Categories: Health & Fitness

Why are we sicker in the evening and at night?

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Whether you have a cold, the flu or a sore throat, you’ve probably noticed that your symptoms get worse at night. And it’s not just an impression. Scientific research has proven that body’s circadian rhythmsas well as a few other factors, can exacerbate unpleasant symptoms sickness when going to bed. For what ?

Why are the pains and fever more intense in the evening and at night?

First and foremost, the body’s circadian clocks help regulate sleep and manage the immune system, says Michael Smolensky, a biorhythm researcher and assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas, in an article by Time Magazine published in 2019 (source 1).

“When the immune system is activated” – such as when you are sick with a cold – “its anti-infective cells release a variety of chemicals, some of which cause inflammation of infected tissue,” the researcher explains in the article.

It is this inflammation that will trigger a fever, a stuffy nose, or a sore throat. Since the immune system kicks into high gear during sleep, the symptoms become more severe. This increased activity of the immune system can last all night, even until the early hours of the morning indicates the specialist. That is why waking up can seem very painful to us.

Rising fever, stronger symptoms at night: what other reasons?

The afternoon and early evening are the times of day when the immune system tends to softenaccording to the results of the work cited by the Time. It’s not unusual to feel a little better at these times, but the symptoms return later in the evening and into the night. Other factors may also contribute.

The absence of distractions particular can increase the perception of certain symptoms. And lying down can make nasal congestion worsealso explains in the article Dr. Rob Danoff, family physician at theAria-Jefferson Health of Philadelphia.

“That headache or sore throat you’ve usually ignored while watching TV can feel so much worse when you’re lying in bed with nothing else to occupy your attention,” he says. Indeed, when our head is raised during the day, the mucus tends to flow downwards. While at night, it accumulates towards the back of the throat.

What to do when you are sick in the evening and at night? How to sleep well?

The solution: elevate your head at night with an extra pillow. Another trick is to to drink a lot of water to thin the mucus and help it flow more easily.

And sincea good night’s sleep is the best remedy for many diseases, do not hesitate to treat your most troublesome symptoms.

“Whether you rely on over-the-counter decongestants or some natural healing like chicken soup (which research has linked to lower inflammation in people with respiratory tract infections), these common therapies can provide a short term relief “, explains in the article of the Time Dr. Jeffrey Steinbauer, Professor of Family and Community Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

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