In a global pandemic it’s really important that we do everything we can to keep our bodies as healthy as possible. That includes improving our hygiene, staying active, hydrating and eating well. But one thing that often gets forgotten about is the importance of a good night’s sleep. It’s the perfect time to think about your sleeping pattern – and experts say that getting enough, good quality sleep can be really important in keeping you healthy. Most of us know that we should be aiming for seven hours of sleep every night, and that consistency is key.
That can be hard to achieve when you have a busy social life and unpredictable working hours, but now that people are hunkering down and cancelling plans, it should get a bit easier to stick to a routine. You know how rough you feel when you don’t get enough sleep. You’re groggy, irritable, prone to headaches, find it hard to focus. You can even see it all over your face – a lack of sleep can affect your skin and even contribute to breakouts. So it’s no wonder that sleep can impact your body’s ability to stay healthy and fight off illness.
‘Ensuring you get a proper night’s sleep plays a vital role in promoting good health, as it can strengthen your immune system and help protect your physical health, mental health and wellbeing,’ explains Parvinder Sagoo, pharmacist and medical advisor at SimplyMeds. ‘During a healthy sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines which help promote sleep, so it’s imperative that your body gets a good seven-eight hour rest per night to fight off infectious diseases.’
Strengthens your immune system Sleep gives your body the time it needs to rest and repair, which is why you feel so tired when you’re unwell – sleep is your body’s chance to fix whatever’s wrong. Sleep supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy bugs and germs – it also helps them to remember them, so they can fight them off even quicker in future. Sleeps strengthen your body’s immune response, and at times like these it’s more important than ever that we’re getting enough of it.