How to Sleep Well When You’re Sick

There are days or nights when it’s hard to fall asleep because of stress and anxiety. There are also times when you’re feeling under the weather and just unable to report to work. It must be much harder to fall and stay asleep!

I’m pretty sure that at one point, you have experienced attempting to get some decent sleep while braving a cold, cough, fever, or flu. And in cases when you’re sick, of course, it’s also very difficult to get up from the bed and imagine that you still have to go to work.

As much as how hard it is to fall asleep when you are sick, that very thing (read: sleep) is also one of the best ways to recover. Notice that when you get sick, you are always advised to rest? Exactly. So you need to get yourself a well-deserved rest to overcome that sickness of yours.

how to sleep well when you're sick

Here are some practical tips that might help you.

1. Create a comfortable sleeping environment.

There’s nothing more stressful than looking and sleeping in a cluttered bedroom, most especially when you are sick. Believe it or not, just by looking at a messy bedroom can make you feel even sicker. So first things first, make sure your bed and your room itself is free from unnecessary clutter so that you can sleep more comfortably and easily.

Also, when you have nasal congestion, it’s best to keep your head elevated when sleeping so that it will be easier for you to breathe and fall asleep.

Aside from that, of course, always remember the basics – cool or moderate temperature, dim or no light when sleeping, and a quiet environment. All of these are ingredients for a good night’s rest.

2. Choose the right medicines.

The immediate response to sickness is to take medicines because they seem like the quickest way to fight a nasty cough/cold or flu. But since aside from getting better, your main goal is also to fall asleep, be careful about the medicines you take. You would want to stay away from those that might stimulate you, thus giving you a hard time to doze off.

Yes, it pays to read the fine print or do some research. Or better yet, ask the doctor or nurse at your office clinic.

3. Drink hot tea or eat hot soup.

Hot tea or soup is good for hydration and the steam helps clear your nasal passages, making it easier for you to breathe. When choosing a drink, it’s best to have the decaffeinated ones. I can personally say that hot tea is such a life-saver! By far, it’s the only drink that got rid of my headaches stat. Try it!

Hot drinks help soothe a sore throat and prevent coughing too. If you like warm milk, you can add a small amount of honey as it is also good for relieving sore throat and cough.

sleep well

4. Use nasal spray or strips for congestion.

When you have a stuffy nose, you can use a nasal spray to help clear your nasal passages and help you breathe easier. Nasal sprays can be habit-forming though so these shouldn’t be used for longer than 3 days. (Again, please ask your doctor because I’m no expert.) Nasal strips are also a good option if sprays are not something you would like to try. You can buy some at a drugstore too.


5. Take a warm, steamy shower.

Taking in the steam helps you breathe easy as it prevents obstruction of your airway. A warm shower is relaxing so it can also help you fall asleep easily. If you have essential oils available, use them! The lavender scent is commonly known to be calming and sleep-inducing so you might also want to try.

If, after trying plenty of home remedies, you still haven’t found the best treatment, then do not hesitate to consult your doctor so that you will be given proper medications that are best for your condition. Don’t forget to let your supervisor or manager know that you are sick and will be unable to work. Also, it’s best to have your medical certificate ready for going back to work.

warm shower

I know it can sometimes be a hassle to be sick in a call center with all the documents and interrogation portion, but remember that what’s more important is you get enough rest, and not force yourself to work if your body really can’t make it.



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