I’m having crazy dreams
Most dreams happen during REM (rapid eye movement), the deepest stage of sleep, and when we are sick and have a fever, our minds can be more active than usual during REM. “Fever can bring on crazy dreams and bizarre thoughts,” says Gina Lynem, MD, a physician at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Usually, with a cold, your fever doesn’t get above 100 degrees, she explains, but with the flu, it can spike to 100 degrees or higher. While research shows a link between vivid dreams and nightmares and having the cold and flu, treatments to help alleviate common cold and flu symptoms such as over-the-counter cold medications with antihistamines may also alter REM sleep and increase the chance for having crazy dreams. Check out these 10 other health conditions that can affect your sleep.
My morning coffee tastes strange
Anywhere from 75 to 95 percent of our taste is related to smell, so in order to fully appreciate the flavor of foods, we have to be able to smell them. Because the nose plays such an important part in what we taste, when it is stuffed up with mucus, we can temporarily lose our sense of smell and taste. “When you have a cold, your body is trying to fight off the virus,” says Dr. Lynem. “The tissue in your nasal passages and throat become inflamed and obstructed and because of this, you lose your sense of smell and taste.” Here are eight medical reasons why we lose our sense of smell.
I’m craving junk food
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When we are sick we just want to feel better, which means we often turn to comfort foods, says Dr. Lynem. “But instead of reaching for the junk food, the best thing to do is to increase your intake of vitamin C—oranges and orange juice.” While craving salty foods may indicate that you are dehydrated, rather than reach for the chips, Dr. Lynem suggests having something that is more soothing and hydrating such as warm apple juice, chicken soup, or hot tea with honey, as honey has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Gargling with salt and warm water is also recommended as it can help decrease the inflammation in your throat, says Dr. Lynem. Here are the top foods to eat when you have a cold.