A good night's sleep helps repair inflammation
When it comes to your health, sleep plays an important role. While more sleep won't necessarily prevent you from getting sick, skimping on it could adversely affect your immune system, leaving you susceptible to a bad cold or case of the flu. To keep yourself sniffle-free this season, here's what you need to know.
Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, causing a double whammy if you skimp on shut-eye. Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body's ability to respond, reports Guardian.
To stay healthy, especially during the influenza season, get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. This will help keep your immune system in fighting shape, and also protect you from other health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. If your sleep schedule is interrupted by a busy workweek or other factors, try to make up for the lost rest with naps. Taking two naps that are no longer than 30 minutes each -one in the morning and one in the afternoon-has been shown to help decrease stress and offset the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system. If you can't swing a half-hour nap during the workday, try grabbing a 20-minute siesta on your lunch hour, and another right before dinner.
Of course, there's more to boosting your immunity and guarding against illness than getting ample sleep. It's also important to practice smart stay-healthy strategies such as washing your hands with soap regularly, avoiding close contact with people who are obviously under the weather, and talking with your doctor about getting an annual flu shot. And remember: Even if you do come down with a case of seasonal sniffles, you'll be able to bounce back faster if your body is well rested.
When you sleep, there are less demands made on your heart. Your blood pressure will drop and your heart will be able to take a break. Sleep also causes the body to release hormones that can slow breathing, and relax other muscles in the body. This process can reduce inflammation and assist with healing.
Recovery takes work and you need energy to work. When you sleep, the demand for calories is decreased so your body is able to replenish and be ready for action when you awake. Interestingly, when you sleep, the level of the hormones that make you feel hungry or full fluctuates. If you don't get enough sleep, your hunger hormone levels known as ghrelin go up and your full hormones or leptin go down. So poor sleep patterns can lead to overeating and eventual obesity. It is best to let your body keep everything in proper alignment with a good night's rest.
When you are awake, there are many demands on your body and your brain. These demands decrease dramatically when you go to sleep. Your body and mind can focus on restorative tasks and get a break. When you awake after a good night's sleep, hormone levels, energy levels and stress levels have all been adjusted for a more positive start to the day. Depression can slow the recovery process and is more common in people who sleep less than seven hours a night. During sleep, the body is refreshed and more prepared to face the challenges of a new day instead of feeling defeated and stressed. This positive mood can boost recovery outcomes.
There are many factors that go into falling and staying asleep. There are several environmental issues from the amount of light to the temperature of the room. There are also emotional barriers like pain, anxiety and stress. Other factors include comfort level, noise and life schedules. Since sleep can be beneficial to recovery, the best place for a good night's rest after a stay in the hospital may not be at home. Many have found that recovery is faster and more effective at a rehabilitation center where everything from medical needs to a good night's rest are professionally maintained.
Whitehall of Deerfield is one of the area's premier choices for recovery and has consistently received Medicare's highest rating in Medicare's five-star rating system of nursing and rehabilitation centers.
Guests at Whitehall of Deerfield will have the opportunity for restorative sleep in a quiet, dark, temperature-controlled room. Nurses and other professional staff make sure that all medications, meals and treatments are given at the proper times each day. Individualized, one-on-one therapy is given seven days a week by top therapists who know exactly what needs to be done to regain strength and mobility quickly and successfully. Each guest is able to focus on the important task of healing and recovery without distractions.
At Whitehall of Deerfield, guests enjoy their short-term, post-hospital stay in spacious suites and rooms featuring such amenities as concierge service, daily delivery of Starbucks coffee and newspaper, high-speed wireless Internet, dozens of cable channels with a 24-hour channel of newly released movies and even valet parking for visitors.
Guests can also enjoy a wide-ranging choice of cuisine from selective menus as well as a variety of dining settings. An on-site ice cream parlor and coffee shop offer fresh-baked goods in the morning and ice cream treats in the afternoon, as well as gourmet coffee all day long.