A good night’s sleep doesn’t only make us feel better when we wake up, it’s also crucial to be boost our immune system and to fight off the influenza and COVID-19. So what is more important—sleep or the flu shot?
The most effective medicine
The answer is a combination of the two. Doctors recommend that you get your flu shot this year, both to stave of the influenza and to help ease the seasonal burden on the healthcare system. To get the most out of your flu shot a good night’s sleep is vital however.
Studies have shown that if you don’t’ get enough sleep the week before a flu shot this can lead to a reduction of production of the normal antibody response of 50% less.
And regardless of if you get the shot or not sleep is critical to ensure that our immune system is on top.
SLEEP AND OUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Sleep is one of the key factors impacting our health. People who sleep less than 7 hours a night are 3 times more likely to get the common cold.
And the less you sleep, the more at risk you are. If you sleep 5 hours or less you are 70% more likely to contract pneumonia.
So how does it work? By completing the four sleep cycles, you’re supporting the release and production of cytokine, a multifaceted protein that helps the immune system quickly respond to antigens. A lack of sleep makes this tougher. Our body relies on a full night of rest to replenish the cells and proteins it needs to fight diseases. Sleep loss stymies cytokine production, and in the process makes it harder for your body to battle back against viruses.
WHY SLEEPING WELL CAN BE HARD
The pandemic can make sleeping well difficult for many.
Studies have shown that over a third of Americans report sleeping worse due to stressing about the pandemic.
A shift in routines with home office can also make it more difficult to keep your sleep schedule on track. There are some easy steps you can take to sleep better.
There are some easy changes we can make in our daily life to improve on our sleep quality and duration
- Exercise: make sure that you get at least 150 minutes of movement every week
- Light: as the number of hours of natural light decreases it’s even more important to try to go out during the day. This helps to keep our sleep wake cycle on track
- Food: eat a light dinner and avoid red meats and fried food late at night
- Drinks: think about your consumption of alcohol and caffeine, in particular later during the day
- Stress: if you are working from home make sure to make a clear distinction between work and private and prioritize destressing during your time off
- Bedroom: invest in a good mattress as make sure you have the best temperature for sleep
BEST TEMPERATUR FOR SLEEP
If our temperature fluctuates during the night this impacts our sleep and in particularly our deep sleep phases negatively. Make sure that your bed room is cool, breathing in cold air is positive for our sleep quality. With a breathable duvet and temperature regulating pyjamas we can sleep better.
Night sweats is a common problem and if we get sweaty and wet at night this will lower our sleep quality.