Is your bed the best place when you have a cold or the flu?
When feeling unwell, your bed can often seem like the most comfortable and appealing place there is.
But, is a duvet day the best option to recover from illness?
TEMPUR looks at the pros and cons of snuggling up in bed when you’re feeling under the weather…
WHAT BED REST ACTUALLY MEANS
Bed rest is often ordered by the doctor when you are sick. But there is more than one meaning to the term.
The most obvious meaning is to rest in bed, lying still so your body uses as little energy as possible. This means the blood flow doesn’t have to work against gravity, so your body has more energy to fight infection.
The other way that a doctor may mean bed rest is for you to do as little as possible and stay indoors. This means no exercise or any activity that will stress yourself out.
So generally, take it easy.
It should also serve to remind you that you should stay away from your colleagues or friends – a friendly nudge to make sure you don’t spread any germs!
WHY IS BED REST IMPORTANT?
Chilling out at home is crucial when feeling poorly. For every day you are ill, research has shown it takes three days to recover. So, it’s important to give yourself time to get fighting fit to maintain a normal life.
It’s also recommended to cut out exercise when you have a case of the flu.
When we exercise, our temperature increases. This means that flu germs – which love warmer temperatures – multiply at a faster rate.
Also, when we are exercising, our body releases the stress hormone, cortisol. When this hormone is released, it uses a lot of our fats and sugars for energy.
This means our immune system can’t work as hard to fight infection as we are using extra energy in other areas.
As well as rest, make sure you are loading up on fruit and vegetables for their vitamins, and fish for its omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are especially good, as they can help reduce any inflammation you may have.
CAN STAYING IN BED INTERFERE WITH YOUR HEALTH?
Health wise, sleeping in bed can be a good idea when ill. Sleep increases the activity of proteins that help our cell production.
More cells means a stronger immune system, and more strength to fight infections.
However, staying in bed all day and night over a prolonged period of time can cause other health complications. If we are lying still, mucus can build up in our chest which in extreme cases can lead to conditions such as bronchitis.
Also, as we discussed in a previous blog post about lie ins, getting too much sleep can actually disrupt your sleep pattern and lead to sleepless nights – the last thing anyone feeling ill wants.
So, staying in bed when you are ill isn’t always the best option.
Would you now think twice about staying in bed? How do you cope with the flu or a cold? Tell us below…