Autumn can definitely be a time when the temperature drops and the coughs and sniffles come out in full force. When it comes to protecting yourself against the common cold or flu, having a great immunity plays a major role. The best place to start? A great sleep.
A lack of sleep can affect our immunity greatly, leaving us more susceptible to illness and fatigue.
Check out the science behind it all here, as well as some great tips for boosting your immunity – especially during the cold autumn months!
How sleep affects immunity
When we sleep, immune fighting hormones are released by our bodies, meaning that the longer we sleep for and the quality of sleep that we get, all affects the strength of our immune system.
Sleep doesn’t just affect our immunity when it comes to fighting disease, a lack of sleep can also mean that it can take our bodies longer to recover from illnesses such as the common cold, as our already weakened immune system struggles to fight back.
Although studies into sleep and immunity are still very much on-going, there is substantial evidence so far to prove that a lack of sleep, means a poor immune system.
Sleep is all about recovery, regeneration and restoration, deprive our bodies of it, and we don’t get the chance to fight off disease.
By ensuring that we get the adequate amount of sleep, we are much more likely to be able to fight off disease, illness and even viruses like the flu.
Sleep is all about strength and recovery, both physically and mentally – and there’s nothing like a good nights’ sleep to bolster immunity.
Immunity boosting tips
So, aside from getting the adequate amount of sleep in, recommended to be around 7-9 hours, what else can we do in order to boost our immunity?
- Eating a balance diet. We’ve all heard the saying that vitamin C can massively boost immunity, and it turns out there is substantial truth behind this claim.Ensuring that our diets are rich in fruit and vegetables can really help to bolster our immunity during cold and flu season. if you still feel like you’re not getting enough, a simple vitamin C supplement can be a great idea, although the recommended intake can usually be achieved in just one glass of orange juice.
- Minimising stress. When stress gets chronic, it can definitely take a toll on our immune systems, releasing too much cortisol into our bodies which in turn can damage our immune system. Stress can also cause a reduction in white blood cells, which are essential to our bodies for fighting disease.Minimise stress and boost immunity by tackling the issue, practising yoga or meditation and establishing a calm and relaxing evening routine.
- Regular exercise. Exercise can be a great way to naturally bolster our immune systems.Not only does it help to relieve stress, it’s also brilliant for effectively flushing bacteria out of our lungs and airways, reducing the risk of infection and possible colds or viruses!