It can be really hard to get a good night’s rest. You toss and turn for hours, and then your alarm clock goes off at the worst possible time.
Can you catch cold sores from not sleeping? Cold sores are a cause of concern for many people, as they can become unsightly and embarrassing. But there are steps that you can take to prevent catching the virus or experiencing an outbreak in the first place.
Despite being so common, many people are unsure how they catch cold sores and how the virus works. It’s widely known that once you catch a virus you do not usually ever fully recover. Instead, the virus is either active or inactive.
When it is active the sufferer will see new cold sores on the lips, chin, cheeks, and face. But how does the virus become activated? And can cold sores be triggered by a lack of sleep? We’ll seek to answer these questions, and others, in this in-depth article.
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Not sleeping or having a lack of sleep is one of the most common triggers for cold sores. Although you need to catch the virus in the first place to develop cold sores, not sleeping properly can cause them to flare up.
For this reason, mothers of young children are especially likely to see a flare up of cold sores around their lips. As any parents will tell you, this is because your night’s sleep will often be interrupted by crying or feeding. With a baby to look after it can be difficult to catch up on this sleep during the day too.
Students can also be susceptible to cold sores during exam term. Exams can cause greater stress (another factor that can weaken the immune system), as well as more time studying and less time sleeping. The weakened immune system therefore leads to a greater likelihood of an outbreak.
When a cold sore breaks out, sufferers notice a number of blisters and sores around their mouth and lips. Sometimes cold sores will only come out once, whereas some people suffer from many outbreaks over their lifetimes. This is because cold sores are the result of a viral infection from the herpes simplex virus.
But only 20% of people will actually see symptoms in the form of cold sores. This is because the virus can lay dormant without ever being triggered.
There are two forms of the herpes simplex virus. HSV-1 (Type 1) is the type that causes cold sores around the mouth. HSV-2 (Type 2) is more commonly associated with the sexually transmitted infection, known as genital herpes.
Insomnia is a stressful condition that affects sleep. Unfortunately for insomnia sufferers, the condition can actually make cold sores worse. Or, it can at least cause them to flare up more frequently.
Insomnia is an unpleasant illness which stops people from being able to fall asleep. Others are able to fall asleep, but wake regularly and never seem to feel refreshed. Insomnia affects one in three people at some point during their lives.
This can be stressful enough as it is, but the embarrassment or worry of seeing a cold sore develop can make things worse. This stress in turn weakens the immune system. And as we’ve already seen, this can cause more outbreaks (and difficulty sleeping).
As well as fatigue and not getting enough sleep, there are many other factors that can cause an outbreak of cold sores in sufferers. These include:
Unfortunately, once you catch the herpes simplex virus you will never get rid of it. However, for many people it will simply lay dormant throughout their lives without causing them any problems. This means, if you suffer from cold sores, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the chances of a flare up.
You CAN get cold sores from not sleeping. Your body’s defenses are run down, so your body is more susceptible to the virus. Find a way to relax and go to bed earlier.
You know where cold sores tend to appear, so apply the best over-the-counter cold sore treatment as soon as you spot the warning signs!