Do you get enough sleep? Before you answer that, consider this. According to data published by the Center for Disease Control, one in three adults do not get enough sleep. If you’re that 1 in 3, chances are your immune system is suffering, too.
Sleep is not optional for your body. Sleep is necessary for proper body functions. Your immune system produces infection-fighting proteins while you’re asleep. You can’t slack on sleep one night and ‘make it up for it’ another. It doesn’t work that way.
Your body’s defense mechanisms are short-circuited when you don’t get enough sleep. Flu season isn’t the only time you need an optimal immune system working in your body. You’re exposed to germs daily, so aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night to keep up your defenses.
When your body encounters viruses and bacteria, your immune response goes into action. Its job is to isolate and neutralize invaders to keep you safe. If your immune system doesn’t act in an optimal way, the organisms can rapidly multiply. This could overwhelm your immune system beyond what it’s capable of handling. Set yourself up for optimal sleep hours to help your body fight off harmful germs coming your way.
What natural steps can you take to optimize your sleep habits and your immunity? One thing you can do is set a bedtime that allows for 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. Going to bed at a different time every night is not the best habit. Develop a nightly routine to help your body and mind relax and unwind so you can transition to sleep easily.
Power down all electronics at least an hour before your bedtime. Better yet, make it two hours before your head hits the pillow, because the blue lights of electronics interferes with your melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone produced in an area of your brain. It functions to help you transition into sleep. Exposure to these electronic lights prevents your body from producing the melatonin hormone.
After you turn off the electronics, wind down with a night-time ritual. A regular routine lets your body know you’re preparing for bed. A bedtime ritual might include a warm bath, a cup of chamomile tea, a good book to read, or time in meditation.
Create your own bedtime ritual and make it a habit. Start your ritual so you still have plenty of sleep hours on the clock once you’ve completed it. The habit of a bed-time ritual ensures you’ll more likely fall asleep and wake up rested in the morning.
Make sure your bedroom is set up for optimal sleep, too. Use room darkening shades if necessary, to keep the light out (remember the melatonin!) or use a darkening eye mask to block out lights. The room temperature should be on the cooler side for optimal sleep. The ideal room temperature will vary from person to person. Experiment to find what works best for you.
Check your mattress comfort–do you need to replace the mattress on the beds to get a better night’s sleep? Most mattresses have about a 10-year lifespan. If your mattress is around the 10-year mark, consider replacing your mattress. This may be all you need to optimize your sleep hours along with your immune system.
If you suffer from insomnia, restless leg syndrome or snoring, a trip to a sleep center might be in order. There’s too much at stake to ignore anything that prevents a good night’s sleep. Fighting off a stray cold germ or even the Coronavirus or worse depends on this basic function. We all need to get a good night’s sleep for our immune systems to stay healthy.
Still have questions? Let’s chat. Schedule a Free Getting Aquainted Call We’ll discuss some of the obstacles that stand in your way, and how I can help you thrive and feel your best.
By the end of this session we’ll know if we’re a good fit. You can decide if I’m the right person to guide and support you to a better, healthier gluten-free version of you.