Prop yourself up. Sometimes all it takes is the addition of an extra pillow or two to make you comfortable and able to lay down or breathe. Keep a couple of extra pillows on hand so you won’t be searching for them on nights like this.Use a sleep aid. A single dose of Nyquil may be what stands between you and a good night’s rest. If you have congestion, it’s still possible to sleep while breathing through one nostril or even your mouth, but it’s just hard to get to sleep that way; sleep aids can help you relax and do just that. Many people have found relief in Breathe Right strips as well.
Help yourself breathe. Maybe you need a humidifier, or simply an application of Vicks rub to your chest and back (if you’re coughing is keeping you up, did you know that applying it to your feet can actually help? It works like a charm on my daughter.). Some saline solution in the nose can be just what you need, too, especially if your nasal passages are dry and bothering you. If you have a wheezy cough, sitting in the bathroom with the shower running on hot (or even taking a hot shower) can be very soothing.
Use an expectorant. That liquid in your throat and nose has to come out! Expectorants like Mucinex can help thin and break up that mucus, allowing you to cough it up much more easily. Keep a bucket or bowl nearby so you aren’t constantly running to the bathroom.
Make yourself a nest. Ideally your rest would include lying down, but if you absolutely can’t, you can build yourself a nest out of pillows and blankets to prop yourself up. You can hug a pillow and lean forward with plenty of pillows or blankets at your back, relieving much of the pressure that would otherwise be there. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world—and it may leave you with stiffness in the morning—but it’s better than not sleeping at all.