Tag Archives: Sleep and immune function

Boost Your Immunity

Boost Your Immunity

Image by Sumanley xulx from Pixabay

As the world braces after hearing The WHO declare a global pandemic, most search for ways to maintain health. How is it that some people that are infected with COVID-19 are barely showing symptoms while others are aren’t so lucky?

Lord only knows…

The infected number is climbing at alarming rates as the death toll continues to rise. Clean hands, closures and social distancing is helping slow the cases. But human nature tells us, ‘We need to do more’. The major organizations request that people stop buying masks. However, people are looking for ways to feel proactive. To keep fears and anxiety at bay, there are some helpful suggestions, finally, being sent our way.

We Know… Wash your hands

Yes, it’s surprising this is number one on every preventative list. It’s amazing how many folks can forget this on a regular basis. Many, many years ago, it was discovered that rinsing hands, alone, doesn’t have the same impact as adding soap into the mix. Nowadays, timing is everything. For as long as I can remember, I have sung my ABC’s while washing my hands. As a child, it was considered adorable. Yet, as a teen, my friends would tease. And as an adult, well… lets just say, I sing it in my head, along with a head bob every now and again.

Recently, people have created new versions of 20 second washing by using show openings and classic hits. However, according to a poll, what is the song that people are singing in their heads while scrubbing down their paws? The census appears to be ‘Happy birthday’. Good choice. Just remember to sing it twice!

Supplements

Supplements are always a tough suggestion when dealing with any illness. Their mere presence can cause backlash, especially since most aren’t FDA approved. Plus, as a nutritionist, I can honestly say, ‘I don’t know your personal history’ to safely recommend a one size fits all cure-all. (Btw, there is no, one size cure-all, as far as I know.) When the SARs outbreak happened, many took to natural viral fighters like, turmeric. Really? Yes, but listen… Supplements like turmeric are amazing as long as they are right for you, personally. Curcuminoids that are found in turmeric supplements are bad-asses that can kill many things in vitro (in a test tube). Yet, the way it works on your specific body could be different. Always talk to your doctor before starting a supplement or vitamin. They will know you best and what interactions to look out for.

Exercise

We all know exercise is good for us. But, seriously… there seems to be a connection to COVID-19 patients who exercise daily with things like, stretching or yoga and their lack of symptoms. So, why not add a bit of exercise into your daily. It’s good for your heart and your immune system.

Healthy diet

This is a given for any immune system. Eat fresh. Eat a variety. Green and leafy veggies have plenty of chlorophyll to toughen up your immunity. Veggies with lots of color tend to have lots of nutrients. Buying caned or frozen will still give you a good deal of nutrition. Look for foods that are packed with vitamins. Vitamins in the B family are always important to keep the cognitive aspects in check. New studies have shown intakes of Vitamin D have had effects on blocking and/or shortening viruses. And who could forget, Vitamin C. Look for some vitamins that might have the combo you need like Vitamin C + D chews. Eat several small meals a day, so you can get more variety. Also, it might be more beneficial to ration your meals if you find yourself in quarantine.

Rest

Getting a good amount of sleep is important for any immune system. However, getting extra sleep is important to fight off germs and viruses. Don’t neglect your body. If you feel tired, take a nap. Taking several periods of rest through out the day can cause a surge of healthy cells to do their job and fight off the bad guys trying to take up residence in your system.

Reduce Anxiety

Shortness of breath can also be a symptom of stress. This pandemic is unnerving for most individuals. Follow the guidelines of your country, city, town. The rules laid out to stay home or keep away from crowds are there to protect you and others. Don’t lie, we have all been self-serving at one point or another, but this is about the bigger picture.

Feeling overwhelmed? Try deep breathing exercises: Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale very slowly from your mouth. Repeat several times. Try a pressure point for relief. Pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth and holding it there for several seconds can ward off a panic attack.

Stay calm; stay kind. Make plans with neighbors if any one of you should get sick. Remember, pets can catch this! Keep your pets away from your tissues and bodily fluids and wash your hands thoroughly after dealing with theirs. Check on the family and the elderly with a phone call. Cover your mouth when you cough, yawn or sneeze, by using the crook of your elbow. Wash hands for at least twenty seconds. Don’t like to count? Try singing a song. Don’t fight with your fellow man over toilet paper or any other store item.

And God bless us, every one!

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram.

This is Why Your Brain Can’t Function without Sleep

By Guest Blogger Jenna J.

This is Why Your Brain Can’t Function without Sleep

 

Young man covering face with hand

Your brain is a complex system with just as many neurons in it as the number of stars in our entire galaxy. Each neuron is connected to others through a whopping 40,000 connections referred to as synapses by medical professionals. And yet, for many of us, it is the most overlooked organ in the body.

