The topic of immunity and how one can build it is probably one of the most searched on the internet today. An active immune system is known to protect our body naturally from illnesses or at least make us ‘immune’ or insusceptible to it. There’s plenty of well-researched content, including hacks, available online that can guide you on how to build your immunity through healthy food intake and fitness. However, did you know, getting a consistent amount of undisturbed sleep is also a key contributing factor to an optimally functioning immune system? Read on to know more:
The Co-relation between Sleep and Immunity
Most health organisations recommend that a healthy adult must clock in close to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep at night for many reasons. The most important of them would be that it is during this shut-eye the body renews, regenerates and restores cells within after a long day. This scheduled action, thereby, ensures our body is set to perform it’s best the next day too. Our body also engages in a deep detox internally while we sleep, allowing us to process nutrients consumed the next day through food and supplements optimally. This directly contributes to us feeling fresher, energetic and increases cognitive ability by a significant rate. However, when it comes to sleep and immunity– there is a direct and undeniable co-relation.
During a night slumber, our immune system releases cytokines, a protein, some of which promotes deep sleep. Certain types of these cytokines are required to increase when you are under stress, have an infection or are suffering from inflammation to help neutralize them. Depriving yourself of sleep can lead to a dip in these protective proteins leaving us susceptible to infections. Additionally, antibodies and cells that fight infections are specifically seen to reduce during times we don’t get enough sleep! So it is very important for all humans to sleep well in order to build resistance against diseases.
Sleep hacks to Build Immunity
Now that we know sleep is one of the power buttons to boost immunity, here is some sleep hack that will knock you out before you know it.
- Consistent Bedtime Routine
We cannot stress the importance of this enough. Our body craves routine and responds to a stimulus that indicates rest and relaxation. Having light foods before bedtime, a warm bath and no active use of electronics at least 2 hours before sleep are some good habits to cultivate that can reward you with easy restful sleep. Remember, consistency is key as the brain naturally sends signals to the body to relax as soon as it sets into the sleep routine.
Sleep experts have long understood the importance of a good mattress when it comes to aiding a full night of undisturbed sleep. Most mattress manufacturers like Wakefit sell the clever technology of Memory foam mattresses that not only align the spine in its natural shape but cause zero disturbance to the co-sleeper too. This enhances the experience of a good night’s sleep with minimal discomfort caused to the body and the co-sleeper, no matter how many times you toss and turn during sleep! The nature of Memory foam is such that it takes the shape of the sleeper, temperature controls and absorbs any motion. This makes it the perfect choice for partners who have different sleep patterns but want to share the same mattress too.
- Work out regularly
Exercise is known to boost your mood and keep the grey matter supple. It is also a critical part of a healthy immune system. Regular work out doesn’t have to include hardcore gym routines but instead just requires you to be active through the day. A good rule of thumb to follow is to take 10,000 steps per day. This can easily be clocked in by opting the stairs instead of a lift or by parking your car a bit away from your destination and walking it down. Regular exercise, particularly, in the morning or afternoon impacts your sleep quality by raising body temperature by a few degrees. Later when the internal thermostat drops again, it causes drowsiness that’s worth cashing on with sleep!
- Manage Ailments
The last thing you want is, to wake up in the middle of the night with chronic pains that don’t allow you to sleep after. If you have an underlying physical health issue, it’s worth getting them checked by a health professional and bringing it under control through medication, diets and an overall change in lifestyle! In addition to these, opt for the best orthopaedic memory foam mattresses available to enjoy natural sleep position minus pains from pressure points!
While it’s alright to search for hacks or short cuts to a good night sleep- there’s no shortcut to active immunity. It takes a balanced approach with the right diet, supplements, exercise and most importantly- sleep. Activate your immunity by deactivating your mind and body through a good night’s sleep.