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Sleep off the Sickness

Improved Sleep Leads to a Faster Cold and Flu Recovery

During the winter months filled with snowy skies and harsh cold temperatures, a longer commute isn’t the only thing people have to worry about. With cold and flu season in full effect, people are combating headaches, runny noses, fatigue, and other dreadful symptoms. Here are some tips to get you through the rough months.

Preventing and Stopping the Spread of Influenza and Colds

Hygiene is Key -The first step in escaping these illnesses, is to prevent them from coming about in the first place.

Both the cold and flu are extremely contagious; Health Direct explains that when “you sneeze or cough, tiny droplets of fluid containing the virus are launched into the air. These droplets spread about one meter and...anyone who touches these surfaces can also catch a cold or flu if they pick up the virus on their hands and then touch their nose or mouth."

If you are already sick, your mattress is up against runny noses, coughs, sneezes, and more sweat than usual. Having the proper protection on your bedding can help combat these germs and keep you out of close contact with them. Without an adequate safeguard, these may linger in your mattress and hinder your recovery each night that you sleep in your bed. Aside from your room, ensure that you are regularly washing your hands, especially after being out in public and before you touch your face or plan to eat.

Sleep as Prevention - One of the best things that you can do for your overall health is to routinely get a full night of rest before you start each day.

Scientists have studied sleep’s impact on our immune system and how “our T-cells go down if we are sleep deprived...and inflammatory cytokines go up” which “could potentially lead to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu” and how just a few days of minimal or poor sleep can negatively impact your vulnerability to a cold or flu.

Not only does sleep repair your body on a nightly basis, it could affect how your body reacts to a flu shot, an essential component to preventing illness; WebMD noted that, with less sleep, “along with the immune response being suppressed, the body develops fewer antibodies and it takes longer for it to respond to immunizations,” therefore you aren’t allowing your body to receive the optimal help from the vaccine.

Relieving Cold and Flu Symptoms

Health Through Self-Care - While there are instances in which you should see a doctor, such as the symptoms remaining persistent, a lot of moderate symptoms can be taken care of at home.

Not only does sleep aid in preventing illness, it also aids in the recovery process if you are already sick. According to Health Direct, “most people will get better by themselves within 7-10 days without any treatment.” At the top of their list of ways to relieve symptoms is “getting plenty of rest."

Inside Science discusses how “studies have shown that acute illnesses are more frequent in teenagers who sleep less (or miss sleep several nights in a row) and that people who have insomnia have lower flu antibody counts,” highlighting the impact of sleep on the immune system's ability to fight the cold or flu.

Did You Know?  Fevers “play a key role in helping your body fight off infections."

While you should go to a doctor “if your temperature reaches 103° F or higher, if you’ve had a fever for more than three days, or...any other out-of-the ordinary symptoms,” a moderate fever actually works in your favor. In a study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, it was found that “elevated body temperature helps certain types of immune cells to work better,” and is actually a “part of an effective immune response."

Previous research has also found that “the microbes that infect us simply can't replicate as well when we have fevers.” Further, sleeping plays a role in the fevers you get while you are sick; when sleeping “we can get a better fever response,” which is why “fevers tend to rise at night.” Thus, it’s important to get plenty of rest to allow your body the ability to “wage war on infection as best we can."

Sleeping While Sick - Although sleeping is essential to a speedy recovery, it can prove to be somewhat difficult when you’re sick. WebMD provides some tips on how to sleep when you have a cold or the flu. Among others, two key points are:  

  • Sleeping on an angle: If you are laying down normally, “postnasal drip can build up, making your throat sore and triggering a cough.” However, “sinus pressure gets better when your head is higher than your body,” and so placing some pillows under your upper back and neck may lead to an easier night’s rest.
  • Isolated sleep: The best environment to sleep in while sick is to sleep alone in order to prevent “spreading the sickness” or the risk of it passing back and forth between you and your partner in a vicious cycle. Also, there is the benefit of being able to “cough, blow your nose, and get out of bed without waking someone else up."

Cold and flu season can hinder many aspects of your life — if you let it. Sleep away the sickness in a hygienic environment for a faster recovery. Better yet, have prevention methods put in place to avoid getting sick all together.  There are, at minimum, fifty reasons to protect your bed.

We hope these tips are able to help you thrive through these dreary months.

The Ultimate Mattress Protection to Shield Yourself Against the Harsh Cold and Flu Season Get the extra sleep you need in a clean environment with the following Protect-A-Bed products that keep your bedding hygienic:

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