We are washing our hands and wearing our masks, but are we giving our immune system everything it needs to stay safe and healthy? In addition to limiting libations, eating a healthy diet, and staying physically active, sleep plays a critical role in supporting our immune systems.
According to an article written by Eric J. Olson, M.D. on MayoClinic.org:
During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.
With all the crazy stressors of today, the question then becomes, how can we get better sleep? A recent research study published in the Journal of PHYSIOLOGICAL ANTHROPOLOGY and Applied Human Science suggests that a shower may be the ticket to a good night sleep.
A prescription to stand under a stream of hot water sounds pretty good, don’t you think? We do too!
Does this mean 10 minutes before bed you should hop into the shower and get your suds on? Nope. The immediate effects of a shower are to awaken your mind and boost your creativity — which isn’t what you want before you hit the hay.
However, as your body cools down, it receives signals that it is time to go to bed. This cool-down process can help your body regulate its circadian rhythms — an essential step to getting a good night’s rest.
To give your body adequate time to cool down, the best time shower is 90 minutes before you want to go to bed. Not only does this set you up for the best night’s sleep possible, but it helps you avoid the pitfalls of a wet pillow.