comfortably on a cold night.

As it may cause skin irritation, therefore use it on a small patch of skin. If no issues, then apply it. Besides, be careful so that it does not go inside your nose. In that case, it may enter your body through the nasal membranes.

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Use a nasal decongestant:

Another way to sleep comfortably on a cold night is to use a nasal decongestant. In the first place, decongestants are such medicines that help to soothe blocked or stuffy nose. They are helpful to treat congestion caused by several conditions. These over-the-counter medicines lessen the production of mucus in your nose. Therefore, they help to breathe.

Generally, you will find nasal decongestant in the form of nasal sprays or drops or pills. Besides, do not use it for too long. Moreover, do not give it to children below three years.

Use a saline nasal rinse:

As per 2015 study, a saline nasal rinse or sinus flush helps to lessen congestion. Moreover, it clears out mucus along with germs. Therefore, it helps to breathe well. As a result, it is helpful to sleep comfortably on a cold night. Use distilled, sterile or earlier boiled (now almost normal). Never use tap water. Take 8 ounces or a glass of warm water. Mix ¼ tablespoon of salt and the same amount of baking soda with that water.

You may use saline rinse with a

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Wear warm sleepwear in layers:

You are looking to sleep comfortably on a cold night. Your clothing and woollen sleepwear in layers will help to retain your body temperature. Layers of clothes instead of one fluffy sleepwear will keep you warmer.

Besides, you can adjust your body temperature as you get warm.  But, choose your clothing cautiously so that your body does not get overheated. There is a high chance of it in winter.

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Find a good sleeping position to sleep comfortably on a cold night:

According to the experts, some postures can help you to sleep comfortably on a cold night. You may sleep on your back. It will make your congestion even worse. Therefore, the best sleeping position is

  • turning on the side
  • sleeping slightly at an angel [propping the pillows or slightly uplift the head of your bed].

Stack pillows:

It is another way to sleep comfortably on a cold night. Stack pillows in such a way that your head lay slightly up. This will help to lower mucus build up in your mouth. You may try to slightly elevate the head of your bed.

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Maintain ideal bedroom temperature:

A 2012 study revealed the importance of ideal bedroom temperature. In fact, it affects your quality of sleep. Its importance increases during winter nights. Maintain your room temperature to sleep comfortably on a cold night.

The ideal bedroom temperature is in a range from 160C to 19.40C(600F-670F). If the room temperature rises, then switch off the room heater or open the windows or run a fan.

Use several blankets to sleep comfortably on a cold night:

You may use layers of blankets. It helps to trap air by creating layers of insulation. Or keep them close to your bed. If you feel cold at night, then you can wear them accordingly. Moreover, try to keep your feet warm as they experience cold at first.

If your feet are warm, then you can sleep comfortably on a cold night. So place your feet inside a blanket before sleep to make it warm. Otherwise, you may place one extra blanket over your feet. Thicker and thinner blankets may be a good option.

Use an electric blanket or heated mattress:

You may use either an electric blanket or a heated mattress. However, unplug it before sleep. Otherwise, it will get overheat and may cause damage. Even there is the probability of fire hazards.

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Use a hot water bottle:

You may use a hot water bottle. You can heat it in a microwave. Besides, you can use the traditional hot bag by pouring boiled water in it. Now place it close to your feet.

Put woollen socks:

Hour hands and feet are more cold-sensitive. If you can keep them warm, then you will feel much relaxing.  As you are looking to sleep comfortably on a cold night, so you may use woollen socks. It is super insulation. Consequently, it can retain your feet warm. If you think, then you can wear woollen socks in your hand.

Choose warmer blanket materials:

Try to use warmer blanket materials like wool and cotton fleece. The curlier fibres make air pockets to trap body heat. Sheep and lamb wool are very common. In fact, natural fibres are ideal temperature regulator. If you use your mattress, bed linen and sleepwear of these items, then you will feel much comfort.

Use flannel winter bed sheets:

You may use bedsheets of flannel to sleep comfortably on a cold night. These are cotton items. They are fluffy, not smooth. As it can trap more air, therefore it is a better insulator.

Use body heat:

Sleep with a partner is another good way to have a good night sleep in the winter season. You may move closer to your sleeping partner to take advantage of his or her body temperature.


Some stretching along with breathing exercise before sleep will keep you warm. This, in turn, will help you to sleep comfortably on a cold night. Exercise helps to maintain better sleep. According to Dr Ehrnstrom, a little bit exercise 4 to 5 hours before bedtime will help you to regulate body temperature.

Try a few exercises and find which suits you better.

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You can gargle with warm salt water just before bed. It soothes a sore throat along with checking infection. You may also try some over-the-counter lozenges, pain relievers and throat sprays.

Maintain sleep schedule to sleep comfortably on a cold night:

It is very good to maintain a sleep schedule all through the year. It helps to have a deep sleep on a cold night. even in cold weather. Fix a time when you will go to bed at night and when you wake up in the morning. Strictly follow them even on weekends and holidays. Also, follow the sleep schedule in cold weather.

Do the following to sleep comfortably on a cold night:

Added to these you may do the followings to sleep comfortably on a cold night.

  • Spend outside in the sunlight (preferably in the early morning) at least for 30 minutes.
  • Eat plenty of Vitamin C, D, E, B12, protein, zinc and iron-rich fruits and vegetables.
  • Maintain sufficient fluid intake.
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Generally, too cold weather last around 10-15 days. If you undergo the above steps, then you will definitely sleep comfortably on a cold night. Different people have different problems. Therefore, everyone should choose the most suitable steps from the above.

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About the author

Banani Chakraborty


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