Sleep & Your Immune System

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Immune System Health Month Tip #1

We had some great guesses for what Tip #1 would be. Did you cast your vote?

When we look at our immune systems, our goal is to help our innate immune system work how it was designed. One of the most important actions we can take to help our immune system function normally is to sleep well.

Studies continually show that 8 hours of sleep is ideal for adults, no matter who you are. Even if you think you need less, you would do better in everything from mental acuity, to physical health, and immunological strength if you sleep 8 hours per night.  In fact, sleep deprivation has been shown to decrease our immune system’s ability to fight off the flu and other infections.

Reduced sleep also alters our Central Nervous System processes and behavior during immune feedback to infections. This is relevant because a breakdown in communication delays your body’s ability to find and fight any infections.

Having trouble sleeping? Check out our tips below for ways to help you fall asleep more easily and maximize your rest.

 
  1. Get Horizontal: Just laying down gives your body a break and an opportunity to recover. Get horizontal and rest those eyes, even if you don’t actually fall asleep.
  2. Keep it dark: The smallest amount of light creeping in your room can impact your quality of sleep. Unplug all devices that give off a nightly glow and use blackout curtains to cover your windows.
  3. Chill out: Set your bedroom to between 60-68 for optimal sleeping.
  4. Disconnect: Stop using electronic devices, tv’s and avoid blue light for at least an hour before you want to fall sleep. 
  5. Stay Active: Make sure you are physically active during the day. Even a 10 min walk after dinner can help.
  6. Avoid Alcohol: While having a glass of wine might seem like it helps you to get to sleep more quickly, in reality, it is impairing your quality of sleep for the worse.
  7. Avoid Eating Heavy Meals: Finish your last meal at least 2-3 hours before bedtime to avoid indigestion and will ease you to fall asleep faster.
  8. Stay Under Regular Neuro-Structural Chiropractic Care: Getting regular adjustments helps regulate your Parasympathetic Nervous System (Rest, Relax, Digest, Heal). Every time you get an adjustment your body gets out of the Sympathetic (Fight or Flight Stress physiology) and into a more Parasympathetic tone, making sleep easier. 

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