To stay healthy amid this health crisis, seven to eight hours of sleep a night is recommended
When we are under the weather or knackered,the instructive and advisable words are always “Go to bed”. Indeed, Sleep is the best medicine. Sleep is a naturally intermittentstate of mind and body, marked by modified consciousness, comparatively inhibited sensory activity, reduced muscle activity, and inhibition of nearly all voluntary muscles and reduced interactions with surroundings.When it comes to health, sleep plays an important role. Skimping on it could be detrimental to the immune system, leaving susceptible to viral infections. According to Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, Chief Medical Liaison at Philips Sleep and Respiratory Care, "sleep and the immune system are bidirectionally linked and both have important roles in the body's defense against diseases. The optimal immune function requires adequate sleep, and inadequate sleep impairs the immune response."
During sleep, the immune system releases certain cytokines, which help in reducing infection and inflammation. If the body is deprived of sleep, it may decrease the production of these protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies.Consequently, sleep is anindispensable integrant of building up the body’s immunity. Worries proliferate in the COVID-19 pandemic. Naturally, many people fear catching the coronavirus. Many people who are older or in high-risk groups because of preexisting conditions, prompt perturbation about their health. On the other hand, economic concerns are hurting everyone as well. As economic activity stalls and job losses mount, it’s normal to worry about income, savings, and making ends meet. Also, there is so much mystery regarding this COVID -19 pandemic, how long the lockdown will last and such uncertainty often bring anxiety and hampers sleep as a racing mind keep the body tossing and turning
To stay healthy amid this health crisis, seven to eight hours of sleep a night is recommended. This will help keep your immune system and also protect 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.
Apart from getting ample sleep, it is 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. As has been proven now by researchers that sleep has a strong impact on physical, mental, and immune health.
According to Philips 2020 Global Sleep Survey, most people agreed sleep is an important contributor to their physical well being (87%) and mental well-being (86%), but only half (49%) reported being satisfied with their sleep.
During these uncertain times, while the world is battling with COVID-19, it is a prerequisite to optimizing sleep to ensure the immune system remains strong and to support mental well being. Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong, suggests:
(Author is a Research Scholar, Clinical Biochemistry SKIMS, Srinagar)