7th Mar 2021

Fight Cold with FACTS (Food, Activity, Clothing, Thoughts, and Sleep)

Keeping ourselves healthy and well is important, but even more so during these unprecedented times. To top it off, we have the dreaded flu season upon us.

If you’re someone who gets congestion, stuffy nose, sneezing, tension headaches, watery eyes every year during winter, we think you’re going to love this article. Below, we’ve compiled 5 sure-fire ways to help you stay warm and beat the cold this winter.


Eating is a process of metabolism that increases our bodies’ production of heat. The process of breaking down food increases our body temperature, making us feel warmer - which is why campers/hikers will have a snack before bed in an effort to stay warmer throughout the night, and why we adults (including babies and children) sleep better with a full, satisfied tummy. This is good news for foodies! But before you go ahead and eat to your heart’s desire, note that certain foods can cause inflammation and worsen your cold symptoms. These include fries and sweetened beverages. Opt for more anti-inflammatory foods and drinks such as green leafy veggies, olive oil, nuts, fruits, and green and black tea.


This is pretty much a no-brainer! We all know very well that movement and exercising warms up our bodies. This in turn increases our metabolism and creates more heat. Think of your body as a vehicle parked outdoors on a frosty winter morning -- with muscular activity as the process of warming up the engine! Right now with social distancing rules, it’s best to stay home and get involved in some form of fun physical activity with your family, such as dancing!


Some of our most important organs are located in our torso. Yep, this area is so crucial that every time we enter a cold environment, our bodies, which work so hard to keep us safe and away from harm, redistributes blood to the torso. Hence, protecting and maintaining the warmth of the vital organs there. So when it comes to winter clothing, research has shown that the best way to preserve body heat is by keeping the torso warm. Contrary to popular belief, the head is not a greater source of heat loss. If you were to wear a warm hat and no coat, your torso would lose plenty of heat because that is how the body redistributes its blood in cold conditions. By keeping your torso warm, you’ll maintain blood flow to your limbs, which helps keep the arms, legs, hands and feet warm. Our super-popular X-TEND Sleepsuit is padded specifically to keep your little one’s torso area the warmest. Go check them out here Parents swear by them to keep their toddlers warm, and toddlers love the snuggly-cosiness of the suit, while still allowing them enough freedom of movement to be their active, curious, adventurous, imaginative little selves.


Researchers at the University of Southampton (2012) found that nostalgic thoughts (think warm, fuzzy, kind thoughts) increase our tolerance to cold temperatures. The study showed that by just thinking of a happy time in our past, our bodies would ‘recreate’ the feeling of being physically warm. One study used music to evoke nostalgia to see if it was linked to warmth. The participants who said the music made them feel nostalgic reported that they felt physically warmer. A point to note though – if thinking about the past makes you feel happy, but, also brings back difficult memories, scrap the thought altogether. Instead, think of something positive that happened to you today, wear your favourite earrings at home, or do something extra nice for yourself just because.


Lack of sleep affects our immune system, making us more susceptible to the common cold virus, infections and illnesses. Studies show that those who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to cold and infectious diseases. Lack of sleep can also affect your recovery rate if you do get sick. At The Sleepy Company, we're always talking about sleep - and we really couldn't say enough about the importance of good quality, restful sleep. We’ve got plenty of articles on sleep on our blog if you’re keen on reading!

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References List

Davis, S. (2011, January 4). Do We Really Lose Most of Our Heat Through Our Heads?

Harding, E.C., Franks, N.P., & Wisden, W. (2019). The Temperature Dependence of Sleep. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13: 336.

Soare, A., Cangemi, R., Omodei, D., Holloszy, J.O., & Fontana, L. (2011). Long-term calorie restriction, but not endurance exercise, lowers core body temperature in humans. Aging, 3(4): 374-379.

Tan, C.L., & Knight, Z.A. (2018). Regulation of body temperature by the nervous system. Neuron, 98(1): 31-48.

University of Southampton. (2012, December 3). Heart-warming memories: nostalgia can make you feel warmer.

Disclaimer – This information is general in nature. We are not medical professionals or doctors, and we don’t claim to be one, so if you have any medical conditions, please contact your nearest medical clinic and consult individualised treatment with your medical care provider.  

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