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How come a common cold tends to get worse during the night?

Why is it that some symptoms' of a common cold often tend to get worse over the course of a night while sleeping?

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We've all been there. You already have to suffer through the day being miserable with the normal aches and pains that coincide with a common cold. In case that's not bad enough, you crawl into your comfy bed that has been calling your name all day, to get some much needed rest and you end up doing what I refer to as "the one nostril sniffle". You lay on your back which causes drainage to go straight down your throat, so you roll over to your left side. Within minutes the left nostril is stuffed up, so what do you do? You hold your right nostril down and attempt a sniffle with no success. Then what do you do? You roll over to your right side and repeat the process. This pattern seems to endlessly repeat itself all night long. These symptoms always seem to be worse at night. It could be because there's not so much going on and you're only focusing on sleeping, making the cold symptoms feel more dominant. In reality, it's either one of two things, or both, that are making you feel worse when you lay down.

Nature is the main factor in this. Whether you're standing, sitting, or lying down, pressure is applied to your body by gravity. The amount of pressure varies when you're in each of these positions. When you're lying down, gravity is putting extra pressure on you, especially on your sinus cavities. This extra pressure will naturally make the head congestion worse.

There is also a process known as the "Orcadian Cycle". This is the natural production of hormones your body creates at certain times in the day. Your hormones that make antibodies are more prominent during the day. This means that your hormones will naturally do the opposite at night. You just don't have as many antibodies at night to help with infection. This is another reason why these symptoms get worse at night.

Luckily, you have a few different options when it comes to feeling better. You should try to make an appointment with your doctor, who will either prescribe an antibiotic or recommend an over the counter remedy. A lot of over the counter cold products are made to be used only at night. These products will not make the cold go away, but they will let you be able to get some rest until it does.

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