According to recent reports, this flu season is looking to be one of the worst on record – at least on the east coast of Australia.
Winter is in full force and runny noses are appearing in offices and public spaces all over. If you’ve ever wondered whether the advice to, “stay in bed and sleep it off” is wise, you can rest easy in the knowledge that it’s absolutely true.
We all know the importance of sleep when it comes to your physical and mental health, but sleep is one of the most powerful flu-fighters available. A recent study found that people who slept five hours or less were more than four times at risk of catching a cold than those who had at least seven hours of rest. Sleep deprivation not only heightens your chance of catching a cold, it can also prolong recovery time.
A couple of hours of missed sleep can cause your chances of being struck down by the flu by a factor of four and a half times! By combining these remedies with more than seven hours of sleep, you’ll be back on your feet in no time:
Tea: Everyone loves a hot cup of tea, and there’s nothing better than a steaming cup in the middle of winter. Even better, certain teas have proven to alleviate the flu-like symptoms we all experience. Try elderberry to battle nasal congestion, or licorice root tea to ease a sore throat.
Clean Air: It’s already difficult enough trying to breathe when you’ve got a bad cold, and you’ll only make it worse by cycling your flu-infected air throughout the home. Try investing in a humidifier, or even better, make use of indoor plants. They’ll act as a natural air purifier, won’t use your electricity and serve to brighten up any room.
Sleep alone: When you’re sick, all you want is chicken noodle soup 24/7 and someone to cuddle and feel sorry for you. Be courteous and try to find space to sleep by yourself. This will ensure your partner minimises the risk of falling ill themselves, leaving them to help pamper you on your road to recovery.
Change your sheets: How often do you change your sheets? If you can’t remember the last time, you probably don’t want to know how much dead skin is lurking between them. While there’s no concrete evidence that a cold can survive in your sheets for more than an hour after you leave, make yourself (and anyone entering your room) feel better by regularly changing your sheets and keeping them smelling fresh.