When your nose is all blocked up and that persistent cough refuses to give you any respite even at bedtime, it can profoundly affect your ability to get a good night’s rest. Sleep allows the body to repair itself, and if you’re not able to get plenty of sleep when you’re sick, your illness can be prolonged.
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Julie Penfold spoke to several medical and nutritional experts to find out exactly how we can improve our sleep quota while battling nasty cold and cough symptoms.
Why is sleep so essential?
“When we are feeling under the weather, sleep enables the body to focus on tackling what is the cause of feeling ill,” says GP, Dr. Rob Hicks.
“If it is an infection from coughs and colds, it enables the body to focus its energy on overcoming the infection. If we are not getting sleep, it leaves us tired the following day and makes it harder for us and our immune system to tackle the infection. If we are overtired, this weakens the immune system which means that coughs and colds will be prolonged.”
A weakened immune system also leaves us more susceptible to further infection. On a physical level, we feel weak and lack energy while on an emotional level a lack of sleep leaves us feeling run down and miserable. Sleep, really good restful sleep, is vital for fighting off colds and coughs and maintaining a stronger more robust immune system.