Are you so exhausted that sleep is about all that you can do? This is not uncommon in cases of glandular fever, especially in the initial acute stage of the illness.

Feeling tired and sleepy is your body's way of letting your healing powers do their job. However it is the quality of your sleep that counts. Many glandular fever sufferers go into a light, restless sleep disturbed by fever, pain and nightmares. They wake up exhausted, unrefreshed and feeling just plain awful. Sound familiar?

For optimal recovery from glandular fever it is essential that you get at least 8 - 10 hours of deep, unbroken sleep a night. Children and teenagers need even more. It is when you get deep, unbroken sleep that your body produces growth hormone - your body's repair hormone.

There are some basic steps you should take to ensure you are giving your body the chance to rest and sleep well:

Firstly resolve to get to bed at a reasonable time - preferably by 10 p.m., and no later than 11 p.m. Anything after this will drain your adrenals and compromise your recovery. I do understand that glandular fever can disturb your sleep patterns but it is not helpful to push your bed time later and later, and then try and catch up in the morning. The secret is sticking to a routine of going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning.

During the day, a power nap of 30 - 60 minutes will help recharge your batteries and magnify your body's healing potential. Have your nap before 2 p.m. otherwise it can interfere with your night time sleep.

Allow about an hour to unwind before bedtime. This time could be spent having a warm bath, reading a book, writing a letter or diary, or listening to some relaxing music. Avoid TV, computer or electronic games which stimulate the mind and increase your adrenaline.

Have an Epsom salt bath before retiring. I find Epsom salt baths particularly helpful for relaxing sore muscles and inducing a good night's sleep. Simply add a couple of cups of Epsom salts to a hot bath, and have a long, hot soak for at least 20 minutes.

Try a massage with some warmed sesame oil before retiring. This is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for insomnia. It works by releasing the endorphins that help you sleep.

Add some lavender oil to your bath, massage oil or even onto your pillow. Lavender oil is a renowned sleep tonic.

Avoid caffeine after 5 p.m. This is a stimulant that can keep your mind racing for hours. Also avoid alcohol as although it can make you sleepy, it suppresses the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleeping that is restful and refreshing.

Add some tryptophan-rich foods like chicken, turkey, cheese or milk into your evening meal. Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps induce sleep. A warm milk or chamomile tea before retiring can also help.

Check that your bedroom is dark, quiet and restful. It needs to be away from traffic noise, disruptive neighbors and bright lights. If not, you may need to move your bedroom or adapt your bedroom accordingly. Heavy drapes for example can cut out both light and noise. Ear plugs can block the noise of a snoring partner or loud neighbors. Getting a low wattage bedside lamp instead of using bright, overhead lights, can help create a more pleasant atmosphere.

Check the temperature of your bedroom. It should feel slightly cool when you first retire. If it is too cold, draughty, hot or stuffy, you won't sleep well. Wear socks to bed if you are prone to cold feet.

If you have always been a poor sleeper, it is important to pinpoint the reason for your sleep disturbances. It may be due to sleep disorders like sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, a nutrient deficiency or restless leg syndrome. Get these conditions checked with your doctor if you feel they are contributing to your sleep problems.

Quality rest and sleep is the cornerstone of a good recovery from glandular fever. Hopefully these tips will put you on the right track for a good restful night's sleep. Sleep well!

Author's Bio: 

Naturopath Elizabeth Noble BSc. Dip Nat Ther, has over 15 years experience in helping thousands boost their immunity and regain their health. She specialises in treating patients with Epstein Barr (the virus that causes glandular fever or mononucleosis), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and immune disorders.

Elizabeth is the author of the e-book "Nature's Amazing Mononucleosis Cures" and the producer of an Epstein Barr blog and podcast series. For more information please visit EBVcures.com.