why does a fever get worse at night
Why do flu symptoms get worse at night? There are 3 main reasons why or seem to be worse as we try to get our much-needed rest, and understanding what is happening to our bodies at night can sometimes help us to glean more restful sleep. 1. Role of gravity
During the day when you are standing or sitting upright, nasal mucus drains down your nose and throat. When you blow your nose or swallow, the mucus is cleared away from your airways, making it easier to breathe. However, as you lie down at night, the flow of mucus changes and it does not clear in the same way в instead collects at the back of your throat and lodges in your airways. The extra congestion can mean that you are forced to breathe through your mouth, making your mouth and throat dry and more prone to coughing. So, the combination of not being able to breathe properly, along with, can cause your suffering to worsen during the small hours of the night. 2. Daytime distraction and the dreaded darkness During the day we usually have plenty to get on with and to think about. Running from one thing to the next can mean that we have little time to dwell upon our symptoms. However, at night when all we have to look at is the darkness, we have the time to notice how unwell we are. Additionally, we can begin to worry that we are spending our precious sleeping hours blowing our nose and clearing our throat instead of getting much needed rest. Fretting about being awake can prevent us from falling asleep, and so the vicious circle continuesв 3.
Immune system function Although we have to respect our for doing their job, it can be a bit frustrating that they are so active in the middle of the night. The inflammatory response of the immune system is heightened at night and this worsens symptoms of and. Additionally, it in an attempt to kill the flu virus, worsening your fever and resulting in alternating chills and hot flushes. Exactly what you need at two in the morning! So, armed with this knowledge about what is making night-time so problematic, what can you do to ease your symptoms? Go to bed hydrated в being dehydrated will make any symptom worse, as well as reducing your bodyвs ability to fight and flush out infection. Clear your nasal passages before going to bed в this will prevent difficulty sleeping because of a blocked or runny nose. Try inhaling steam, or better still, add some essential oils such as Eucalyptus or peppermint to a bowl of hot water and gently breathe in the steam. Alternatively, try a to help clear those airways. Elevate your upper body в this will mean that gravity will continue with its daytime job of draining mucus from your airways rather than allowing it to accumulate. Arrange your pillows so that your shoulders neck and head are slightly raised. Just raising your head can restrict your breathing and may result in a stiff and sore neck the next day. Adapt your environment в being unwell means that you can be pedantic about your by making sure your room is completely dark and at a comfortable temperature.
Some people prefer complete silence, while others find that listening to some relaxing music helps to transport you to the land of nod. Keep your mouth and throat moist в breathing through your mouth because of a blocked nose can cause your throat to dry out, which can then cause a sore throat or dry, tickly cough. , as it leaves a protective layer in the throat that soothes dryness and irritation. Be prepared в if you are lucky you may sleep peacefully till your alarm clock rings the next morning, but the chances of this happening when you have the flu are significantly reduced. My top tip is to be prepared for any night-time awakenings by having some water by your bedside to moisten your mouth and throat which can become very dry, and a nice stack of tissues for any nose troubles. There is nothing worse than having to get out of bed and put the light on to find a tissue or remedy, so try to have everything you will need to hand so that you donвt wake yourself up too much. Try to go back to sleep as soon as possible. Support your immune system в your immune system needs to work a bit harder in order to fight infection, so be helpful to it by taking some Echinacea, a herb with traditional use of supporting the immune function and fighting colds and flu. This herb can be found in. [Editor s note: This article was originally hosted on MyFamilyDoctorMag. com, our sister site.
It s now featured here as part of our new. ] by Emmanuel Rodriguez, M. D. , M. P. H. Q. В Why does a fever sometimes get higher at night? A. В The answer to that is pretty simple: Body temperature, whether youвre sick or well, just gets higher later in the day. But the explanation behind that answer has to do with all sorts of things. A small gland at the base of the brain called theВ hypothalamus Your bodyвs В vital functions The temperature of yourВ surroundings The hypothalamus is your bodyвs built-in thermostat. By secreting hormones in small pulses, it communicates with your other vital organs, carefully regulating your body temperature close to a set temperature of 98. 6 degrees Fahrenheit. If you produce excess heat by exercising, your hypothalamus reduces your temperature by increasing the blood flow to your skin (basically, drawing more heat out of your body) and by making you sweat. On the other hand, if you go out into the cold, your hypothalamus tries to increase your temperature by causing you to shiver. When you have a fever, the hypothalamus has reset your body temperature to one thatвs higher than normal. В It does this for an unclear reason. Some people think fever helps the bodyвs immune system fight the infection because some bacteria donвt thrive on higher temperatures. Home remedies + science = do-it-yourself survival medicine!
Get prepared for disasters with. Your temperature usually follows a built-in 24-hour cycle. Its lowest point is between 3 and 6 a. m. , followed by a peak between 4 and 11 p. m. Your hypothalamus has its own 24-hour hormone-secretion pattern. We donвt know the reason for this so-called circadian rhythm, but to some extent the day/night light cycle helps regulate it. The things the body does during the day (heartbeat, muscle movements, breathing) involve a release of heat energy, causing your core body temperature to warm up as the day progresses. This explains why your temperature increases toward the end of the day under normal conditions. However, this cycle still happens when you have a fever. В The difference is that now, the temperature elevation is more obvious since youвre already starting from a higher temperature than normal. There are exceptions to this cycle. Outside factors that can dampen the evening temperature-elevation include older age; certain medical conditions, such as diabetes; and the use of some common drugs, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirinвall of which affect the functioning of the hypothalamus. Board certified in internal medicine, В EMMANUEL RODRIGUEZ, M. D. , M. P. H. , В is an infectious-disease specialist with NorthReach Internal Medicine Clinic in Marienette, Wis. , and attending physician and hospital epidemiologist with Bay Area Medical Center. (Subscribe to updates below. )
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