For many of us, “the new normal” has obliterated any semblance of a routine in our day to day life. One part of a healthy routine that has taken a big hit is sleep. Maybe working from home allows you to roll out of bed at whatever hour of the morning you please. This in turn allows ample amount of time for Netflix in the p.m. But please don’t fall victim to the “Continue Watching?” button!
Sleep has a huge impact on our immune system and our mood. These are two things we should all be focused on improving right now. We have to keep our immune system high for ourselves and others. We should also desire to feel good and find happiness in this time of peak stress levels.
How Sleep Affects Immunity
Multiple studies have shown a strong correlation between how well we’re sleeping and the strength of our immune system. This means sleep is just as important as diet and exercise for keeping us healthy. Sleep deprivation makes us more susceptible to infectious agents like bacteria and viruses taking root in our system. Poor sleep also makes it difficult to clear out the inflammation from the day before. This can lead to higher risk of neuro-degeneration, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. These studies show the importance of deep restful sleep. This allows our body to boost the immune system and clear out inflammation.
Similarly, if we’re exercising a lot, but not sleeping much we are creating even more inflammation. We get fitter, not simply through exercise, but by properly recovering from exercise. Sleep is the key to that recovery. We want our bodies at their best to foster a stellar immune system that can ward off potential illnesses and make us strong!
My challenge to you is to keep a sleep log for a week. Keep track of your hours of sleep, sleep quality, mood, and how you feel physically each day. From there you can tweak your habits to find a solid, slumberous routine to fuel you through this peculiar time. Stay healthy folks!