Sleep And Immunity: How To Improve Your Immune System

August 28th, 2020

Feeling weary about flu season, new viruses, and how to stear clear? You’re not alone.

One way you can stay ahead of it all is by prioritizing your sleep. But why? It all comes back to arming your immune system with a full aresenal.

The super force known as your immune system works to keep germs at bay and fights hard to help you sleep. But when you’re not getting adequate sleep each night, your immune system gets weakened, making its job of fighting illnesses more of an uphill battle. And vise versa, when your body is sick, your sleep can be disturbed because your immune system is busy fighting off the foreign invaders. Plus, when was the last time you remember getting great sleep when fighting a cold?

These three simple ways to boost your immunity will help ensure your body gets the rest it needs, so you can stay healthier for longer and give yourself the best chance to fight off diseases this season.

Healthy Amounts of Sleep

First, you’ll want to make sure you get enough sleep each night. Research proves that when you aren’t rested, it’s harder for your immune system to function properly. Throughout the night, your immune system talks to your brain about what’s going on with your health through a system of neurotransmitters and hormones (often referred to as the interactive brain-cytokine system). When you’re sick, the pathways get interrupted, and it can throw off your circadian rhythm. As a healthy adult, you should be shooting for between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night to feel well-rested and better fight off disease.

De-Stress

Secondly, you’ll want to find ways to cut the stressors out of your daily life. Stress can affect your immune system and in turn, your ability to sleep at night. If you’re feeling the pressure of anxiety in your life, it can trigger an immune response that keeps you from getting quality sleep that you need to feel rested. Try finding a hobby, reading, or taking a nice bubble bath before you tuck into bed.

Check out our other ideas for de-stressing and finding some inner peace here.

Boost your Diet

Make sure you include some immune-boosting foods into your diet. Foods that help your immune system function properly are spinach, yogurt, garlic, broccoli, almonds, and ginger. These foods work because they contain vitamins and minerals needed to help your body build up its immunity. By giving your body the right help, your immune system can have the nutrients it needs to boost your protection from illness.

Who knew that your immune system worked directly with your brain while you sleep? Through understanding this complex system and providing your body with the sleep, stress removal, and fuel it needs, you’ll be improving your immunity and getting better rest in no time.

“How (and Why) the Immune System Makes Us Sleep”. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v10/n3/abs/nrn2576.html?foxtrotcallback=true.
“Bidirectional Communication between the Brain and the Immune System”. Nuero Immuno Modulation. www.researchgate.net/profile/Dianne_Lorton/publication/6129904_Bidirectional_Communication_between_the_Brain_and_the_Immune_System_Implications_for_Physiological_Sleep_and_Disorders_with_Disrupted_Sleep/links/0deec53c419e6f188c000000.pdf.
“Sleep and Immune Function”. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3256323/.
“Stress and the Aging Immune System”. Research Gate. www.researchgate.net/publication/8683153_Stress_and_the_aging_immune_system.
“Nutrition and the Immune System: an Introduction”. US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9250133.
August 28th, 2020

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