Sleep – The Engine Room of Immunity

Isn’t it ironic that in an age when we speak ad-nauseum about nutrition and exercise, yet we burn the candle at both ends negating rest in vain attempts to squeeze more and more into each 24-hour cycle. We stay up later, binge on Netflix longer, browse the web till the wee hours. And seek to juggle all our responsibilities like gods when in reality we are running on empty in a sleep deprived hang over that coffee doesn’t fix.

Little do we pause and ask what impact this is having on our overall health and wellbeing, specifically our immune system. Now more than ever it’s vital that our health becomes a priority. Getting a balanced 7 to 8 hours sleep each night will greatly improve your body’s immunity. Healthy sleep patterns will give you a vitality that can’t be gained from any other stimulant.  

There is an interesting yet little-known protein called Cytokine that has a direct impact on our immune system. When we have sleep deprivation our body makes fewer Cytokines and this directly impacts our immunity to even the common cold.  The American Sleep Foundation found that, “Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep.” And “Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond.”

Sleep deprivation will rob you of not only immunity but also productivity and most importantly the moodiness produced by sleep loss will cost you quality interactions with your loved ones.

Is it time to pause and think about some of the things that are robbing you from quality sleep? How much is this impacting your immunity? Is stress, poor sleep environment, poor quality bedding? – and while we are here let me put in a shameless plug. Your mattress is the most used piece of furniture in your home, you spend one third of your life on it, is your mattress supportive? Is your mattress hygienic? Are you getting partner disturbance from an inferior quality mattress? Is it older than 8 years? Don’t go cheap on sleep.

And some final thoughts – Good nights lead to good days! If you do find your work / life schedule interrupted, then seek to get some power naps no longer than 30 mins into your morning or afternoon. This will ensure you avoid sleep deprivation, make your health a priority with quality sleep keeping your immune system at peak performance. As you lay your head on your pillow this evening, rest in the knowledge of knowing the Cytokines are going to work!

Rest – you deserve it!

Andrew

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