Get lots of sleep when you start feeling tired
We’re generally wired to try to push through any minor physical symptoms, but that’s our first mistake, because we should really be listening to our bodies to recognize the early signs of a cold. You know that super tired feeling you sometimes get that makes you want to sleep for days? It could signal that your immune system is weakening, so hit the sheets and make sure to get a full night’s sleep. Whether you’re extra sleepy or not, it pays to catch quality sleep. A study led by researchers at Carnegie Mellon found that people who got fewer than seven hours of sleep a night were almost three times as likely to get a cold than those who got more than eight hours a night.
Drink lots of fluids to open up a stuffy nose
When you realize you can’t breathe through your nose easily, your nasal passages might need some moisture to keep cold germs from settling in. “Colds are minor upper respiratory illnesses, and the symptoms usually first start in the nose,” says Evangeline Lausier, MD, an assistant clinical professor at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, North Carolina. “The cold virus attacks these nasal areas, and the body fights back by secreting more mucus to mechanically flush out the virus.” You can help your body beat these early signs of a cold along by hydrating, which will keep your mucus thin and easy to pass, and your mucus membranes moist, Dr. Lausier says.