How to Beat the Cold + Flu, Naturally: Sleep is your Superpower!
Last week, Dr. Robinson hinted at an underestimated, but incredibly powerful suggestion on feeling healthier faster, and preventing getting sick in the first place.
That is to rest. More specifically, to sleep. I'll get into the specifics with you on how to make sure our sleep is optimized. Without quantity and quality sleep, we have slim chances of bouncing back quickly, and make sure our defenses are shot down and pitifully weak.
How to sleep like a superstar:
Go to bed and wake up at the same time, every day. Our bodies don't know the difference between weekday and weekend, and routine is everything in helping ourselves along in a smooth, predictable way. Think of it this way, most of us prefer to have a routine, because it makes choices simple less draining, and it makes planning for things easier, letting us allot time and resources effectively.
Shut down all your screens and electronics at least an hour before bed. For my patients, I get them to leave their phones outside the bedroom to create a more zen atmosphere. Not only the blue light emitted suppresses your sleepy hormone from rising (ie. melatonin), but scrolling around on our devices has lead to an increase in restlessness before bed. Most people are struggling falling asleep and staying asleep because of random thoughts that keep them up. Getting into a routine that let's your mind unwind, like reading, writing, listening to music, taking a hot bath... are all great activities for this.
Keep your blood sugars steady. Eating too late, and including things that spike our blood sugars too high (ex. cakes, cookies, simple carbohydrates... etc.) play havoc on our brain. When our blood sugars spike up, it also means the must go down - the higher the spike, the further we fall. What this means is that the dramatic drop in blood sugar, triggers our body to release cortisol (our stress/ daytime hormone), which in turn releases stored sugar to fuel our brain. It is the cortisol that often interrupts deep slumber. To keep your blood sugars steady, create dinners rich in complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fibrous proteins.
When you get good quality and enough sleep, our bodies are able to boost the amount of immune cells to fight off viral/ bacterial intruders and prevent them from getting out of control.
The benefits of sleep go way beyond this as well, and you can read more from my previous article here.
There's a reason little ones get so upset when they lack sleep as they haven't yet trained themselves to suppress the powerful, biological need. Adults are the only species alive that purposefully deprive ourselves of sleep. It's an unnecessary and harmful habit, so lets get back to working with our body to really thrive!
At The Dempster Clinic- Center for Functional Medicine, I offer a variety of approaches for finding natural ways to support quality sleep that are customized to individual needs.
Take advantage of my Complimentary 15-minute Discovery Session, which is available for all prospective patients. This session can take place over the phone or at the clinic in person. It gives you a chance to learn more about the services I offer and how they can help you find your best health.
Schedule an appointment today!
In good health,
Dr. Tamara Kung