The Link Between Sleep and Immune System Health
The more I read, the more I discover that there is a very direct link between sleep and immune system health. Because of this, I’ve been taking sleeping more seriously.
Sleep and Immune System Strength
In my blog post last week, I talked about how immune health is my new wellness focus. I’ve proudly achieved my weight goals and enjoy giving myself targets to meet for my healthy lifestyle. This helps me to keep up a sense of purpose and to give me a reason to take better care of myself.
Though I’ve always known that there is a connection between sleep and immune system strength, I’ve never quite known the specifics. As this is a part of my new wellness goal, I decided to inform myself. What I found was quite interesting, so it seemed to me to be the right topic for this week’s blog post.
Building Your Defenses with Zzzs
The link between sleep and immune system health is such that getting enough rest on a regular basis will help your body to build itself up in some very important areas. These include:
- Strong immunity
- Adaptive immunity
- Effective response to vaccines
- Reduction in allergic reaction severity
Those are all exceptionally appealing outcomes in my opinion. Particularly right now. Where I live, everything is open and essentially returned to business without pandemic restrictions. I’m not quite ready to do everything I used to do yet, but I have had both my COVID shots and am hoping that it is pumping those antibodies throughout my body. As it is also allergy season, I wouldn’t mind a reduction in itchy dry eyes and itchy palate, for that matter.
Sleeping problems such as insomnia, sleep disorders, sleep apnea and disruptions in circadian rhythm can work against all those wonderful benefits. My main challenge with sleep is that I have an overactive mind and that I have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, so my sleep is consistently broken.
How I’m Working on Sleep and Immune System Health
I’ve previously talked about the lengths I go to so that I can get better sleep at night. With sleep and immune system health so closely related, I’m working on consistency in those areas. I recently blogged about how I sleep better in the summer, and those tips still apply. They include the following:
- Blackout curtains
- Cool shower at bedtime
- Turning off devices with screens
- Occasionally sleeping alone in the guest room
- Taking a supplement
That last tip has been one I’ve decided to do for 5 nights straight, because I’ve chosen a sleep aid with melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps to tell the body when it is time to go to sleep. As I’m trying to set my sleeping and waking clock (circadian rhythm) quite strictly, I’m using this ingredient to my best advantage. My hope is that when I keep it up, I’ll naturally fall asleep and wake at about the same time every day without having to think about it.