Becoming Anti-Fragile (part 2) The importance of sleep.

April 3, 2020 | By R.Gamiz


Why is sleep more important now than ever?

Did you know that getting a good night sleep can boost your immune system and protect you from infections (bacterial and viral). We all sleep and we all know sleep is vital, but few people realize the benefit of a good night sleep. 

Here are a few as listed in Medical News Today:

  • Improved productivity and concentration
  • Reduced risk of weight gain
  • Improved calorie regulation
  • Greater athletic performance
  • Coordination
  • Speed
  • Recovery
  • Decreased risk of heart disease
  • Prevents depression
  • Lowers inflammation
  • Lowers pain levels

The right amount of quality sleep also strengthens your immune system, it also helps the body repair, regenerate and recover during and after an infection.

Like many these days, you might be losing sleep due to uncertainty, fear or anxiety, which is not hard to do when the mainstream media is pumping it out right now 24/7 (for ratings not for your benefit). Just to give you an example, recently a news station had the king of fear himself on for an interview, Steven King.

People who fail to get adequate, quality sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, This is known to be true for the common cold (rhinovirus). Sleep deprivation can also affect your ability to recover after being infected. 

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease the production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. –Mayo Clinic

7-8 hours of good quality sleep at night is ideal.  More isn’t always better.  10 hours of poor sleep is not as effective at boosting the immune system as 7 hours of good quality sleep. How to know if you are getting quality sleep. You can use this formula to figure out your sleep efficiency. The ideal number is 85 -90%.
Time spent asleep/time spent in bed X 100 = sleep efficiency.
Ex. Bed at 10pm. 45 minutes to fall asleep. Wake at 2 am (bathroom, water) 30 minutes to get back to sleep. Wake at 6 ,in bed for 30 minutes (phone, email, social media) before getting up.
6 hours 15 min asleep(375min)/8 hours(480min) in bed X 100 =
78.125%. So not only would this person not be getting the minimum of 7 hours but also poor quality. If this seem like to much work, Oura ring, and watches like the Apple Watch and Garmin watches do an excellent job of tracking your sleep.

Here are some tips I recommend to my clients as part of Live Healthstrong’s Protocol for Optimized Human Performance™️

  1. Establish regular sleep and wake times. Set an alarm 1 hour before your bed time. Use this as a reminder to begin to shut down the electronic devices. Get your self ready for bed, establishing rituals will help your body realize it is time to get ready for sleep. This will signal  your body that is time to increase production of sleep hormones like melatonin and slow the release of excitatory hormones like cortisol. When in rhythm your body will begin to bring several bodily systems into coherence. In order to reach higher levels of optimization the time should not vary on the weekends. 
  2. Eliminate blue light and LED exposure, as much as possible after sunset. Most electronic devices now have the option to move to nightshift or amber lighting at sunset. Consider purchasing blue light blocking glasses.
  3. Minimize light and sound.  Use black out curtains in your bedroom. Eliminate any light sources from your room, use ear plugs if you have to, to block out noise that may wake you or keep you awake.
  4. Keep your stress levels low. Use meditation or prayer if it helps you create a sense of calm.  Skip the evening news. You don’t have to know everything that is going on all the time. You will sleep better if you skip the evening or nightly news and watch something funny or meditate / prey prior to going to bed.
  5. Cool it down. Keeping your bedroom at or 65 degrees also improves sleep. If this is not possible, You can get a chilipad for your bed so you can control the temperature of your bed.

Once this pandemic is behind us. We will start to return to our normal lives. We will be working in close proximity to others, traveling, shopping again. So each us (as individuals) and all of us (collectively) need to do our best to keep ourselves healthy. Right now, more than ever this should be on your list of things that you practice in order to get through this pandemic and be ready for whatever comes next.

If you would like more information on the supplements I recommend to my clients IM me or subscribe to my email. You can also go to livehealthstrong.com if you would like to know more about optimizing your system and becoming anti-fragile.

 

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