Is it possible to have optimum sleep when sick?

Good lifestyle habits are paramount for quality sleep. This means leading a healthy lifestyle through exercising and having a balanced diet by eating a variety of nutritious foods.

On the flip side, what happens when your body health system breaks down? Will the quality of your sleep remains the same or is it bound to be affected?

Most people tend to experience minor ailments during winter times. Commonly referred to as winter ailments such as flu and the common cold, these common diseases could make your sleep time a nightmare.

The most common problems with flu or common cold are that they make breathing harder. They also make you cough often while having a sore throat. Uncontrollable coughing could greatly disrupt your sleep patterns.

Regardless of whether you are sleeping on the best of beds with a pillow like the one on my pillow reviews, getting quality sleep could prove a tall order for you. These diseases are dotted by aches, chills, fever that will make you uncomfortable the whole night.

However, worry not as these tips could just be what you need to sleep well even when suffering from a flu infection.

Use saline rinse to manage congestion

While the nasal spray could be the most common option for you, you want to go for an easy saline rinse.  A nasal spray could leave you feeling dry. Besides, it could turn out to be a habitual routine that makes you ignore other remedy options.

Research has already backed up the use of saline water as a more effective remedy for relieving one from nasal congestion. For the best results, avoid the use of table salt and stick to the use of natural sea salt. Table salt contains anti-caking agents that are quite irritating.

It’s easier using a netipot than snorting the salt water directly from your hands. The neti pot is a device shaped like a teapot and can be found in most drugstores. With it, you can handle nasal congestion easier.

Have chicken soup for dinner

If finding it hard to sleep, then you need to consider having chicken soup for dinner. This is especially soothing to you on your sick days. The steam that wafts from the chicken is enough to unblock your nasal passages.

The broth prepared is also beneficial for hydrating your body. More than just clearing your nasal passages, chicken soup is said to contain anti-inflammatory substances that speed up your healing process helping you bounce back into peak health faster.

Ease your coughs with salt water/decaffeinated black tea

Salt water is not only beneficial for clearing your nasal passages but also works fine in giving you a temporal relief against a sore throat.

Clinical experts such as the ones from Mayo recommend coughing patients to gargle eight ounces of warm water that has been mixed with ½ a spoon salt. If using salt is not your cup of tea, you could opt for black tea that has no caffeine content with one big spoonful of honey.

The obromine is the compound found in black tea and has a strong cough suppressing quality. Honey, on the other hand, is useful in coating your throat and getting rid of a scratchy feeling.

Avoid the use of stimulating meds

Some medications come with ingredients that serve to stimulate you; making it harder to catch sleep. For instance, some medications for coughs contain pseudoephedrine that is known to make its users feel hyper.

Many medications for allergy and cold contain diphenhydramine that has a negative sleep effect on some of its users. Interestingly, diphenhydramine seems to have different effects on other users. Before taking any of the flu medications, make sure to confirm with your doctor about their effects on your body.

You want to make sure you are not turning and tossing at night. Some flu medicines designed to make one sleep also contain alcohol content. Alcohol fragments your sleep which makes you less restful. Experts recommend the use of acetaminophen to help ease your pain and fevers.

Take a warm bath or steamy shower

Taking a warm bath or shower helps your body to relax. The steam that comes with the hot bath helps to decongest your body and help you to breathe easier.

If your sickness has made you too weak to take a shower, you could simply move into the bathroom, lock the door, turn on the shower and sit in there. You will still reap the benefits of steam like one who has just taken a shower.

To spice up your shower for maximum effects, add some drops of eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus essential oil contains antiviral properties that are useful in easing joint pains. There is also the essential oil from Lavender that comes with a soothing scent to promote relaxation. A warm bath causes your body temperature to drop which makes you sleep much comfortably.

Work on a conducive sleep environment

Your sleep environment is very important when it comes to getting quality sleep. Even more important is making sure that it’s conducive for you to sleep when sick. Some of the factors you want to pay attention to in your sleep environment include:

  • It has to be between 60 -72 degrees Fahrenheit for quality sleep
  • Disruptive lighting is a hindrance to quality sleep. To maintain a dark room, cover your windows with black curtains. Power down any electronic devices to avoid their light exposure at night.
  • Unwanted noise is disturbing to your sleep. With that said, consider using earplugs or a white noise machine for keeping out unwanted noises.
  • Bedding materials. It is important that you keep your bedding materials clean and comfortable for a conducive sleep. For instance, the pillow and mattress you choose should conform to your body shape and weight.


So, is it possible to sleep well when sick? Yes, it is. Most people are ignorant of the options at their disposal to maintain quality sleep when they are sick. However, with the tips provided, not even sickness will prevent you from falling asleep.



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Reynu joined WomenNow from the beginning on. She loves writing and combines this with her love for India, the country her parents emigrated from to the United States looking for a better life and opportunities. Studying litterature and journalism helped laid the foundation for her writing skills. She is into badminton and an avid runner. Her dream is to live between New York and Mumbai.