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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.