“The nicest thing for me is sleep, then at least I can dream.”
- Marilyn Monroe
If you have been burning the candle at both ends recently, and are starting to feel the tell-tale signs of illness (scratchy throat, sniffly nose, etc.) then it might be time to consider fitting in a few extra hours of sleep.
With World Sleep Day coming up soon, we’re spreading the word about the benefits of sleep, and there’s no better time to increase your sleeping hours than when you’re feeling under the weather. It has long been known that a good night’s sleep can make us feel refreshed and energised come morning, but can it cure us?
Why you should “sleep it off”...
Lack of sleep might be the reason you became sick in the first place
There’s a reason that when you pulled an all-nighter studying at uni, or you stay out partying until 3am, your body doesn’t feel its usual energetic self the next day. Sleep deprivation can lead to illness, and so it’s not a huge leap to think that illness can then be rectified by getting more sleep.
When we don’t sleep enough, our immune system is not functioning at its best, so staying up late and cutting out valuable hours of slumber can eventually cause our immune system to fail when fighting off that office cold that’s going around.
Sleeping more helps to kick-start your immune system
You’re not fighting fit… what can you do about it? When we sleep, our body goes into repair mode; our immune system improves itself and our liver does most of its detoxification. Catching some extra ZZZs is a great way to assist the process of fighting the virus.
Just as a software update helps when our phone has been running slow, a full night of good quality, deep sleep can help to repair your body and replenish your antibodies in the best way.
Sleep helps you conserve energy
Many of us tend to believe that a common cold doesn’t warrant a day off work, but going into work is more than just typing a few emails; it’s braving the commuter rush, the stressful meetings, and all other energy-zapping things that go along with a day in the office.
Getting a few extra hours of sleep when you’re sick can help boost your energy levels if you absolutely have to go into work. And if you don’t, snuggle up on the sofa for the day and take regular naps to maximise your rest and energy conservation.
How can you improve your quality of sleep?
Sleep when it’s dark outside and be awake when it’s light, to adjust your circadian rhythm and reset the effects of too much blue light from screens. Avoid screens for at least one hour before bed if possible.
Take a warm bath with Epsom salts to de-stress. This can also help to decongest your nose before trying to sleep.
Light a Scentered Sleep Well candle and breathe in the calming blend of 14 therapeutic essential oils, including lavender, chamomile and palmarosa, to help promote a restful night’s sleep.
Apply Sleep Well balm to your wrists, neck and temples before bed and breathe deeply.
If you struggle to sleep because of a congested nose, or a cough, get in as much rest as possible instead; read a book or listen to music, nothing that exerts too much energy.
The above tips are best for when you’re feeling ill, but of course they can be incredibly beneficial even when you are healthy. Sleep is a remedy that’s freely available to everyone, so if you’re feeling under the weather just listen to your body and hop into bed early tonight.