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Sleep when you’re sick

Get tough on your cold. Make sure you eat plenty of chicken soup. Zinc tablets should be taken as soon as you feel a scratchy feeling in your throat. Take a clove of raw garlic. To overcome illness, you must ensure you get enough sleep.

You Can Sleep Well Even If You Aren’t

Recovering from illness is possible by getting restful and recuperative sleep.

David Rapoport MD, director of New York University School of Medicine’s sleep medicine program, says that many of the substances and molecules in our bodies overlap with immune function and sleep. “So it is not surprising that they interact.”

Fever is one way that sleep and the immune system interact. Fever is a natural physiological defense against infection. We can have a stronger fever response while we sleep. This means that our bodies are more effective at fighting off unwelcome germs and viruses while we are asleep.

More Sneeze Than Zzz’s

Get well, go to bed, and get better. It sounds simple enough. It’s so frustrating to have a cold or flu. You wish you could just go to sleep and feel better. It can be difficult to fall asleep when you are coughing, unable to breathe or have to blow your nose at least once an hour.

Michael Breus, Ph.D., a sleep expert, says that many cold and flu symptoms tend to worsen at night and can disrupt sleep at the crucial time your body needs it most.

Great. Now you must also find a way to get your lost sleep back.

Don’t worry. The Better Sleep Council can help you, in sickness or in health. These proven strategies and tips will help you get better sleep even if you are sick.

  • You need to be in the right space and place to fall asleep. You also want to ensure your pillows and mattresses don’t hinder your efforts to rest. It is a good idea to create a sleeping environment.
  • Side effects of cold medicines. These side effects can disrupt your sleep. Many people are jittery when they take decongestants. These medications should not be taken later in the morning. You can still get relief from a stuffy nose if you aren’t ready to go to bed.
  • Make use of gravity to your advantage. You can lie down and have difficulty sleeping when you are sick. When your head is at the same level as your body, sinus pressure can build. A post-nasal drip is a buildup of fluid in the throat that causes a cough. As a prop, use foam wedge pillows for your upper body.
  • It can get steamy. Warm and moist air can clear your breathing passages and calm your cough. Install a humidifier in your bedroom. Before you go to bed, take a warm shower or soak in a tub. You can also enjoy a cup of hot tea while you wait to inhale the aromas. (Chamomile, too.
  • Be mindful of your bedside manners. Congratulations! You fell asleep, only to wake up with a dry or drippy throat. Ugh. You can go back to sleep faster if you respond quickly. Keep a container of tissues, water, and any other treatment at your bedside.
  • Stop sharing. Don’t share if you are sick. You can be sure that if sickness is disrupting your sleep, it will also do the same for your partner. You can use the sofa or guest room until you feel better. You can rest assured that at least one person will get a good night’s sleep. You might also avoid passing your cold on to your loved ones.


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