There’s never been a more important time to focus on your health and immune system. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on not only an increased fear of illness, but also stressful changes to our professional and personal lives. Maintaining a consistent daily routine is one of the best ways to keep yourself healthy, and sleep is a big part of that. Sleep can actually boost your immune system to help you fight off illness – here’s why it’s so important.
Why Does Sleep Boost Your Immune System?
While you’re sleeping, your body produces cytokines, an important type of protein. Cytokines can help you fight off infection as well as helping you recover from physical and emotional stress. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body won’t produce enough of these cytokines, which will lower your immune system and make it more difficult for you to fight off illness and injury.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
Long-term sleep deprivation can be extremely detrimental to your immune system and your health. Lack of sleep is a contributing factor to a number of chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and more. In the short term, lack of sleep will also make it more difficult for you to focus during the day. This is because lack of sleep can make you more irritable as well as having a negative effect on your memory.
What Can I Do To Maintain A Healthy Sleep Routine?
Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night to stay healthy. However, some people need more sleep, and some people need less. It can be difficult to maintain a healthy sleep routine during stressful times. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep.
– Set an alarm to remind you to go to bed. When you’re absorbed in a TV show, a good book, or chatting with your family, it can be difficult to extract yourself from what you’re doing and remember to go to bed. Setting an alarm on your phone or computer is a great way to remind yourself to start winding down.
– Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This will help you maintain healthy circadian rhythms, and will make it easier to fall asleep and wake up each day.
– Create a comfortable sleep environment. Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillows, and blanket, and that your room is dark enough for sleep. Make sure you reserve your bed for sleep only. You may also need to adjust the temperature or noise level in the room to suit your preferences.
– Take time away from your phone and computer before bed. The excess blue light produced by these devices can throw off your circadian rhythms, so taking time away from them will help you transition more effectively into sleep.
– Avoid drinking caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, as this can also make it difficult for your body to wind down.
Want to learn more about healthy sleep schedules? Contact our team today to see how we can help.