With the world’s current health crisis, as well as the beginning of the general cold and flu season, there’s no better time to start establishing healthy routines that work towards boosting and protecting your immune system.
Strengthening Your Immunity
To strengthen your immune system naturally, your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental havoc, and boosted by healthy-living strategies like eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, washing your hands frequently, minimising stress and getting adequate sleep.
Studies on the relationship between sleep and our immune systems have actually been going on for several years. Although researchers have much more to learn, they have come to some definitive conclusions. Importantly, we know there is a complex relationship between our sleep-wake cycles and our immune systems, and specifically that parts of our immune system help to control our sleep and the sleep we get directly impacts how well our immune system functions.
Sleep is a natural immune booster. When your body is well rested, it gives you an opportunity to build a stronger immune system. By having a quality night’s sleep, your body is able to better assess, manage and fight unhealthy cells.
Your Immunity-Boosting Routine
Researchers say getting good sleep can strengthen your immune system - that quality sleep can bolster the T-cells in your body that fight off infection. There's so much going on in our world right now - but good sleep must be a priority. Honestly reflect on the amount of sleep you're getting - a lot of our sleep problems are lifestyle induced.
Consider ways you can reduce your stress and improve your sleep today.
Think about some of the below and how they can be a part of your daily routine:
1. Create a sleep routine
To improve your sleep, start by creating a sleep routine that works for you. You might like to try removing technology from the bedroom, having a relaxing bath, introducing aromatherapy or using a Silk Sleep Mask.
2. Create a morning routine
Getting a hit of sunlight first thing in the morning to help set your circadian rhythm can help to set you up for a great day and night.
3. Take more frequent but shorter breaks in your day
When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a minute to breathe. One deep inhale and exhale increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Breathing techniques help you feel connected to your body – it brings your awareness away from the worries in your head and quiets your mind.
4. Stay hydrated
Water is proven to reduce stress so be sure to keep your body hydrated throughout the day. Studies have shown that dehydration leads to higher cortisol levels – the stress hormone – making it harder to deal with everyday issues.
5. Get your quality sleep
Adults need a minimum of seven hours of quality sleep every night for improved health and well-being. Inside the body, chronically bad sleep can cause problems. Poor sleep can increase inflammation, blood pressure, insulin resistance, cortisol, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease, as well as decrease blood sugar regulation.
Of course, there’s more to boosting your immunity and guarding against illness than getting ample sleep. It’s also important to practice smart stay-healthy strategies such as washing your hands with soap regularly, avoiding close contact with people who are obviously under the weather, and talking with your doctor about getting an annual flu shot. And remember: Even if you do come down with a case of seasonal sniffles, you’ll be able to bounce back faster if your body is well rested!
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