Cold and flu Season is here; and with it comes congestion, coughing, fever, and poor-quality sleep. Just when we need it the most, these symptoms can disrupt our rest and lead to sleep deprivation, weakening our immune system and prolonging recovery. Ugh -this is exactly what you don’t want to hear when you’re laid up on the couch with your second box of tissues. However, there are ways to enhance your sleep while battling a cold or the dreaded flu:
- Focus on good sleep hygiene - this includes keeping your bedding clean and your bed made and keeping your schedule consistent. When we’re not feeling well, we tend to move from the couch to the bed and back again, however consistency will make it easier to fall asleep, so stick to your regular bedtime and wake time.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine - both can dehydrate you, swelling your sinuses and making your congestion worse. Save the glass of wine and cup of coffee for when you’re feeling better, and instead try a cup of hot herbal tea.
- Use a humidifier to reduce congestion - this can be a game changer. Dry air can make symptoms worse by drying out your nose, mouth and throat. A humidifier can keep the air moist and soothing. An air purifier can also help!
- Maintain a consistent bedroom temperature - Even though you may be feeling cold, avoid overheating your sleep space. Keep the temperature at a comfortable level (optimal sleep temperature is approximately 65 degrees Fahrenheit) and have extra blankets at the ready if you do end up needing an extra layer.
- Elevate your head - if you’re struggling to get comfortable due to nasal congestion try switching up your regular sleep position. You may need to sleep on your side or try a higher profile pillow. Our 100% natural JUVEA latex pillows offer buoyant, airy support for your head, neck and shoulders.
Just as the common saying goes ”Sleep is a natural remedy for the common cold” and once you have the tools in place to get high quality sleep, it can boost immunity and speed up recovery from cold and flu by:
- Increasing the production of cytokines - the proteins that help fight off infections.
- Boosting T-cell activity - the white blood cells that play a role in fighting off illness.
- Reducing stress levels, which can weaken the immune system.
- Providing the body with an opportunity to repair and regenerate tissues.
- Improving mood and cognitive function, helping to maintain overall well-being during recovery.
To check off all of these benefits, it’s recommended to get 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. Although this is especially important during cold and flu season, these practices can be applied throughout the year as preventative measures. They’re also a great list of tips to add to your New Year, New Sleep resolutions!