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Sleep Better During Illness

The wintertime is the height of cold and flu season, and sleeping when you’re sick with any illness seems impossible.

But when you’re ill, getting lots of sleep is more important than ever, as sleep is when your body repairs and restores itself, resulting in a potentially shorter cold, flu, or other ailment or infection.

So how do you catch those Zzzzs that you so desperately need?

It starts with these tips that will make it much easier to fall and stay asleep when you’re not feeling at your best.

Five Tips for Sleeping When You’re Sick

1. Be mindful of medications

Some medications may ease your symptoms in the short term, but can have unintended side effects that interrupt your sleeping habits when it’s time to go to bed.

For example, decongestants can leave you feeling jittery and energized in the hours before bedtime. Meanwhile, cold medicines with sleep aids may help you fall asleep fast, but can interrupt your natural sleep cycle, and can make other conditions like obstructive sleep apnea more severe.

So avoid using medications in the evenings, or talk to your doctor for recommendations on medicine that won’t hinder your sleep.

For more information about taking sleep aids, check out this recent post.


2. Prop up

Gravity can wreak havoc on your ability to rest, as when you are lying down in a flat position, it’s more likely that nasal congestion will trickle into your throat, aggravating or producing a cough.

So use a couple of extra pillows to get in a more vertical sleeping position, and to combat the effects of a post-nasal drip.


3. Indulge in steam

Steam is a great way to clear congestion before you head to bed!

Try using a humidifier or vaporizer in the bedroom, or indulge in a warm bath or hot shower right before bedtime. The warm bath can also relax your muscles which are probably tense from feeling poorly and coughing.

For a quick dose of steam, try heating up a teapot or a pot of water, and positioning your head close to the steam, (but not too close to avoid burns), and breathing deeply.

Not only will you feel your sinuses start to unclog almost immediately, but you can also go to sleep with a much clearer head.


4. Drink water

You already know that you should drink plenty of fluids when you’re sick, but a big glass of water can help alleviate a nagging cough right before you go to bed.

Just don’t drink too much right before bedtime, as it may result in more bathroom trips during the night.


5. Keep cool

If you have a fever, it’s very easy to wake up in the middle of the night in a sweat, or to have trouble getting comfortable when it’s time to rest.

So make sure your surroundings are cool and dark, and enlist a fan to add a little breeze without adding too much of a chill in the air.

Lower temperatures naturally help you fall and stay asleep faster, as your body temperature needs to drop in order to achieve that sleepy state, so keep things cool in the nighttime for a better rest.


Sleeping well when you’re sick can be a challenge, but it’s an instrumental way to make you feel better, faster. So make a good night’s rest the priority to get on the path to a healthier you in no time at all.

Is sleep apnea keeping you from getting over illness and leaves you feeling fatigued year round? Don’t hesitate to treat this dangerous condition. Contact us to see how we can help you get back to sleeping better and feeling great.

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Sleep Better During Illness
Sleep is essential when you’re sick, but if you’re under the weather, how do you get the rest you need? See these tips that will help you get to sleep.