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'Will Sleep Help a Fever?'

resting fever
By Elizabeth Hanes, BSN, RNJuly 28, 2020

A fever can make you feel miserable: hot, sweaty, chilled, and super sleepy. You might feel too tired to even get out of bed.

And that’s a good thing. Sleeping while you have a fever can help your immune system work better so you get over that cold, flu, or infection faster.

Fever (a temperature above 100.4F in adults) is the body’s signal that it’s revving up the immune system to attack an invader. Revving the immune system requires the body to burn a lot of energy, and that burning creates heat – just like when you keep a car engine revved over a period of time. From this standpoint, fever is a positive sign that means your immune system is firing on all cylinders.

But fueling that fever requires your body to pull energy away from other functions, like moving your muscles or even thinking. That’s one reason why you feel so tired and fuzzy when you have a fever.

You may also feel tired during a fever because your immune system wants you to feel that way. When you’re feverish, your immune system sends out chemical signals that make you want to fall asleep. You should give in to that feeling, because resting your body and mind gives your immune system the extra energy it needs to power itself against invaders like viruses and infections.

Sleeping will not necessarily make a fever go away faster, but it will help your immune system work better. And that could make your cold, flu, or infection clear up more quickly – which will get rid of the fever, too. So rest up when you have a fever. You’ll be doing your body a favor.


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