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Why Sleep Is VITAL During A Pandemic

With the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been many who have suggested a good night’s sleep as a way to boost your immune system to protect you from the infection.  Sleep is vital, and there are several reasons why.

Your body needs an adequate amount of sleep to fight of infections. That included the coronavirus. If you are losing sleep because of fear (and it’s hard not to when the mainstream media is pumping it out right now 24/7) you aren’t doing your body any favors. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as the common cold (rhinovirus). Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

Six (More) Reasons to Get Better Quality Sleep

We are still going to get sick once this pandemic is in our past. We cannot live out lives apart and inside our homes for the remainder of humanity’s existence, so at some point, we all need to do our best to keep ourselves healthy.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. –Mayo Clinic

Aim to get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep at night.  More isn’t necessarily better either.  Poor sleep for 10 hours is still not as effective at boosting the immune system as 7 hours of good quality sleep (meaning you stay asleep and don’t toss and turn or wake up frequently at night).

There are some natural solutions to help with your sleep. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can do the following:

  1. Minimize Light and Sound.  By using curtains to eliminate light and shutting down anything that makes noise, you’ll be able to sleep better.  Darkness causes your brain to release melatonin for a calming, sleepy effect. That means, don’t expose your eyes to too much light such as that of a smartphone or the TV right before you go to bed.
  2. Stick To A Routine.  Make a schedule and stick to it, even on the weekends. Get up and go to bed at the same time every day to make sure your body gets into a routine that works for you.
  3. Keep Your Stress Levels Low.  Try to not stress out as much during the day.  Use meditation or prayer if it helps you create a sense of calm.  You can also simply turn off the news.  The mainstream media is in a state of panic and fear right now and that’s creating a public that’s emulating those same emotions. Don’t let others dictate how much stress you have. Anxiety and worry are sleep disrupters. 

All of this is easier said than done right now while the globe is battling a pandemic. But it’s important to understand just how vital it is to decrease your fears and worry.  Panicking and consuming fear-mongering media all day can be catastrophic for your immune system, and as preppers, we need to understand how best to protect ourselves, and not just fall victim to our fears.

Simple Prepper Hacks To AVOID Getting The Flu

Hopefully, this will help all of us to get a better night’s sleep and have a better chance when it comes to fighting off all infections.  For more information, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website or talk to your healthcare provider.

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Prepping Tips: Long & Short Term Water Storage

Water storage is a bit tricky for most people.  Few are fortunate enough to have a well on their property and a means of removing water from it without electricity.  But since there are a lot of new preppers out there now, we have decided to put together a helpful guide on how to store water for a short and long term emergency.

In a short term emergency, even if the power goes or you’re experiencing a massive storm, bottled water can be purchased at grocery stores. But there are other ways to have it on hand in case of an emergency and you don’t want to battle anyone at the store.  You could just buy a few cases of water beforehand and keep them around, but the plastic bottles will eventually begin to break down and could leech plastic into your drinking water. If you plan to store bottled water for a short term emergency, make sure to drink it every year and replace it before the leaching process can begin.

Unlike the water itself, which has existed on Earth for 4.5 billion years, that manufactured plastic bottle only has so much time before it “goes bad.” The plastic bottles that water comes packaged in (usually polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for retail bottles and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) for water cooler jugs). The bottle will eventually fail (expire) and begin to leach plastic chemicals into the water with an effect on the overall taste. So if you happen to find a water bottle well past its printed expiration date in your home, it’s probably safe to drink, if you don’t mind the chemical bits of bottle which have broken down and are now swirling around in it, but you should also be aware of the fact that it might not be super fresh tasting anymore either. But in a life and death situation, you could drink well-expired bottled water and probably be alright. Howver, there are many other options for storing water that could help you avoid drinking the plastic. –Ready Nutrition

Food Grade Plastic Containers

These are an excellent option. Make sure you choose BPA-free containers. These will be safer and if your water is not stored correctly, it can (and will) become toxic.  These containers come in a variety of sizes, but if you want long term water storage you’ll want some pretty big ones. The benefits of a BPA-free food-grade plastic is definitely the weight and durability.  These containers are difficult to break if you’re using them correctly and they are light enough to move around until you decide where you want them.  Once you have water in them though, they’ll obviously be pretty heavy.

Glass Containers

I am not a fan of these, personally. (But they may work for you. Remember, prepping is about what works best for you, in your life.) They are heavy and easy to drop and break. The cost isn’t worth it to me, however, glass is going to be your best bet if you are concerned about leeching. There is no chance that a glass container will leech.  But getting big enough containers to store enough water for the long term can be difficult and is often beyond the budget for some. Two 64 oz. jugs cost about $20 or, this pack of 4 glass one-gallon jugs costs $32.  By comparison, the plastic jug (pictured to the left) holds 15 gallons of water and costs $79.

How Much Water Should You Store?

The general “rule of thumb” is to store one gallon of water per person per day.  This may not be enough though if you want to wash clothes and dishes and bathe, but with conservation methods, you could certainly make that work. A better goal is to store two gallons per person per day and get enough for a two-week emergency when you first start. Build your storage from there.  It’s always better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, and that especially applies to your water.

Filtration

You will also want a way to filter water.  If an emergency or disaster stretches out, (or you’re just beginning and you only have a couple of gallons of water stored) you are going to have to find another source of water when you diminish your storage.  A lot of people like LifeStraws, but a lot of people like the Sawyer water filtration system too.  This portable Berkely water filter (pictured to the right) is pricey but highly rated. Another good suggestion is to grab some water purification tablets. I keep these in my vehicle emergency kit.  Tablets will eventually get used up and are a better plan for a short term survival situation.

Survival Water Filter DIY – What to do in an Emergency!

Remember to be safe with your water! Drinking water directly from a lake or stream can make you very sick, which is why we have included several ways for you to filter water.  Lakes and streams can contain viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and parasites which can cause severe illness. (Click here for more information from the CDC about contaminates in natural water sources.)

Hopefully, this will give the newer preppers out there some ideas for their water storage and filtration.  If anyone has any other tips for beginners, be sure to leave them in the comments!

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