 

More than the body, it is the brain that needs sleep. All your body organs are cleaned of toxins and metabolites while they’re in their normal function throughout the day. It is the brain which has to wait for when you’re asleep to have its cleaning done. There’s other important stuff your brain needs to do while sleeping as well, which has bearing on your memory, health and immunity. Why then do we skip sleep?

 

 

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A common motif in the annals and accounts of success has been that of spending nights in motivated labor. It’s only too visible in pop culture, for example, when Will Smith puts the kid to bed but works the entire night to correct a malfunctioning machine he intends to sell. Or, when in the legend of Achilles in the Iliad, he spends the night awake, plotting for revenge. We’ve never stopped to ask why we buy these myths. The Romans had a famous distaste for sleep, considering it a state of absolute debilitation and something to avoid to as much extent as possible.

 

It seems to be our hunger for success that makes us believe we can make hard sacrifices from our sleep to chase an ungraduated goal. “Well, as you know, there are 24 hours in every day. And if that’s not enough, you’ve always got the nights!”, as Ronald Graham the famous mathematician says. And yet, as we make cuts from our 24 hour day, we never have a quantified measure of success. Is $2400 a day a measure of success? Is it the awe of getting 24 people in the course of a day? Or are we chasing an elusive goal of paying off our debts in 24 months? If the answer to all these questions is no, what really are we chasing?

 

How poor sleep routs the brain

 

Despite no graduated standards, we deny ourselves sleep. If you skip an hour of sleep 5 days a week (and no, there’s no such thing as making up for it over the weekend), you’ve lost over a month’s worth of sleep at the end of the year. You can be sure it is detrimental to the brain.

 

 

To know what happens when you don’t sleep, let me tell you why the brain needs sleep.

 

  1. The brain generates toxins and metabolites like any other organ in the body during its course of activities throughout the day. While other organs can be cleaned by the body anytime, the brain gets its only major cleanup while you’re asleep. This is because sleeping allows brain activity to calm down and brain cells to shrink a bit. More ugly stuff can be washed out of the brain, and your brain doesn’t have to fight against this garbage to function the next day.
  2. A crucial part of memory retaining is the transfer of information from short term to long term memory, which, you guessed it, only happens when you’re asleep. Your brain sorts out information it gathered through the day and puts what’s important in long term memory, the rest being discarded. Without sleep, you’re going to have a hard time remembering things.
  3. Research shows your brain cannot make new brain cells to replace the dead ones when you’re sleep deprived. Take out neurons little by little for each day you spend in sleep deprivation, and suddenly the high number of nerve cells doesn’t seem all that insurmountable.
  4. Without adequate replenishment and cleaning, your brain as well as body are fighting a losing battle. Sleep and immune function are closely related, as studies point out. Low sleep means you’re going to be more susceptible to coughs and colds, as well as more dire infections. With disease comes monetary and mental exertion, which results in stress and further lack of sleep, making a self perpetuating cycle.

 

It’s not always your fault either. It can be the traffic on the street outside your house that’s keeping you from sleeping well with its noise, or the nightclub nearby. Many have trouble logging off the internet, and so their minds are alert to the sounds of any vibrations or notification tones it might hear, even in sleep. Sometimes, it might just be a smelly or dented mattress that’s not keeping you comfortable while you sleep, or the temperature of the room that’s all wrong.

 

Urgent Corrections to Follow

 

It can be hard to follow the 8 hour schedule, especially since it is not valid for everyone’s bodily needs. Just as many people wake up groggy from too much sleep as those who wake up under-rested. A rule of thumb is to allow yourself to wake up when you’re satisfied with your sleep. If you wake up groggy or have a slow brain day more often than twice a week, it can be that you’re not well rested.

 

Get thick blinds and invest in soundproofing to keep the outside noise outdoors. Clean your existing mattress or buy a better one you will easily get various mattress reviews online. Set the thermostat to a temperature your body is comfortable with when it’s resting. You can crank it up or down later. Most importantly, switch to airplane mode before flying off to dreamland.

 

Your brain needs its sleep to keep your body in order, as well as to make sure you don’t lose your job due to low performance, get a bad cold or get long term illnesses like depression or Alzheimer’s. It is worth the time to get adequate sleep.

Tia, and TipsfromTia.com  is trying to keep you looking good and
feeling good, from the inside out. If you’ve got a problem or a tip email me! Be sure to Like and share on Facebook or Follow on Twitter or Instagram