Do you frequently get colds and the flu due to a weak immune system? Perhaps you are worried about immune-related diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. While there are many factors that go into building and maintaining a healthy immune system, one that does not receive enough attention is sleep. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep impairs the immune system. Getting more sleep -- and better quality sleep -- can help bolster your immunity. Here are some tips to help you catch more zzz's.
Give up a hobby or activity that's no longer serving you.
One of the common reasons people cite as to why they don't get enough sleep is that they simply don't have enough time. So, ask yourself if there is something you're willing to give up for better sleep and ultimately better health. Maybe you don't need to watch that hour of television when you get home, or perhaps you could skip your evening spin classes and just do workouts on your lunch hour. If you're having trouble deciding what to give up, make a list of everything you do in order of importance. Then, decide to eliminate one or two of the least important things.
Stay away from screens.
If you stare at a screen until you finally fall asleep, the sleep that you do get is not likely to be of that high a quality. You'll probably wake up still feeling tired -- and your immune system won't be benefiting from the sleep, either. Get into the habit of putting your phone and other screens away an hour before bedtime. Use this time to wash up, read a book or magazine, and maybe do some light meditation so that when you do drift off to sleep, it ends up being a deep, healthy sleep.
Stick to a bedtime.
You'll have an easier time falling asleep if you go to bed at the same time each night. So, do what feels like returning to childhood, and set a bedtime for yourself. At first, you may not drift off automatically when you lay down, but after a week or two, your body will learn that this is the time to sleep -- and you'll be out like a light when your head hits the pillow.
If your immune system is suffering or you just want to make sure it does not start suffering, focus on getting more sleep. Not only will you stay healthier, but you'll feel healthier, too. For more information and advice, contact an immunologist at a facility like Deyarman Allergy & Asthma Clinic.