Sleep is vital for recovery when you are sick; it helps to boost your immune system in order that your body can fight off illness and infection more effectively. Your body knows when you need to sleep and will automatically regulate the process of sleeping,
Getting to Sleep When Sick
Depending on your ailment, you may find it difficult to get to sleep. If so, here are a few things to consider:
- Room temperature. Try to maintain a comfortable room temperature. Being too hot or too cold can affect your sleep and if you have a fever, that can make it a lot worse. A fan is useful for keeping cool and stopping you overheating. Conversely, if you are shivery, you may wish to have an extra blanket handy or, perhaps a hitter bottle.
- Lavender is sometimes recommended to help you stay calm and relaxed.
- Medication. If you are taking any medication to address your infirmity, then do keep this handy along with a drink by the side of your bed.
- Stay hydrated. It is very important to drink when you are sick, so do have water readily to hand.
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before you take to your bed as both of these will impair your sleep.
- Close the curtains, ensure that you room is quiet and that you will not be disturbed.
- Elevate your head with extra pillows and look to sleep on your side if needed in order to alleviate the symptoms of a cough or runny nose.
- If you are still struggling to sleep when you’re poorly think about going to bed as early as possible and in the preceding time, so make sure that have properly unwound from the day by unplugging yourself from your electronic devices – phones, laptops, tablets; do this about an hour or so before you want to go to bed. In that way you will be less anxious. Also be aware of the light that is immitted from tablets, mobile phones, etc; this can be disruptive to sleep, so do keep them out of the room. If you must do something, there is no harm in having a good book to hand which you can also read if you wake up earlier than expected.
How Much Sleep?
You may find that you are sleeping a lot more than usual when you are poorly, particularly in the first few days of an illness. You may even find yourself sleeping all day, in the first few days, but this is not something to worry about; your body is telling you to rest and you must listen. As long as you wake up, from time to time, to eat some nourishing food and drink some water, just let your body take what rest it needs.
It is not uncommon to feel tired or lethargic as your illness gets better, but this should pass soon.
Your illness should gradually get better gradually, but if not you must look to take medical advice.