By golly, I can’t sleep at night, but my cold is knocking me out during the day. I typically work from when I wake up to when I go to bed, but I keep going to bed at random hours. One minute I’m typing away, the next minute I’m fast asleep, my fingers poised gently over the keyboard. I have a nasty cold, and it keeps causing me to become extremely fatigued, and I’ll fall asleep for hours out of nowhere. Why do colds make us so tired, and how do we fight the fatigue?
Kidshealth.org explains what colds are. Most colds are “rhinoviruses” that are tiny droplets that float in the air, waiting to infect the body. There are more than 100 different rhinoviruses (so-named from the Greek “rhin” meaning nose) that can enter the body and infect us via the protective lining of the nose or throat. The body’s immune system immediately reacts in headaches, sore throat, and stuffy noses.
Since rhinoviruses can survive on hard surfaces for up to 3 hours, they are fairly easy to obtain. Unless you’ve been exposed to that particular rhinovirus before (maybe, but unlikely, since there are so many different ones), you can likely end up with a cold that can last weeks and wreak havoc on your body and immune system.
Colds make us tired because our bodies are in overdrive trying to get rid of them, and sleep is actually a healthy response to trying to get rid of a cold in that it reinvigorates the body and makes it more able to do battle against the stubborn cold viruses. Drinking lots of water helps as well in replenishing the fluids lost via all the mucus that we keep coughing up or blowing out of our nose.
How do we battle the fatigue? By getting proper rest at night, so the fighting body doesn’t need to make up for that rest during the day. Sleep with a humidifier in the room to open up airways, drink a calming tea (like lemon, peppermint, or ginger) to help you cough less and put the body in a restful state, and stay hydrated during the day to help boost energy. Drinking chicken broth or eating chicken noodle soup puts needed energy back into the body and makes it less tired as well, and not overdoing it is a great way to keep the body from physically stressing,
If your cold is knocking you out cold (ha ha), take a hot bath to soothe your sore aches and pains, drink ample fluids, and just take it easy for a while. Try to eat when you’re hungry and avoid over strenuous activities and you should be able to use your energy for fighting off your cold faster rather than wearing yourself out and sleeping all damn day. (I guess taking my dog out for 2 hours when I have snot dripping down my face should be out of the question then). Just relax and don’t work any harder than you have to, and your overworked body should have enough energy to keep you awake all day long.