As the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) runs rampant across the globe, more and more people are trying to find a way to fight back against an invisible enemy. Many of us are practicing social distancing and making sure we wash our hands thoroughly, which are the first smart steps to avoid catching the virus. However, what else can we do? Well, many of us at Orange County mattress stores believe a healthy diet, regular exercise, and of course, a good night’s sleep are what the doctor ordered for all of us in this time of self-preservation.
How Does Sleep Affect Your Immune System?
Sleep is an important factor for good health since it helps to strengthen the body’s immune system. Over many years, sleep has been identified as a flu-fighter since it helps the body retaliate against viruses and diseases and is a vital boost to recovery if we fall ill.
Although a good night’s sleep is in no way a cure for COVID-19, it is a potent, natural immune booster for daily life, particularly during a critical situation.
Sleep, in general, is such a simple action, but it is so essential. It is something we have total control of and it is free! All you need is a comfortable, peaceful place to lie down and close your eyes.
Although some of the body’s natural functions slow down during sleep, such as breathing and heart rate, it is a busy time for the immune system. When you are at rest on your bed from Orange County mattress stores, it is the ideal time for your immune system to do some conservation work and assess the existence of any threats, or antigens.
As you snooze away, your body’s command cells are looking for and destroying illness-causing antigens. During a 2019 study, researchers from the University of Tübingen in Germany revealed a method that locates the strong link between sleep and the immune system. They found that T-cells are a type of specialized immune cells that affect the body’s capability of defending itself against specific diseases.
Further studies have focused on cytokines, which are proteins the immune system releases. Some of them help to encourage sleep, while other kinds are generated to fight off diseases. When your body is deprived of sleep, it decreases the levels of these crucial cytokines, along with other infection-fighting antibodies. In layman’s terms, less sleep causes the body to respond to disease lazily, which is something no one can take their chances on during a pandemic.
The University of Washington did a research study with identical twins. It revealed that the twin who had less sleep also had a weaker immune system. Therefore, an immune system works to its greatest extent when it gets sufficient sleep. Researchers recommend seven or more hours of sleep for maximum health.
How To Protect Your Mental And Physical Health During A Crisis?
While we are going through a stressful event, such as trying to carry on with our lives during a worldwide pandemic, sleep can be hard to come by because of the amount of anxiety, fear, and isolation that many of us are facing.
Your mental health can take a bad turn with a lack of sleep and sleep can be negatively impacted because of poor mental health. Therefore, this vicious cycle has to be handled very carefully.
Going back to the basics of getting a good night’s sleep is a good place to start. Here is a quick summary of the best ways to get the sleep you need.
Set up a bedtime routine. Some pre-sleeping habits include a warm bath or shower, a caffeine-free cup of tea, and some quiet reading time. An hour before you go to bed, begin relaxing so you and your body can get ready to sleep simultaneously.
Dim down the bright, sleep interrupting light from television and cell phones. Although you may be tempted to check news channels or social media for the recent developments of COVID-19 before you doze off, it can increase your anxiety levels and make a good night’s sleep a challenge. Make your bedroom an electronic-free zone.
Maintain a dark, quiet, and cool bedroom. If you do not have good quality drapes or blinds, use eyeshades. Think about a white noise machine or phone app to help create a relaxing environment and keep in mind that the perfect temperature for sleep is 60F-67F (15C-19C).
Keep away from food and drink that can adversely affect your sleep. Avoid fried, very rich, spicy, or acidic foods, since they can be the culprits of tossing and turning all night long. Also, while you eliminate those foods before bedtime, stay away from carbonated beverages, caffeinated tea or coffee, and of course, alcoholic drinks which might help you fall asleep faster but will make you wake up in the middle of the night due to dehydration.
Go outside. Even while you practice social distancing, you can still go outside to help your body regulate the circadian system, which in essence is the “clock” for your sleep and wake cycle. While you are outside, get about 10 minutes of exercise such as walking, running, cycling, stretching, or gardening to gain all the outstanding sleep benefits.
Meditate. Do some meditation either through an app on your phone or find a Youtube video to help you through the process. Incorporate it as part of your daily routine to ease anxiety and bring back a sense of peace.
It is surprising how well these small measures and a supportive bed from Orange County mattress stores can work to provide you with better sleep. When you feel less sleep-deprived, you can maintain better mental and physical health that can help you deal with this temporary crisis as well as support your friends, family, and co-workers.