Sleep: Immune Support Without Supplements

 

During this pandemic of the Corona Virus, it has become apparent that we cannot always depend on supplements to support our immune system—especially now that basically every immune-supportive supplement has sold out. While supplements often provide a concentrated and convenient way of obtaining nutrients and herbs, they are not the end-all answer. In fact, getting back to some of the basics, like getting good quality sleep, can be just as important, if not more.

So here are some quick pointers on improving your immune system via sleep optimization.

  • Get enough sleep: Most people need about 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Be well hydrated: Make sure you are well hydrated throughout the day by drinking approximately half your body weight in ounces. Example: a 140 lb. person would need to drink 70 ounces of water per day.
  • Minimize blue lights before bed: Blue light emitted from cell phones, tablets, computers, and other electronic devices/lights can negatively interfere with melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone that is largely responsible for falling asleep. It increases in the absence of light, particularly in the two hours before you go to bed. In order to optimize melatonin production, decrease electronics at least an hour before bed, preferably 2 hours. Many LED lights can be another significant source of blue light! Consider using Edison style incandescent bulbs 2 hours before bed, anything 2700K and below.
  • Avoid alcohol: While alcohol may help people fall asleep, it can interfere with quality of sleep by decreasing the REM cycle, which is needed to help our body repair, regenerate, and detoxify. The recommendation is to avoid alcohol at least four hours before bed.
  • Don’t eat dinner too early or too late: If you eat dinner too early, it can cause your blood sugar to drop and result in a cortisol surge, waking you up in the middle of the night. Eating dinner too late can delay your body’s natural rhythm and keep you up. The recommendation is to eat 2-3 hours before bed. Having a light protein snack 30-60 minutes before bed will help to stabilize your blood sugar if you begin to feel hungry.

If you would like to learn more about other ways of supporting your immune system without supplements, make sure to sign up for our newsletter or follow us on social media. You can also schedule a visit with one of our practitioners for more tailored recommendations and support.

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