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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Why do cold symptoms get so much worse when you get into bed?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (26839points) December 22nd, 2011

Propped up, not propped up… it doesn’t seem to matter all that much. Once I attempt to sleep, I’m up every 20 minutes because I have snot running down my face or I’m coughing up a lung.


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24 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf The holidays getting to you? If you lie down the stuff runs down your throat and your lungs don’t seem to work as well.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe most likely. I recently had conversations with two different friends who pointed out that I seem to get sick every Christmas. I guess it’s stress, or I’m just lucky. I remember learning that Santa wasn’t real at a very early age because I always had ear infections on Christmas as a child. All I know is that I feel pitiful. And tired.

marinelife's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I had to sleep sitting up on the couch for more than a week when I had pneumonia in October. If I even attempted to lie down, I coughed. Mullein for the cough and echinnacea for the post-nasal drip and excess mucus helped.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@marinelife I caved this morning and set up camp in the recliner. I’m not sure if sleeping while sitting up is a learned skill, or if some people just have a knack for it… but I always end up crumpled over on myself. :) lol.
What is Mullein?

Blackberry's avatar

And going on a light jog outside when I have a cold usually makes me feel better. Strange…..

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Blackberry that is strange. I know that you don’t get “sick” from being cold or wet, but I went for a 2 hour walk last week in the cold air and pissed off my asthma, and it has been all downhill from there. I wonder if there are benefits to exercising while sick though, in general.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf The seasons are totally against you this time of the year. Everyone’s inside, and the dry air is hell on the asthma. Do you have a humidifier?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe no. I just told my husband that we need to replace ours (which got thrown out last winter.) I would really like to get one of the cool mist types, but I don’t know anyone that has tried them to see how they feel about them.

marinelife's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf Mullein is an herb. You use the tincture (take drops in water).

“Dioscorides first recommended the plant 2000 years ago, against pulmonary diseases,[66] and this has remained one of its primary uses, especially against cough. Leaf decoctions or herbal teas were used for expectoration, consumption, dry cough, bronchitis, sore throat.”


ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@marinelife thank you. Hadn’t heard of it, but it sounds like exactly what I need.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf you could be mildly allergic to pine, which is why you always got sick at Christmas time.

As to why it is worse at night when you are in bed, I don’t think it is, you just don’t have the distractions of your normal day to keep your mind off of being sick.

prasad's avatar

I guess it’s cough. It needs to be thrown out of the body, so the body has its own way.

You may take steam to clear your nose. Also, you can use hot water bag; boil water and pour it in the bag, and place the bag on your chest, head, etc.

For drinking, if you have nothing, at least drink water so that mucus can be thrown out using water. You can have hot tea for warming your throat, use cinnamon while making the tea; it’s good. Also, you can use ginger. You can refer to these ways: Amruta tulya chaha or this.

Take rest for awhile and you will be fine.

marinelife's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I learned about it from a Fluther user (who has since left the site), and I found it very beneficial.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@WestRiverrat no way, it’s definitely worse.

I hadn’t considered an allergy. We don’t have a real tree, but it might be something else holiday related… I’ll have to think about that. That would make a lot of sense.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf You have a wood stove?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Nope. I wish. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf We used to sit pans of water on ours to humidify the air. Potpourri would also be nice.

Coloma's avatar

@ANef is Enuf
I sooo, sympathize with you!
I too have been dying from a wicked sinus infection that I got an antibiotic for yesterday. Coughing all night, damn near pissing my pants on occasion. Oh the misery! LOL

It’s because the post nasel drip is running down your throat and instigating the coughing reflex and lying down facilitates the drainage, even if you think you are kinda propped up.

@Adirondackwannabe comment hits home for me. I am at the bottom of a canyon up here in the hills and we have had a very dry, cold and smoky December. Everyone out here is burning leaves and brush piles, using their woodstoves and fireplaces and I have been living in a bowl of smoke for weeks. Finally kicked my ass last week and this is the worst sinus infection I have had in 15 years. Sheer misery!

Feel better soon, I’ll be thinking of you!

Coloma's avatar

Have you tried the Neil Med sinus rinses, and mucinex helps too.
Hot steamy moisture penetrates the sinuses.
You might have a sinus infection like I do.
If the cough is primarily in your throat, no lung congestion really and you have pressure, feel achey, have bad breath and a nasty taste in your mouth, extremely gross nasal secretions with blood or puss, you may need an antibiotic.

Sinus infections can trigger asthma and can turn into chest infections too. In extreme cases they can cause brain infection! Even if sometimes the mucus is clear, it can just be filtering past the nest of bacteria up in your sinuses.

A few days in on an antibiotic and all that horrible stuff starts to drain out.

Nasty, nasty illness. :-P

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Oops, I responded to that, but I think my phone ate it.

I have a cold, but I had chronic sinus infections for a very long time (I ultimately had surgery and they are less of an issue for me, now), but I would rather have a cold over a sinus infection any day. They are the worst! Sending snot-free thoughts your way, @Coloma. ;)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Tis the season for snot questions, isn’t it! Ho ho ho!

Coloma's avatar


I know snot fair!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Yuk yuk yuk.

Pandora's avatar

This would help me a little when I would have a runny nose. First clean your sinuses with saline solution. Drink some ginger tea. It will help alleviate swelling in your sinuses.
Then when you get ready for bed, lay down and put a pillow under your neck and upper back so your head is at a bit of a tilt downward. It will take a little getting use too but it will keep your sinuses from draining down your throat like an open faucet and keep you from feeling like you are drowning. Your sinuses may get clogged but you’ll still be able to breath through your mouth.
Also make sure there isn’t a vent or fan or any breeze above your bed.
If you don’t like ginger tea than give theraflu a shot. It works pretty great at stopping a runny nose.

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