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Sleep: The Fighting Chance Against Cold & Flu Season

Whenever I got sick growing up, my mom would always say, “You need to go get some rest; sleep is the best medicine.” But as a child I didn’t want to rest, I wanted to play! I didn’t have time to lay down, I had things to do. However, now that I am a mom myself, I am hearing those same words echo from my mouth to my littles. Well I am here to tell you that there is a lot of research out there now that proves our mama instincts are correct! If 2020 continues the way it’s been going, we can probably assume that this year’s cold and flu season will more than likely be a doozy, so here are some things you need to know about how sleep can help fight off those yucky colds and viruses this season.

One of the reasons why sleep is our body’s best medicine is because sleep naturally boosts our  immune systems, so we can fight off illness more efficiently. So when you start to feel under the weather, listen to your body. Your body knows what it needs and is reminding you to slow down and rest so you can fight off whatever it is that is making you feel so lousy.    

Make sure to prioritize sleep while you are sick for you and your little ones. Sometimes being sick, means canceling plans and clearing the calendar so that you and your children can get the rest you all need for your bodies to recover. As a busy mama of three, it is very easy to put my needs at the bottom of the barrel and think I don’t get sick days off, but if I want to get better so that I can take care of the rest of my family then I have to get sufficient sleep. Call on other friends or family members to help with the day to day chores or childcare so that you can get the sleep your body needs.

There is no such thing as too much sleep when you are not feeling well. If you feel sleepier than normal while being sick, succumb to that feeling and carve out time for lots of uninterrupted sleep so your body can recover. Make sure to get to bed early, don’t feel bad about sleeping in late, and definitely fit in a nap or two during the day.

Use sleep as a protective barrier against illness. Sleep not only helps fight off viruses once a person is showing symptoms, but it can also be used as a preventative measure to help fight off illnesses before a person even knows they have caught anything! A study was done to help determine whether or not sleep was a factor in helping combat illnesses that enter the body. What they discovered was that people who were well rested had T-Cells (our body’s soldiers that target infections) that were ready to fight and attack the invaders at first sight! On the other hand, people who were not getting sufficient sleep had T-Cells that had a harder time sticking to the viruses and were not as efficient at fighting back. 

Knowing all of these benefits of sleep with cold and flu season in full swing, make sure to get you and your family the sleep everyone needs using healthy sleep routines and habits! If you need help setting up sleep routines or figuring out how to create those healthy sleep habits for you or your child reach out to us! 

About the author

Amanda Medley

Why didn’t we try this sooner?! As we speak he is sound asleep in his crib – and has been since 7:15 pm.

Karianne Wanggaard

Sleep Well Sleep Specialists

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Working with Shannon, I went from 2-3 wake ups every night to 1 or 0. She aligned the plan with my preferred sleep cycle. She was always coaching, never judging. Shannon was great, I have referred MANY people to her! That's the best testament to her work that I can give.

Laura

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