Feeling weary about flu season, COVID-19, and how to steer clear? You’re not alone. One way you can stay ahead of it all is by prioritizing your sleep. When you’re not getting adequate sleep, your immune system has a harder time healing from existing health issues and fighting off new illnesses. Getting enough, good quality sleep boosts your immune system so you’re less likely to get sick.
Here are three simple ways to boost your immunity and help ensure your body gets the rest it needs, so you can stay healthier and give yourself the best chance to fight off illness this season.
Healthy Amount of Sleep
First, make an effort to prioritize getting enough sleep each night. Healthy adults should be shooting for between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night to feel well-rested and to be better able to fight off illness. In order to get your recommended amount of sleep, think about what time you need to get into bed and what time you need to wake up in the morning. In addition to setting an alarm to wake up, it can help to set an alarm to remind you when it’s time to wind down and start getting ready for bed.
Second, do your best to find ways to reduce stress in your daily life. Stress can affect your immune system directly, as well as affect your ability to sleep through the night, in turn further weakening your immune system.
When it comes to combating stress, one strategy is to consider whether there are stressful situations in your life that could be adjusted. Are there particular people or places that make you feel worse instead of better? Maybe it’s time to make some changes. But stress triggers can’t always be avoided. Stress is part of life. So, it’s important to figure out ways you can manage stress and things you can do to help yourself relax. Physical exercise, meditation, and yoga all can help in reducing stress. If you’re planning a strenuous workout, make sure to finish at least 3 hours before bedtime. Try finding a hobby, reading, taking a nice bubble bath, or using sleep inducing essential oils before you tuck into bed. You can also make your bedtime environment as conducive to sleep as possible. Invest in bedding that feels comfortable. If you find yourself disturbed by light or noise at night, try a sleep mask or a sound machine.
Boost your Diet
Another idea is to add foods to your diet that can help your immune system function properly, including spinach, yogurt, garlic, broccoli, almonds, and ginger. These foods are thought to be beneficial because they contain vitamins and minerals that can help your body build up its immunity. Foods with healthy fats such as olive oil, salmon, and chia seeds can also help boost immunity by reducing inflammation. By giving your body the right help and balancing a healthy diet plus a healthy amount of sleep, your immune system can have the nutrients it needs to boost your protection from illness.
Don’t forget about water! Staying well-hydrated is important in preventing dehydration as well as helping your body do what it needs to do to fight off germs.
Sticking with these tips will help you sleep better, and in return, you’ll be better prepared to fight off germs and viruses. Through understanding this complex system and providing your body with the sleep, stress reduction, and fuel it needs, you’ll be improving your immunity and getting better rest in no time.