One of the most powerful weapons to fight off illness is easy, free and available to everyone – sleep. But sleeping with the flu is far easier said than done. When you’re dealing with a blocked nose, sore throat and a fever, getting plenty of rest can feel impossible.
There is no doubt that the flu and sleep don’t mix, but there are steps you can take to get plenty of shuteye when you’ve got the sniffles. The next time you feel a cold coming on, use these ‘sleeping when sick tips’ to avoid feeling exhausted (you may also require COVID test just in case).
Sleeping with your head propped up higher than usual can help clear your nasal passages and reduce the pressure in your sinuses. You should also try falling asleep on your back, as this can prevent your nasal passages and lungs from getting badly congested on one side.
If you’re having trouble getting comfortable with your head propped up, use a wedge pillow to give your head and neck more support.
Heat It Up
Cold, dry air can aggravate flu symptoms. To keep the air in your bedroom warm and moist, consider investing in a humidifier or vaporiser. These devices work by emitting water vapour or steam, effectively making the surrounding air less dry and easier on your respiratory system.
Taking a warm shower or bath before bed may also help, as steam from hot water can break down mucus. You could also drink a hot cup of tea prior to turning the lights out, as this may ease your scratchy throat.
Sleeping with the flu is uncomfortable, but so is sleeping next to someone who has the flu. To ensure you and your significant other both get enough sleep, consider sleeping apart from each other until you’re on the mend. That way you won’t have to worry about them catching your cold or getting woken up by your coughing and sniffing. Sleeping alone when you’re sick and feeling sorry for yourself might not sound like much fun, but at least you’ll be able to blow your nose as loudly as you like.
Protect your bedroom sanctuary against virus’ with Protect-A-Bed’s 30 day Textile Freshener, Sanitiser & Deodoriser, for extra comfort and security during the cold and flu season. This product is listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for being effective against COVID-19.
Making sure your bedside table has all the essentials you’ll need to make it through the night is one of the best tips when it comes to sleeping while sick. Tissues, paracetamol and water are some of the items to consider stocking up on prior to bedtime.
Being well-prepared means, you won’t have to dash to the chemist or rummage around your bathroom cabinet in the middle of the night.
Be Cautious – Cold Medications
Proceed with caution when it comes to trying to cure yourself at the chemist. Some cold medications have side effects that can make it even harder to fall asleep while you’re sick. Decongestants may relieve your blocked nose, but they can also make you too jittery to doze off.
Be particularly careful when taking medications containing pseudoephedrine, as common side effects include restlessness and excitability. These kinds of medications are fine to take during the day but shouldn’t be used before bedtime.
Your bedroom should be dark, comfortable and just cool enough to keep you from overheating (but not so cold that your flu symptoms get worse). Comfortable bedding is also crucial, otherwise you’ll probably be tossing and turning all night long. With a comfy mattress, plush pillow and soft bedding, not even a bad cold will keep you awake.
Being sick is the worst but getting plenty of sleep will help you get back on your feet sooner. For more advice on how to improve your sleep hygiene, find more expert tips here.