• Joni Peddie

How can you use sleep to fight back against the Coronavirus?

The world has been left scrambling on many levels, in fact on all levels because of this virus! We are all well aware of the various hygiene preventative behaviours from washing our hands to coughing into our elbows, and of course keeping ourselves isolated if we do have any flu symptoms. What we should also be discussing is SLEEP Hygiene. No better day than today, which is World Sleep Day. Sleep hygiene is inextricably linked to ‘boosting our immune system’. Let’s be practive when it comes to be healthier and stronger, in order to fight off this virus.

Our immune system is cleverly designed to defend us against these viruses, parasites, bacteria or fungi. Our immune system develops antibodies to fight off these ‘invaders’. Our bodies then keep these ‘on file’ and reuse them . This is one of the reasons that we don't get chickenpox twice! So how can we ’boost’ our immune system. Research shows that sleeping a minimum of seven hours per night does the trick. Your body is not ‘inactive’ when you sleep. In fact it is rather busy. When we sleep we produce T cells. These are white blood cells, and they are critical for fighting and destroying viruses. So if you're getting seven hours sleep a night and good quality sleep you're going to complete about four sleep cycles. When you complete these four sleep cycles you will produce multifacted proteins in your body. These are called Cytokines. They promote cell to cell communication, and also direct cells towards infection areas. Here’s some research from the University of California, San Francisco, where 164 people had their sleep tracked for one week. After that week they were taken to a hotel and given nasal drops that contained the common cold virus. The people, who slept six hours or less per night, in the previous week were 4.2 times more likely to get a cold, from the nasla drops they were given. This research took in account age, race, income levels, stress levels, and even people who smoke. No of hours of sleep was however the overriding factor.

If you're sleeping well and you sleeping minimum 7 hours consistly every night of the week, then your body is designed to fight against these viruses. Sleep is the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of health and vitality. So here's the bottom line: take into account how many hours you are sleeping and make sure it's good quality sleep. Don’t be on your computer, your cell phone or watch TV for an hour before you go to sleep. This enables your brain to produce enough melatonin to get you into that deep, slow sleep that allows the cytokines to be produced in your body to fight against these nasties! Honour yourself: Health is your REAL Wealth!

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