Yahoo: Any time you’re sick, sleeping can be more difficult. A COVID infection is no different, said Dr. Heather Moday, an immunologist and author of “The Immunotype Breakthrough.”
“Whether it’s a breakthrough COVID infection or an infection of an unvaccinated person, either can cause disruptions of sleep,” she explained. “The issue is the severity of symptoms. People with breakthrough infections tend to have milder symptoms of aches, fever, cough and fatigue compared to the unvaccinated. But these symptoms may still be there to some degree. All of these symptoms may make it more difficult to get comfortable and stay asleep.”
How can you cope? If counting sheep isn’t cutting it, try these tips to get better sleep when you’re COVID-19 positive.
Get in a hot shower: Before you go to bed, take a hot shower, said Dr. Lucy McBride, an internist based in Washington, D.C. Get the water warm enough to create steam. This is a great way to “loosen up congestion,” she explained.
Use medication to mitigate your symptoms: McBride also suggested managing symptoms with over-the-counter cough medications and fever reducers (like ibuprofen or acetaminophen), as long as they don’t interfere with any other medications you’re taking.
Beware of using decongestants in the evening, though, “as these contain ingredients that have stimulant properties and may keep you awake at night,” said Dr. Sonya Merrill, a sleep medicine specialist on the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas medical staff.
Taking a small dose of melatonin at bedtime might be helpful as well, Moday said, as it “not only helps ramp up your immune system overnight, but also helps improve circadian rhythm by opposing the stress hormone cortisol and telling your body it’s time for sleep.” Just be sure to chat with your doctor before starting any new medication.